Mount Lorette Raptor Count Spring 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 22 [Day 48] (Peter Sherrington) A cloudless sky, which persisted all day, allowed the temperature to fall to -12C at 0700, but it briefly rose to 6.5C at 1800 and was 6C the rest of the time between 1500 and the end of the day. Ground winds were calm or light SW-SE to 1110 after which they were consistently SW light to moderate gusting to 20 km/h, while ridge winds were moderate to strong SW gusting to 78 km/h by late afternoon. It is interesting (depressing?) to note that the snow cover and depth was very similar to what it was on March 1, the first day of the count. The last day of the count produced only a moderate raptor movement of 11 birds that moved between 1055 and 1613, comprising 1 subadult Bald Eagle, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 dark-morph Red-tailed Hawks (1 adult harlani and 1 of unknown race or age), 1 light Rough-legged Hawk and 4 juvenile Golden Eagles. Song birds were also scarce and included 11 American Robins and 100 Bohemian Waxwings, but it was delightful to end the count with what has been rare this spring: a relatively warm sunny day. 13 hours (556.07) BAEA 1 (192), SSHA 2 (41), NOGO 1 (17), RTHA 2 (45), RLHA 1 (40), GOEA 4 (2982) TOTAL 3362

April 21 [Day 47] (Peter Sherrington) The temperature was -4C at 0700 and rose to a high of 2C from 1200-1400 and was 1C at the end of the day. Ground winds were variable and light (0-10 km/h) to 1300 after which they were N and occasionally NW gusting to 18 km/h for the rest of the day. Cloud cover was 90-100% cumulus and stratocumulus for most of the day, all the ridges were partially obscured all day, the east 10-50% and the west 20-100%, and periods of light snow, squalls and snow flurries persisted throughout the day. There was a disappointing movement of only 8 raptors between 1219 and 1749 which comprised 3 Bald Eagles (2a, 1j), 2 unaged Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Red-tailed Hawks (1u light morph calurus, and 1 adult dark morph harlani that flew low down the valley at 1521) and 1 light morph Rough-legged Hawk. Migrants included 22 Dark-eyed Juncos (21 montanus, 2 cismontanus), 8 Common Redpolls and at 0950 the Nashville Warbler identified by Jim yesterday flew low over my head towards the north, but could not be subsequently relocated. A single Mountain Goat on the snow-covered northern peak of the Fisher Range at 1432 made a splendid sight.12 hours (543.07) BAEA 3 (191), SSHA 2 (39), RTHA 2 (43), RLHA 1 (39) TOTAL 8 (3351)

April 20 [Day 46] (Jim Davis) The temperature rose to 3C at 1700 from a low of -4C and was 2C at 1900. Ground winds were very variable, initially calm then moderate S from 0900-1100, then E-NE gusting to 26 km/h to 1700, and light W for the rest of the day; ridge winds were moderate to strong SW all day. Cloud cover was 40-100% cumulus and stratocumulus, the western ridges were partially obscured for much of the day (10-50%) while the east was essentially clear, and there was a period of light snow showers between 1500 and 1700. For the third straight day there was a good raptor movement for this part of the season with a total of 53 migrants of 7 species recorded between 0919 and 1946, with 9 of the birds occurring between 1500 and 1600. Fifteen of the birds moved on the western route, while the rest were to the east moving from the Fisher Range to Mount Lorette. The flight comprised 6 Bald Eagles (4a, 2j), 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks (2a, 2j, 1u), 2 Cooper's Hawks (1a, 1j), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 7 adult Red-tailed Hawks (6 light morph calurus and 1 “Krider's Hawk” (B.j.borealis var krideri), the first for the season), 5 light morph Rough-legged Hawks, 1 unidentified dark Buteo, 25 Golden Eagles (11a, 2sa, 7j, 5u) which is the highest count for the species since April 12, and 1 unidentified eagle. Without a doubt, however, the highlight of the day was a closely observed male Nashville Warbler seen at the site at 1642, which is the first warbler seen this season, and only the 5th record of the species for the site, the previous 4 being in the fall. Other migrants included a white-headed gull of unknown species, 1 American Pipit and 41 Common Redpolls. 12.5 hours (531.07) BAEA 6 (188), SSHA 5 (37), COHA 2 (8), NOGO 1 (16), RTHA 7 (41), RLHA 5 (38), UB 1 (6), GOEA 25 (2978), UE 1 (13) TOTAL 53 (3343)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19 [Day 45] (George Halmazna) Today was marginally warmer with a high of 1C at 1300 from a starting low of -15C and it was -1C at the end of the day. Ground winds were calm or light for much of the day except between 1500 and 1530 when the base wind of 4-5 km/h was interrupted on 5 occasions by SW gusts approaching 30 km/h. Ridge winds were SW-SSW light to moderate in the morning becoming moderate to 1400 then moderate SE-E to 1800. It was cloudless to 1000 after which it rapidly clouded over to 90% cumulus that produced snow and flurries for the rest of the day. The west was clear to noon and the east to 1300 after which they became on average 50% and 20% draped with cloud respectively for the rest of the day. Once again despite unpromising circumstances there was a fairly strong movement of 40 raptors between 1112 and 1423 with 20 birds moving before noon. Most of the birds moved high overhead from Old Baldy to either Skogan Pass or Mount Lorette and only two were seen on the northern end of the Fisher Range. The flight comprised 5 Bald Eagles (2a, 1sa, 2j), 7 adult Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 adult calurus Red-tailed Hawks (3 light, 1 dark), 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 23 Golden Eagles (12a, 3sa, 8j) which is the highest count for the species since April 12. 12 hours (518.57) BAEA 5 (182), SSHA 7 (32), RTHA 4 (34), RLHA 1 (33), GOEA 23 (2953) TOTAL 40 (3290)

April 18 [Day 44] (George Halmazna) Unseasonably cold temperatures persisted with a starting temperature of -16C and a high of -1C at 1400 and 1500 which fell to -2C at the end of the day. Ground winds were initially calm, then SW and at 1100 to the end of the day NW averaging 5-10 gusting 20 km/h. Ridge winds were calm to light switching in mid-afternoon to light-moderate ENE-NNE. Cloud cover was cirrus to 0800, then 100% stratus and cumulus, occasionally broken, producing snow and flurries for the rest of the day. The ridges gradually became draped in cloud, with the western ridges 100% obscured by 1600 and the east 90% obscured by 1700. despite these unpromising conditions the day produced 34 migrant raptors of a season high 10 species with the first bird moving at 0911 and 15 occurring between 1400 and 1600. All the birds moved from the Fisher Range across the valley to Mount Lorette with the exception of the season's first Osprey at 0930 which was seen to the west. An adult male American Kestrel at 1555 was also a first record for the season. The rest of the flight comprised 3 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa, 1j), 1 adult male Northern Harrier, a season high 7 (unaged) Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 1 adult light morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, a season high 8 Rough-legged Hawks, 10 Golden Eagles (3a, 7j) and 1 adult male columbarius Merlin. A single Mourning Dove at 0829 was the first for the season, and a Tree Swallow at 1422 was the second for the season and probably regretted being here. 14 hours (506.57) OSPR 1 (1), BAEA 3 (177), NOHA 1 (5), SSHA 7 (25), NOGO 1 (15), RTHA 1 (30), RLHA 8 (32), AMKE 1 (1), MERL 1 (4) TOTAL 34 (3250)

Beaver Mines (Peter Sherrington) The snow that had fallen (often heavily) for several days finally stopped and the afternoon was clear with 70% cumulus and cirrus cloud cover with a light N-NE flow aloft. I watched from my house for 2 hours between 1540 and 1740 and recorded 29 migrant raptors of 8 species moving high from the “Big Hill” towards the NW or W. The flight was 3 subadult Bald Eagles, 1 adult female Northern Harrier, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks (1a, 1j, 1u), 1 adult Northern Goshawk, 2 adult Broad-winged Hawks (1 light, 1 dark, that soared very high at 1550 and disappeared into the clouds), 11 calurus Red-tailed Hawks: 10a (9 light and 1 dark) and 1u, 2 dark harlani Red-tailed Hawks (1a, 1j), 7 Golden Eagles (1a, 3sa, 3j) and 1 adult columbarius Merlin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17 [Day 43] (Bill Wilson) It was another wintery day with a starting temperature of -6C rising only to -3C between 1500 and 1700 and falling at the end of the day to -4C. Ground winds were NE 3-10 all day occasionally gusting to 28 km/h while ridge winds were moderate NE-ENE gusting to 40 km/h. Cloud cover was 100% stratus to 1200, then 90% stratus and cumulus to 1700 after which it closed again to 100% stratus. Light to moderate snow fell all day and the eastern route was fully obscured all day while the west cleared in part only after 1500. Only 2 migrant raptors were seen, both to the west of the site: an adult female Northern Harrier at 1528 and a light morph Rough-legged Hawk at 1557. The only other birds of note were 5 American Pipits which were the first for the season. 12.5 hours (492.57) NOHA 1 (4), RLHA 1 (24) TOTAL 2 (3216)

April 16 [Day 42] (Joel Duncan) Heavy snow greeted Joel on his arrival so he spent the first two hours observing from “Hostel Hill” near the Stoney Trail parking area, and moved to the Hay Meadow site at 1030 where the temperature was -3C. The day's high was -2C between 1400 and 1800 and fell back to -3C at 1915. Ground winds were N-NE 5-10 gusting 20 km/h all day and ridge winds were N to variable and generally light. Cloud cover was 100% low stratus to 1745 with snow and all ridges obscured, but between 1745 and 1845 the snow stopped, the sky cleared to 40% cumulus and the eastern ridges became 25% clear. After 1845, however, the clouds lowered again, the snow fell again and Joel finally called it quits at 1915. The only migrant raptor seen was an adult Peregrine Falcon seen pursuing a flock of 20 European Starlings towards the north at 0845, but as all the birds disappeared behind a ridge the outcome of the chase was unknown. In the afternoon a Great horned Owl perched for about 3 hours on a tree near the Hay Meadow site before it was harassed and chased from the tree by a Common Raven at 1600. The owl flew to an adjacent grove of trees where it, in turn, displaced a probable resident Red-tailed Hawk that had apparently been sheltering there for most of the day. 11.25 hours (480.07) PEFA 1 (2) TOTAL 1 (3214)