Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Mike Fernandez
Observers: Joe Elliott, Karen Fernandez
Visitors: Several curiosity seekers took the detour up to the hawkwatch platform to ask questions. A couple of experienced birders stopped by and helped out. One, a former Hawkwatch volunteer who started in 1999, Joe Elliott (Amelia with him), was very helpful. The other shared photos from his focus area along Bear Creek.
Weather: Mostly low-ish cloud cover all day with winds mild and shifting direction. May have screened high flyers. A brief break in the cover around noon provided some direct sunlight, but quickly gave way to near 100% cover for the rest of the afternoon.
Raptor Observations: Second RTHA migrator circled above Green Mountain several times to gain elevation, then took off north.
Non-raptor Observations: American Crow, Common Raven, House Finch, Canada Goose, Red-Tailed Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Bushtit (n=30), Black-Billed Magpie, Dark-Eyed Junco, Townsend's Solitaire and Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse). Ravens and local Red-Tails provided the entertainment for the day with their skillful air play. Red-Tails often held stationary or hovered above us.
Predictions: The trail is in excellent condition. I found the pole for the plastic owl, but no owl (is it coming soon?). Temps are going to drop next two days, but with so little hawk migratory activity today, even with predicted winds coming, tomorrow could be bolstered by pent up need for forward progress. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (<jeff.birek...>) Dinosaur Ridge information may be found at: http://www.birdconservancy.org/
Site Description: Dinosaur Ridge is the only regularly staffed hawkwatch in Colorado and is the best place in the world to see migrating Ferruginous Hawks. Dinosaur Ridge may be the best place in the country to see the rare dark morph of the Broad-winged Hawk (a few are seen each spring). Hawkwatchers who linger long enough may see resident Golden Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and Prairie Falcons, in addition to migrating Swainson's, Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks, American Kestrels and Turkey Vultures. Peregrine Falcons and Ferruginous Hawks are uncommon; Northern Goshawk is rare but regular. Non-raptor species include Rock Wren, and sometimes Bushtit, Western Bluebird, Sandhill Crane, White-throated Swift, American White Pelican or Dusky Grouse. Birders are always welcome. The hawkwatch is generally staffed by volunteers from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies from about 9 AM to around 3 PM from March 1st to May 7th.
Directions to site: From exit 259 on I-70 towards Morrison, drive south under freeway and take left into first parking lot, the Stegosaurus lot. Follow small signs from the south side of lot to hawkwatch site. The hike starts heading east on an old two-track and quickly turns south onto a trail on the west side of the ridge. When the trail nears the top of the ridge, turn left, head through the gate, and walk to the clearly-visible, flat area at the crest of the ridge.