RMERF counts, November 7

Tuesday, November 7 [Day 43] (Blake Weis, assisted by Cliff Hansen) 0755-1700. The temperature at 0800 was -16C, reached a high of -6C at 1500 and was -7C at 1700. Ground winds were SW 0-5 km/h to 1200 and subsequently SE-SW 0-5 gusting 10-15 km/h, and ridge winds were NW light to moderate for most of the day. Cloud cover was initially 90% cirrus, altostratus and altocumulus that reduced to 20% from 1200-1400 after which it again increased to 90%. Despite the ridges being completely clear and good observing conditions only three migrant eagles were seen: an adult Bald Eagle at 1528, an adult Golden Eagle at 1536 and a juvenile Bald Eagle at 1545. All birds moved from Mount Lorette to low on the Fisher Range and mainly flapped to the south. Non-migrants were an adult Bald Eagle that flew north above the centre of the valley, an adult Northern Goshawk that flew north along the Fisher Range ridge and a resident adult Golden Eagle that soared on the flank of Mount Collembola. Other birds seen included 5 Canada Geese and 9 Trumpeter Swans that flew south above the valley, the Killdeer that was found yesterday, 4 Boreal Chickadees, 1 Brown Creeper, 2 American Dippers, 8 Pine Grosbeaks and 24 Common Redpolls. The Striped Skunk was again present north of the site, and 5 visitors were noted.

9.08 hours (461.7) BAEA 2 (162), GOEA 1 (3203) TOTAL 3 (3608)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 44] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Gord Petersen) 0845-1645 (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature was -7C at 0900, the high was -4C from 1300-1600 and it was -4.5 at 1645. Winds were W all day, 35-45 gusting to 60 km/h to 1300 after which they moderated to 30-40 km/h. Cloud cover was 70-80% altostratus that allowed hazy sunshine to 1200, which thickened to 90-100% altostratus and altocumulus throughout the afternoon which only began to thin again after 1600. Observing conditions were very good throughout. The first migrant, an adult Golden Eagle, was seen at 0934 but the next birds only appeared at 1129. Subsequently, however, there was a slow but steady stream of raptors that gradually increased throughout the afternoon and peaked at 11 birds between 1500 and 1600, and the last Golden Eagle was seen at 1632. The final count of 33 birds of 5 species was 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j, 1 undifferentiated immature), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 Rough-legged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 23 Golden Eagles (17a, 1sa, 5j) and 1 Prairie Falcon. Other birds were again scarce and included 3 Clark’s Nutcrackers, 1 Pine Grosbeak and 4 Common Redpolls.

8 hours (351.8) BAEA 6 (211), NOGO 1 (99), RLHA 2 (491), GOEA 23 (1890), PRFA 1 (5) TOTAL 33 (3945)

 

Steeples [Day 37] (Vance Mattson) 1300-1630. It was overcast and snowing lightly until noon when things began to slowly clear. Vance arrived at the site at 1300 and almost immediately counted the only two migrants of the day, both juvenile Golden Eagles, at 1310 and 1329. Low cloud again sat in front of the ridges and partially obscured the entire range; it appeared as if things would clear several times, but cloud continued to appear from the south, at times fully, and at other times partially, obscuring the ridges. It was not until 1600 that the ridges were totally clear but no further migrants or non-migrants were seen. The temperature was -7C at 1300 and warmed to -5C, it was mostly calm or light S winds and there was 100% altostratus, cumulus, and stratus cloud cover throughout.

3.5 hours (171.3) GOEA 2 (143) TOTAL 2 (619)

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 43

HOURS 452.6

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 2

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 162

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 6

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 81

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 18

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 28

Accipiter sp. (UA) 3

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 29

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 27

Buteo sp. (UB) 10

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 3203

Eagle sp. (UE) 7

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 3

MERLIN (MERL) 5

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 4

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 7

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 6

Falco sp. (UF) 3

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 3608