Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 14:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Joyce Commercon
Observers: Richard Cuellar
Visitors: Lynne Forrester arrived early with her binocs and scope, ready for the migrants. Her spotting ability and skill at identifying accipiters were greatly appreciated today. Several hikers and one biker came up for the view. Two different couples, after looking from the platform, also inquired as to what we were watching and were interested to learn which migrating raptors we count. One couple then asked where to go to see the Dinosaur footprints. (It is, after all, Dinosaur Ridge.)
Weather: The day was warm and mostly cloudy. The watch began with 50 percent cloud-cover (thin and scattered, none to the south) that increased by the end of the second hour to 80 to 90 percent. Temperatures rose from 12 C to about 20 C. Winds were predominantly from the east or northeast. Initially calm, they shifted to bft 3 at about the same time cloud-cover increased. Visibility was good (at least 10km) but hazy at distance.
Raptor Observations: Accipiters made up about half of the migrants today, with about an equal number passing near Dinosaur Ridge as passed along the western ridges. An Osprey was one of the many other raptors observed moving north along the far western ridges. Two Swainson's Hawks were spotted heading north; one in the early morning and one near the end of the watch. About two-thirds of the migrants streamed through during a two-hour period from about 9am to 11am MST. Some local Red-tailed Hawks were active in the morning, but seemed less so later in the watch. Six local Turkey Vultures were seen to circle up south of Mount Morrison, in a very narrow kettle, before soaring up and down the ridges during the watch.
Non-raptor Observations: Also seen or heard were Western Meadowlark, Spotted Towhee, Black-capped Chickadee, White-throated Swift, Black-billed Magpie, Townsend's Solitaire, Tree Swallow, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, American Crow, Chipping Sparrow, Bushtit and Common Raven. ======================================================================== 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.