Observation start time: 09:30:00 Observation end time: 10:30:00 Total observation time: 1 hours
Official Counter: Gary Rossmiller
Visitors: 2 birders, Barrett and Mary Hargreaves, stopped by at the top of the hour, they had never been up there before. I showed them our cheat sheet from HMANA.org. They mentioned bird watching along the Platte River in Littleton. The mentioned seeing a Kestrel perched on the wires on the way up.
Weather: Overcast, wind blown moisture. Sun found a hole in the clouds around the top of the hour for 20 minutes. Wind out of the north at 3-4 bft, a few higher gusts. Clouds eventually cleared over the ridge to the west but Mt. Morrison's summit was never seen. Could almost see the horizons. Storm seemed to be heavier to the north.
Raptor Observations: Parked on Rooney Road, didn't expect to see the ridge through the clouds. Got out and immediately saw a local RT near the ridge. Hiked up to the platform. Closer to 10:30 2 local RT's worked the fields on the east side. Once back at the parking lot a 3rd RT was visible. Otherwise no migrating raptors.
Non-raptor Observations: Over 50 elk on Bare Slope. Small birds fairly active; Canyon Wren heard, Meadowlark, Magpie, Robin, Scrub Jay, Spotted Towhee disappeared into the shrubs, and a flock of Mountain Bluebirds at the saddle to the south.
Predictions: Another wet day but maybe migration? ======================================================================== 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.