RMERF counts, March 15

Friday, March 15 Mount Lorette [Day 13] 0805-2005 (Caroline Lambert, assisted by Rick Robb). The starting temperature was -4C, the high was 5C at 1600 and it was 1C at the end of observation. Ground winds were 0-5 gusting 20 km/h, variable to 1400 then SW to 1800 and finally 0-5 km/h for the rest of the day, while ridge winds were moderate NW all day. Cloud cover was initially 80% cirrus and stratus that became 70-60% cumulus and stratus between 1000 and 1300 after which it gradually diminished to 20% cumulus and cirrus by 2000. The eastern ridges were clear all day, and the west was 40% obscured to 1100 after which it was also clear. The conditions produced a season-high count of 23 eagles between 1217 and 1614 that comprised 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa) and a season-high count of 21 Golden Eagles (18a, 3u). The birds moved steadily with hourly high counts of 6 between 1217 and 1300 and 7 between 1400 and 1500. Up to 1300 the birds were initially located over Mount Lorette having presumably originated in the Wasootch Creek area, but subsequently they glided from the northern end of the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette with only occasional soaring flight. A resident adult Northern Goshawk was also seen on a couple of occasions hunting near the site. Other birds seen were 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 5 Canada Jays, 8 Common Ravens, 6 Black-capped Chickadees, 5 Mountain Chickadees, 4 Boreal Chickadees, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 8 Common Redpolls and 5 White-winged Crossbills. Six visitors were at the site today.

11.67 hours (126.9) BAEA 2 (13), GOEA 21 (41) TOTAL 23 (55)

 

Friday, March 15 Beaver Mines [Day 14] 0730-1930 (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Hilary Atkinson). The temperature at 0730 was -2C the high at 1600 was a season high 5C and it was 2C at 1930. Winds were again W-WSW all day, 30-40 gusting 50 km/h that moderated to 20-30 km/h after 1800. Cloud cover was 100% altostratus to 1200 and the afternoon saw 60-100% altostratus, cumulus and altocumulus that provided extended sunny periods. The day started encouragingly with single Golden Eagles moving NW at 0858 and 0859, but the next raptors, two Bald Eagles, were not seen until 1100 and the 3rd Golden Eagle did not appear until 1241. Movement was then sporadic throughout the afternoon despite apparently ideal migration conditions and it was only between 1706 and 1747 when 8 of the day’s 24 migrants were counted that there was any sustained movement. The final count was 10 Bald Eagles (9a, 1sa), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, the first of the season that flew N with the subadult Bald Eagle at 1532, and 13 Golden Eagles (10a, 2sa, 1j). An adult resident Golden Eagle soared briefly on the ridge at 1810. Other birds seen were 10 Rock Pigeons, 3 Downy Woodpeckers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 male Northern [Red-shafted] Flicker, 4 Blue Jays, 2 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 18 American Crows that flew to the SW at 1816, 45 Common Ravens only 5 of which flew to roost between 1807 and 1914, 4 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Mountain Chickadee, 2 European Starlings inspecting possible nest sites, 40 Evening Grosbeaks, 6 Common Redpolls, 50 Pine Siskins, 3 Dark-eyed Juncos (2 hyemalis and 1 montanus) and 3 male Red-winged Blackbirds.

12 hours (153.8) BAEA 10 (58), NOGO 1 (1) GOEA 13 (100) TOTAL 24 (168)

 

Friday, March 15 Steeples [Day 10] 1130-1700 (Vance Mattson, assisted by Andrena Heigh). Observation today was from the South Lakit site where the temperature was initially 2C but by 1600 it was 9C and caused significant snow melt. Winds were light SW but became calm after 1600 and cloud cover was 60% altostratus and cumulus that reduced to 30% cumulus after 1600. A total of 15 migrants were counted between 1149 and 1530 comprising 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j) and 12 adult Golden Eagles. The resident pair of Golden Eagles were visible nearly the entire day with extended soaring, hunting and a minor display flight by one of the birds. Six non-migrant adult Bald Eagles were also present with a pair-flight seen at 1408.

5.5 hours (43.75) BAEA 3 (20), GOEA 12 (51) TOTAL 15 (71)

 

 

SUMMARY  COUNTS, SPRING 2019
  MOUNT LORETTE March 1-April 22 BEAVER MINES   March 1-April 22 STEEPLES      March 1-April 22
DAYS  13  14  10
HOURS 126.9 153.8  43.75
TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU)  0 0 0
OSPREY (OSPR) 0  0  0
BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 13  58  20
NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 0  0  0
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA)  0 0 0
COOPER’S HAWK (COHA)  0 0 0
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 0 1 0
Accipiter sp. (UA) 0 0 0
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 0 0 0
SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0 0 0
RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 0 0 0
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0 0 0
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 1 6 0
Buteo sp. (UB) 0 0 0
GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 41 100 51
Eagle sp. (UE) 0 0 0
AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0 0 0
MERLIN (MERL) 0 0 0
GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0 1 0
PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 0 0 0
PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 0 1 0
Falco sp. (UF) 0 0 0
Unidentified Raptor (UU) 0 1 0
       
TOTALS 55 168 71