Observation start time: 10:00:00 Observation end time: 16:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Debbie James
Observers: Dave Petroy, Erika Petroy, Mike Fernandez, Shelly Petroy
Visitors: The usual Good Friday Pilgrimage was happening, but for the first time in the four years I've done Hawk Watch, they didn't come up. Instead they walked along Morrison Hwy, then across I-70, up to Mother Cabrini on frontage road. Mike Fernandez and his two son's Vinnie and Martin were up for the third hour, along with the Petroy family. The daughter Erika is on spring break from UC/Santa Barbara where she's getting a Masters in Evironmental Studies. The Petroy's found out about Hawk Watch from a movie at the Boulder Film Festival about Migrations, which mentioned Dinosaur Ridge site.
Weather: Beautiful day up on the Ridge. Overcast skies, but warm temps, and thankfully hardly any wind. Humidity started out at 67% after the rain/snow drop yesterday and settled down to 37% by the end of the day.
Raptor Observations: Locals observed were 4 Redtail Hawks, two over Green Mountain, and the other pair west flying between Mt. Morrison and Mother Cabrini. Many migrators were escorted by one or more of these Red Tails. One Kestrel flew by on the west side of the Ridge, and then tacked west over Mathews/Winters. One Prairie Falcon was spotted on the West side of the Ridge.
Non-raptor Observations: 5 elk were seen on the east side of the Ridge on the way up in the morning. Also seen or heard: 5 Black-billed Magpie; 7 House Finch; 2 Western Meadowlark; 4 American Crow; 2 Townsend's Solitaire; 3 Common Raven; 2 Chickadee; 1 Flicker.
Predictions: It was such a great day for migration--hoping tomorrow will be also1 ======================================================================== 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.