Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 14:00:00 Total observation time: 5 hours
Official Counter: Debbie James
Visitors: Hardly any people on the trail today because the weather was so bad. A lady and man stopped by in the last hour and asked what I'd seen. Evidently years ago they had made a hike with Colorado Mnt. Club, stopped at the station and got to see Swainson's Hawks migrate. Wonder where they are this year????
Weather: The Ridge and surrounding area got none of the snow that Central Denver did. It was dry, windy, cold and humidity made it bone-chilling today. The sky was 100% overcast, 100% of the time.
Raptor Observations: I had 3 Turkey Vultures and 1 Red Tail migrate as I was hiking up the Ridge---glad I was there a little early. All of the activity was on the west side of the Ridge, with migrators flying into stiff headwinds. The last migrator of the day was a Turkey Vulture who had a heck of a time of it, but after working the air for quite sometime, finally made it across I-70 and on out of sight north. Locals: 2 Red Tail Hawks; 8 Turkey Vultures; 1 Cooper's Hawk.
Non-raptor Observations: Other species seen or heard: 4 Black-billed Magpie; 2 Woodhouse's Scrub Jay; 5 Townsend Solitaire; 2 Common Raven; and 5 swallow species that swooped by very fast.
Predictions: Tomorrow's weather looks similar to today's, so maybe about the same as far as migration is concerned. ======================================================================== 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.