Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 14:00:00 Total observation time: 5 hours
Official Counter: Mike Fernandez
Observers: Carol Cwiklinski, Karen Fernandez, Steve Small
Visitors: An avid birder stopped by at noon for about 1/2 hr and will come back this week now that he knows this is the CO hawkwatch. Has been a drop in contributer at other HW sites, especially in Virginia. Very busy with humans on the platform today; hard to navigate at times. But very good response from several groups who wanted to know more about our effort. Handed out Hawkwatch info card and solicited volunteers to at least four groups.
Weather: Windy and warm. Gusty west (generally) winds screaming up the west side steadily all day, but fairly calm on the east slope. Mid day gusts over 30 mph, BFT-7 (Whole trees in motion; resistence felt walking against the wind).
Raptor Observations: Migrating Raptors: Mostly HOF-3 high flyers today. Their path northward was less direct than on less windy days.
Non-Migrating Raptors: 3 local Red-taileds repeatedly over the Gap and north on the west side of the ridge. One sub-adult Bald Eagle circled over Cabrini and disappeared west early in the count.
Non-raptor Observations: A group of three Townsend's Solitaires flitted about close to the platform, east and west, early. A couple of Black-billed Magpie's were present but very infrequent down ridge on the east. A House Finch appeared and auditioned, then dropped out early. A few Crows and many Ravens persisted all day in spite of (or seemingly enjoying) the winds.
Predictions: Cooler on Monday, but winds continue. Be careful up there. ======================================================================== 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.