Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 14:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Roger Rouch
Observers: Bill Wuerthele, Heidi Hayes, Jim Low
Visitors: Dan and Purnee McCourt stopped by in the early morning for a pleasant discussion about raptors, other birds, and geology.
Weather: A pleasant day with temperatures from the low to upper 50's and light and shifting winds generally from the east. Partly or mostly cloudy.
Raptor Observations: Very generally, accipiters over the ridge in the morning with some quite high and then Red-tailed over the west ridges in the afternoon. Some western raptors were distant and beyond the west ridge line, and an identification challenge. Local red-tails (probable) spiraled high over the west ridge with no determined direction through much of the afternoon. At a time seven raptors wandered north over or beyond the west ridge. Some were local escorts and a few were migrating. Also, a few local Turkey Vultures. The several pairs of good spotting eyes were a definite advantage today.
Non-raptor Observations: Seen or heard were Canyon Wren, Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, Townsend's Solitaire, American Robin, Common Raven. Three elk on the east flank of the ridge. A few White-throated Swifts buzzed by overhead.
Predictions: Could be a tough weather day or possible rain out? ======================================================================== 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.