RMERF counts, October 7

Saturday, October 7 [Day 16] (Jim Davis, assisted by Ruth Morrow) 0730-1930. The temperature reached a high of 7C at 1600 and 1700 from a morning low of 0C and was 4C at the end of the day. It was calm in the valley to 1000 after which SW winds 1-12 gusting to 28 km/h blew for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were moderate W all day. Cloud cover was mainly 30% cumulus all day with the exception of 1200-1500 when 80-90% stratus cloud brought intermittent periods of snow that 70% obscured the western ridges and draped the eastern route with 10% low cloud around 1500. It was another strong day of raptor movement with 187 birds of 8 species moving between 0739 (which was a Golden Eagle seen leaving a roost tree on the Fisher Range at 0739) to 1837 when the last eagle went south. The count was 5 Bald Eagles (3a, 2sa), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (3a, 2u), 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1j, 1u), 1 juvenile Northern Goshawk, 4 adult Red-tailed Hawks (calurus 2 light, and 1 dark and 1 harlani), the season’s first Ferruginous Hawk, a light morph adult, 2 unidentified dark morph Buteos, 165 Golden Eagles (32a, 3sa, 23j, 107u), 1u columbarius Merlin and 1 unidentified small falcon. The Ferruginous Hawk was only the 9th seen on a fall count at the site and it has only occurred on 7 previous counts. All the birds moved along the Fisher Range where they were initially located, some gliding extremely high above the ridge while others flapped low and soared against the face of the ridge. Movement was steady all day and the highest hourly count was 56 between 1000 and 1100. Other birds were scarce and included 1 American Robin, 3 American Pipits and 2 Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, but not scarce were visitors, 76 of whom came to the site today.

12 hours (188.4) BAEA 5 (47), SSHA 5 (42), COHA 2 (13), NOGO 1 (11), RTHA 4 (25), FEHA 1 (1), UB 2 (7), GOEA 165 (1118), MERL 1 (3), UF 1 (1) TOTAL 187 (1311)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 17] (Peter Sherrington, assisted by Trevor Lewis and Raymond Toal) 0855-1915. (Observation from the Waterton 61 wellsite on the western flank of the ridge). The temperature at 0900 was 4C, reached a high of 9C at 1400 and was 6C at 1800. Winds were WNW-NW all day 10-15 gusting to 30 and occasionally 40 km/h. Cloud cover was very variable ranging from 60-80% cumulus and altocumulus, that produced rain showers in the morning and granular snow flurries in the mid-afternoon, to periods of 10-20% summer-like cumulus. Observing conditions were good throughout and the day and saw the highest ever count at the site and it was only the second time that over 200 migrant raptors had been seen in a day here. A total of 266 migrants of 10 species moved between 0858 and 1751 comprising 5 Bald Eagles (4a, 1j), 1 adult female Northern Harrier (that was the last bird of the day), 35 Sharp-shinned Hawks (19a, 16u), 6 Cooper’s Hawks (5a, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 unidentified small Accipiters, 6 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (5 light and 1 dark), 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 2 dark), 1 unidentified dark morph Buteo, a site-record 202 Golden Eagles (96a, 12sa, 61j, 33u), 1 male American Kestrel and 1u female Peregrine Falcon. The movement started strongly with hourly counts of 53 and 63 birds between 1000 and 1100 and 1100 and 1200 respectively and the count at noon was 131, but the movement then gradually slowed and became more sporadic throughout the afternoon. Most of the movement today was over Vicki Ridge and relatively few birds travelled above Kylo Ridge to the east. Other birds were scarce but included 119 American Robins 114 of which flew high to the south in flocks of 80 and 34, 1 Pileated Woodpecker and, most remarkably, a Wilson’s Snipe that flew high overhead to the south ahead of a gathering snow shower at 1520. This is the first time I had ever seen a snipe migrating.

9.33 hours (140.4) BAEA 5 (30), NOHA 1 (13), SSHA 35 (508), COHA 6 (74), NOGO 1 (47), UA 2 (5), RTHA 6 (161), RLHA 5 (18), UB 1 (11), GOEA 202 (667), AMKE 1 (20), PEFA 1 (9) TOTAL 266 (1625)

 

Steeples [Day 12] (Vance Mattson) Report not currently available.

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

DAYS 16

HOURS 188.4

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 47

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 62

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 13

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 11

Accipiter sp. (UA) 2

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 25

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 1

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 7

Buteo sp. (UB) 7

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 1118

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 3

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 1

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 1311