RMERF counts, October 6

Friday, October 6 [Day 15] (Bill Wilson, assisted by Blake Weis and Caroline Lambert) 0700-1840. The temperature high was 13C at 1500 from a starting low of 2C and it remained at 9C at the end of observation. Ground winds were SW all day 10-20 gusting to 40-50km/h and occasionally higher, while ridge winds were strong SW all day. Initial cloud cover was 100% altostratus to 1000, 30-80% altostratus, lenticular and cumulus to 1200 when it was 100% cumulus that dwindled to 10% at 1500; it then thickened again to 100% stratus by the end that brought rain showers in the late afternoon. Ridges were clear until 1700-1840 when the east was 10% cloud-covered and the west 40% . The day produced a season high count of 430 migrants all but 4 of which were Golden Eagles that moved almost exclusively high from Mount Lorette to the Fisher Range between 0740 and 1649. The count was 2 adult Bald Eagles, 1u dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk of undetermined race, 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk and a season-high 426 Golden Eagles (157a, 5sa, 30j, 228u). The height of the movement and the nature of the cloud backdrop resulted in most of the birds being unaged. Eight birds were seen before 0800 and subsequently every hour between 0800 and 1500 saw a passage of between 44 and 75 birds; 30 were seen between 1500 and 1600 and 6 after 1600. Other birds noted on a rather busy day were 1 American Robin and 15 Pine Siskins. There were 12 visitors at the site today.

11.67 hours (176.4) BAEA 2 (42), RTHA 1 (21), RLHA 1 (7), GOEA 426 (953) TOTAL 430 (1124)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 16] (Peter Sherrington) 0900-1815 (Observing from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The weather was as unpleasant as the previous day had been delightful. At 0900 the temperature was 10C, reached a high of 15C at 1500 and was 12C at 1800. Winds were relentlessly strong all day, W to 1100 and NW afterwards, 50-65 gusting 70-90 km/h that made keeping the spotting scope steady and even standing difficult at times. Cloud cover was 100-70% altostratus as a large Chinook Arch perched over the ridges and gradually moved off to the SE. By 1400 cloud had diminished to 30% and between 1630 and 1750 it was essentially cloudless before 60% altocumulus, cirrus and cumulus cloud rapidly re-formed around 1800. A total of 201 migrants of 12 species, a diversity that equals the season’s high, were counted between 0909 and 1754 with birds moving both along Vicki Ridge to the east and Kylo Ridge to the west usually simultaneously: 118 birds moved above Kylo Ridge, 78 over Vicki Ridge and 5 flew south between the ridges. The dark cloud backdrop before 1400 made aging of birds almost impossible as they were silhouetted against the cloud, and again to the west in the late afternoon as they were silhouetted against the glare of the lowering sun. Many birds were obviously also moving unseen to south west of Kylo Ridge. It was hard work but the final count was 1 Osprey, 4 Bald Eagles (2a, 2u), 1u male Northern Harrier, 11 Sharp-shinned Hawks (5a, 6u), 2u Cooper’s Hawks, 2 Northern Goshawks (1a, 1u), 8 Red-tailed Hawks (5 light morph calurus : 4a, 1j; and 2 dark morph harlani: 1a, 1j), 4 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 1u), 4 indeterminate Buteos (1 light, 1 dark, 2u), a season-high 159 Golden Eagles (56a, 7sa, 31j, 65u), 1u American Kestrel, 2u male columbarius Merlins, the first Prairie Falcon of the season and 1 unidentified large falcon.

9.25 hours (131.1) OSPR 1 (9), BAEA 4 (25), NOHA 1 (12), SSHA 11 (473), COHA 2 (68), NOGO 2 (46), RTHA 8 (155), RLHA 4 (13), UB 4 (10), GOEA (159), AMKE 1 (19), MERL 2 (14), PRFA 1 (1), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 201 (1359)

 

Steeples [Day 11] (Vance Mattson) 1130-1830. The temperature was 10C at 1130 and rose to a high of 16C . Winds were strong S-SW, and cloud cover was originally 90% cumulus and altostratus but reduced to 50% cumulus and altocumulus for most of the day. A total of 10 migrants sporadically battled the strong winds between 1429 and 1719, comprising 1 juvenile Bald Eagle, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk and 8 Golden Eagles (4a, 4j).

7 hours (50.5) BAEA 1 (45), RTHA 1 (40), GOEA 8 (33) TOTAL 10 (226)

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 15

HOURS 176.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 42

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 57

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 11

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10

Accipiter sp. (UA) 2

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 21

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 7

Buteo sp. (UB) 5

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 953

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 1124