Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 14:30:00 Total observation time: 5.5 hours
Official Counter: Roger Rouch
Visitors: A birding couple from the Dakota's, Ray and Chris, visited for an hour or two in the morning. They were very interested in the program and birds and were helpful spotters. They said they might return on Saturday.
Weather: The first day of the Hawk Watch 2018 season was pleasantly mild for early March. There were light winds from eastern directions and temperatures rising from the low 40's in the morning to the upper 40's in the afternoon, with a virtually cloudless day. (Weather data including humidity from Lookout Mountain Weather Underground station)
Raptor Observations: There was a small flurry of both local and migrating Red-tailed activity mid to late morning. Three migrating Red-tailed were tallied during this time and local birds were somewhat common to the south and west. There was only sparse raptor activity for the remainder of the day. In the early afternoon an immature Golden Eagle spiraled slowly from the south to north gaining elevation. It was lost in the southern sun and could not be seen passing any further north, so as a judgement call was not counted as migrating, though it may well have been.
Non-raptor Observations: Also seen or heard were Black-billed Magpie, Townsend's Solitaire, 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.