Observation start time: 07:45:00 Observation end time: 13:15:00 Total observation time: 5.5 hours
Official Counter: Roger Rouch
Observers: Joel Chapa
Weather: Briefly clear then partly cloudy the remainder of the day. Much of the landscape was snow covered. Around noon a light SE breeze shifted to a brisk wind of 3 or 4 Bft from the NE. Temps from the mid to upper 30's. Flecks of snow at day's end.
Raptor Observations: Local and migrating activity was evenly distributed through the day, but sparse and mostly over the ridge or Rooney valley and very few raptors to the west. Birds seemed to struggle into the wind, or drift looking for good air currents (somewhat subjective observation). Of the migrating Red-tails, two were intermediate morphs. A local Golden Eagle flew north to south past the site at eye level and received significant harassment from a local Red-tail. A Prairie Falcon(s) was sighted twice in an almost migrating direction but veered away before passing I-70.
Non-raptor Observations: Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, Townsend's Solitaire, Bushtit, American Robin, Common Raven. Three elk grazed and rested on the east slope of the ridge all day.
Predictions: Maybe some sun and bare ground will be better for air currents and raptor movement? The lower portion of the trail was muddy, but not as sloppy as it gets sometimes. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Matthew Smith (<matt.smith...>) 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.