Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 13:45:00 Total observation time: 5.75 hours
Official Counter: Roger Rouch
Weather: Yesterday's storm left 6 or 8 inches of snow on the surrounding landscape, but it was a virtually cloudless and pleasant day with temperatures from 35F to 47F. A wind blew from the NE at 3 or 4 Bft in the morning and changed to a breeze from the SE in the afternoon.
Raptor Observations: The flight pattern of migration was mostly eye level or below and hugging either side of the ridge during the morning. Then almost exclusively high and directly overhead and often in a straight glide north later, with bright under body reflections of the ground snow cover. No activity was seen over the west or east ridges. Very little local Red-tailed activity, but two local Turkey Vultures cruised south along the ridge and a local male Kestrel crisscrossed the ridge east to west, then west to east.
Non-raptor Observations: Black-billed Magpie, Townsend's Solitaire, Common Raven, Dark-eyed Junco, Mountain Chickadee, American Robin, and a single White-throated Swift. Eight or ten deer crossed the trail just south of the platform.
Predictions: The observation platform had a little snow by day's end, but will probably dry quickly. The trail was snow and slush with just a few bare spots and it will probably turn to the boot-loving clay mud soon. No brilliant predictions for raptors, so it might be like a box of chocolates. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (<jeff.birek...>) Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies 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.