Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Debbie James
Visitors: Steady stream of hikers and cyclers. One couple out taking pictures and bird spotting ate their lunch at the station and watched local birds.
Weather: A balmy day up on the Ridge, with light breezes and a whole day of cloud cover, so it didn't get too hot.
Raptor Observations: First hour had lots of activity from 5 local red tails, two locked in aerial combat at one point. There was one local Sharp Shinned Hawk flitting around, 3 local kestrels--with a female who perched on a line in the afternoon vocalizing with another kestrel out of the line of sight. I think they got everything settled, because she flew off to the south, and I didn't see her the rest of the day. There was one local Turkey Vulture who kept swooping overhead to see if I'd cough hard enough to do myself in and therefore be some good eating. I was grateful for local birds because it was a slow, slow day otherwise.
Non-raptor Observations: 7 elk on East side of Ridge, grazing their way south. 9 mule deer grazing below Mother Cabrini. 2 Eastern Fence lizards sunning on rocks at the station today. 5 Common Ravens, one missing most of its left tail feathers, 5 black-billed magpie; 1 Northern Flicker; 4 Meadowlark; 5 Bushtit; 4 Mountain Chickadee; 2 Scrub Jay; 1 Townsend's Solitaire; 1 White Throated Swift.
Predictions: It looks like exactly the same weather tomorrow. The trail is in good shape, except for the switchback turn, which is still muddy. I pose a question: Since Spring was so early this year, is migration just about over? ======================================================================== 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.