Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 14:00:00 Total observation time: 5 hours
Official Counter: Mitchell Blystone
Observers: Graham Hill, Terry Escamilla
Visitors: Having Terry and Graham on the hill helped immensely! More observant eyes and the scope helped us up the count. Typical weekend traffic with a some curious hikers asking questions. There was a lot of activity at the motor track.
Weather: HOT and DRY!!!! The morning began very warm with a slight breeze from the south. Lots of sunshine and only high cirrus clouds which did little to shade the ridge. The winds eventually came out of the southeast and became more moderate than calm.
Raptor Observations: A very quite morning with no sighting of even the locals until around 10:30am. Eventually the local active became near constant along the Cabrini hillside and western ridge line. Some of the earlier migrating Red tails were observed moving through the east valley and were slightly above the platform. The later migrators including the falcon were very high up and difficult to ID as well as follow. Two Red Tails took nearly identical flight paths high along Mount Morrison and where barley visible when they moved over Golden. There were a couple distant observations of what seemed to be local Kestrels and even Accipiters but they were too distant to confidently identify. A day of having to work hard for any kind of observations!!
Non-raptor Observations: Many Townsend's, Magpies, Robins, Crows, and Ravens. There were a handful of Towees (Spotted?) early on in the day and a couple times while observing raptors there seemed to be White Throated Swifts moving quickly by but they were distant and hard to follow.
Predictions: Looks to be hot again so bring sunscreen and lots of water. A lot of the migrating birds still seem to prefer to be high up along the Mount Morrison ridge line. A scope would greatly increase your chances at identifying these high flyers! ======================================================================== 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.