Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Debbie James
Observers: Barb Banks, Gary Rossmiller, Jim Banks
Visitors: Various hikers and bike riders, only a handful stopped to chat. One special guest was Jane Haddock who did Hawk Count back in the late 90's early 2000's. She plans to be back up on the Ridge to count again.
Weather: A beautiful, dry, dry day up on the Ridge. There was heavy smog emanating from the Denver Basin, pushed up to the mountains by prevailing easterly winds. The ceiling on this smog was about 200 feet, so did not impair spotting birds. Light breezes all day.
Raptor Observations: Seven local Red Tail Hawks were spotted. 4 on the east side of the Ridge and Green Mountain. The other 3 were west over 1-70 and Mother Cabrini. The migrators were flying very high, having to circle up to get a good wind current, as Ridge height winds were low, and not accommodating to low-energy migratory flying.
Non-raptor Observations: Many, many more birds today than we saw last week. 5 Black billed Magpie; 5 American Robin; 2 House Finch (heard); 2 Northern Flicker; 3 Townsend's Solitaire; 5 Chickadee (species); 2 Meadowlark; 9 American Crow; 2 Scrub Jay; 2 Common Raven; 3 Mountain Bluebird; 20 Bushtit. Also one Cottontail rabbit up by the station.
Predictions: Tomorrow looks slightly cooler, with a 20% chance of precipitation---we can only hope. ======================================================================== 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.