Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 13:00:00 Total observation time: 4 hours
Official Counter: Mitchell Blystone
Observers: Jane Haddock
Visitors: Busy, busy, busy day on the trail. The morning started with some very loud fly overs from 4 military jets. Lots of mountain bikers who, at one point, got into a prolonged verbal argument on the platform. The gun range and motorcycle course were in full gear as well. I believe out of the 30 or so visitors only one curious hiker asked what we were doing up there.
Weather: Beautiful, clear sunny day on the hill. There was very little wind throughout the morning and into the afternoon. A bad day to forget sunscreen!
Raptor Observations: We observed a pair of Red Tails throughout the day from every possible angle. They seem to be deeply in love, flying in tight circles and dropping their legs multiple times. At one point we did see a third RTH that was trying to make it into the circle but was chased off in a fun to watch air battle. The third did not head north so maybe there's a lonely guy in the area. The migrators were observed on both the east and west sides of the platform and most did not leave any guesses to where they were headed.
Non-raptor Observations: Magpies, Townsend solitaires, doves, and a handful of Ravens were seen. Jane Haddock witnessed a couple flocks of robins fly by as well.
Predictions: Hopefully you'll get to see some variety. The first 3 RTHs were seen along Mt. Morrison over to Two Pines so that maybe a favorite path this year......it's probably quieter! ======================================================================== 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.