RMERF counts October 1 and talk on October 5 in Crowsnest Pass

Sunday, October 1 [Day 11] (Blake Weis, assisted by Lori Anderson) 0800-1940. Bill Wilson had the ‘flu so Blake stepped in at short notice and fortunately had a reasonably good day despite the weather conditions. The temperature reached a high of 8C at 1500 from a low of 4C and was 5C at the end of the day. Ground winds were S to 1700 and then SW for the rest of the day, 0-5 km/h to 1500 and afterwards 5-10 gusting 15 km/h, while ridge winds appeared to be light NW to 1500, moderate NW to 1800 after which they were light again. Cloud cover was 80-100% cumulus, altocumulus, stratocumulus and cirrus all day. The eastern ridges were 70-100% obscured to 1400 but were 100% clear by 1800 after which they again clouded over to 20%; the western ridges followed a similar pattern but were 90% obscured by the end of the day. Light rain and snow showers persisted throughout the day with periods of precipitation lasting up to 30 minutes. Not surprisingly light conditions were poor all day. Despite the weather a total of 31 migrants of 7 species were recorded between 1326 and 1846 comprising 4 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j, and 1 undifferentiated immature), 1 undifferentiated female/juvenile Northern Harrier , 6u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (1 light, 1 dark), 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 light morph undifferentiated Buteo, 13 Golden Eagles (6a, 1sa, 3j, 3u), 2 Prairie Falcons which were the first of the season and 1 large undifferentiated raptor. Twenty-six of the birds moved between 1326 and 1600. Five birds used the western route and the rest were to the east, only 4 of which were initially located over Lorette and the rest were first seen at the northern end of the Fisher Range from where they travelled close to the ridge as conditions afforded little lift. A non-migrant Sharp-shinned Hawk hunted small songbirds in the meadow and a resident Golden Eagle was seen over Mount Allan to the west. Other birds noted included 210 Canada Geese migrating high over the valley, 1 juvenile Northern Shrike, 1 Blue Jay, 7 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 160 American Robins migrating in flocks of up to 40 birds, 3 American Pipits, 12 Lapland Longspurs, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 American Tree Sparrow, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 White-winged Crossbill and 48 Pine Siskins. A male Moose was close to the site. Because of the weather only 4 visitors made it to the site today.

11.67 hours (132.3) BAEA 4 (32), NOHA 1 (3), SSHA 6 (50), RTHA 2 (17), RLHA 1 (4), UB 1 (3), GOEA 13 (289), PRFA 2 (2), UU 1 (2) TOTAL 31 (431)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 12] (Peter Sherrington) 1145-1415 and 1545-1730. It rained and snowed to 1130 and at 1145 I arrived at the well site on the western flank of Vicki Ridge where the temperature was 2C, winds were light and residual cloud still draped the ridges but which quickly cleared. By 1400 the temperature had risen to 6C, winds were light and 100% cloud cover persisted. Despite the clear conditions the only raptor seen was a female American Kestrel that flew to the SW at 1336, and when rain resumed at 1415 I left the site. At around 1530 the clouds partially cleared and sunny breaks had me hurrying back to the site where I arrived at 1545 to find 2 Red-tailed Hawks and a Golden Eagle already soaring high above the ridge. By 1730 I had counted a further 36 migrants of 10 species, 26 of which moved between 1600 and 1700. The last Golden Eagle flapped low to the south just ahead of a rapidly advancing rain front at 1730. The final count was 1 Osprey, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks (6a, 3u), 3 Cooper’s Hawks (2a, 1u), 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1j), 1 juvenile dark morph Broad-winged Hawk, 11 Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 9: 7 light adults 1 rufous adult and 1 juvenile dark; and 2 dark adult harlani), 1 light Rough-legged Hawk, 2 unidentified Buteos, 4 Golden Eagles (2a, 2sa), 1 female American Kestrel and 1 female columbarius Merlin. Other birds seen included 20 Canada Geese flying high to the SE, 5 Common Loons that flew high above the ridge towards the west, 92 American Robins including a flock of 80 that flew south above the ridge and 12 Pine Siskins also flying south.

4.25 hours (95.08) OSPR 1 (8), NOHA 1 (10), SSHA 9 (377), COHA 3 (51), NOGO 2 (35), BWHA 1 (15), RTHA 11 (81), RLHA 1 (2), GOEA 4 (116), AMKE 1 (17), PEFA 1 (8) TOTAL 37 (753)

 

Steeples [Day 8] (Vance Mattson) 1430-1730. Because of a prior commitment Vance did not arrive at the site until 1430 when the ridges were still covered with cloud, but which cleared by 1500. The initial temperature was 12C but dropped to 9C at 1630 when steady rain began to fall. Cloud cover was 70-100% stratus, cumulus and cirrus concentrated along the mountains which allowed sunny conditions for half of the time. A total of 29 raptors of 8 species moved between 1456 and 1629 when rain started to fall, 24 of which were seen between 1500 and 1600. The count was 4 adult Bald Eagles, 3 Northern Harriers (2 adult females, 1u juvenile), 9 Sharp-shinned Hawks (4a, 5j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, the first Rough-legged Hawk of the season, a dark morph, 8 Golden Eagles (1a, 7j), 2 American Kestrels (1 female, 1 male) and 1u columbarius Merlin. Non-migrants were 4 Bald Eagles (3a, 1j), 2 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawks and 1 adult Golden Eagle.

3 hours (35.5) BAEA 4 (35), NOHA 3 (9), SSHA 9 (70), NOGO 1 (6), RLHA 1 (1), GOEA 8 (24), AMKE 2 (8), MERL 1 (2) TOTAL 29 (203)

On Thursday, October 5 I shall be giving a talk in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy of Canada at 1900 at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre in the Crowsnest Pass. Details of the talk may be found on our website www.eaglewatch.ca. As seating is limited the NCC are asking that those that are interested in registering for the evening talk contact Travis Muir at (403) 512-3152 or Travis.Muir@natureconservancy.ca.

 

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 11

HOURS 132.3

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 32

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 50

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 9

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10

Accipiter sp. (UA) 1

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 17

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 4

Buteo sp. (UB) 3

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 289

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 431