Observation start time: 08:15:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 6.75 hours
Official Counter: Gary Rossmiller
Observers: Bill Wuerthele, Earl Johnson, Paul Johnson
Visitors: Earl Johnson came up at 10am, Bill Wuerthele at 11am. Earl's dad, Paul, joined us after 1pm. Several people on the platform who stopped for the view. And a mountain biker who hopped up the first two stairs without stopping! Earl and Bill were invaluable. Earl's quick spotting and ID made the difference. And a huge camera lens helps to confirm an ID.
Weather: Very pleasant day on the ridge; temps increasing from 4-18 c, falling barometer 30.20"-30.10", breezy 2 bft with an occasional period to 5 bft. Clear, hazy skies in the morning with increasing overcast as the day progressed making raptor identification a bit harder. Skies were gray by the end of the day walking down the trail.
Raptor Observations: A lot of eyes on the sky helps to see a lot of birds!! Very busy day, starting right away. A slight mid-day lull followed by an active afternoon. SS, CH, Ospry, Peregrine, AK, Ferruginous, TV, a possible Rough-Legged Hawk. A lot of Kestrels in the afternoon over the west ridge. Not a lot of local activity except for the TV's. Morning raptors were very close, increasing to very high and/or over the west ridge in the afternoon.
Non-raptor Observations: Woodhouse Scrub Jay, Western Meadowlark, Townsend's Solitaire, Canyon Wren (heard on the west side), Black-billed Magpie, Spotted Towhee, American Crow, Common Raven, Black-capped Chickadee. A humming bird was heard. Bushes are starting to green, grass hoppers are out.
Predictions: Seems to be at the height of the season. More eyes seems to equal more birds. ======================================================================== 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.