Observation start time: 09:15:00 Observation end time: 13:00:00 Total observation time: 3.75 hours
Official Counter: Mitchell Blystone
Observers: Jane Haddock
Visitors: So many! Matt Smith joined us with a Birding and Beers Meetup group which was really fun. At one point there was 10-12 additional excited observers on the hill all hoping to catch a migrater in flight. A very interested and fun group of people for sure. There was a couple hikers and bikers on the trails but not a particularly busy day.
Weather: A beautiful chilly sunny day. Little cloud cover throughout the morning but a persistent southeast to easterly made for a colder day.
Raptor Observations: A very entertaining day with a decent spread of raptor varieties. Multiple Turkey Vultures made their way along the ridge line which was great for some up close observations. Kestrels played along the east slope landing, swooping, hovering, and taking breaks on the telephone lines. Two Peregrines were seen with one migrating and one escorting the visitor out of the valley. Another highlight was a Golden Eagle which came out from the west with 4 accompanying Ravens. They made no progress in any direction other then slowly moving straight up until they vanished into the blue. Activity was spread evenly on the eastern and western sides of the ridge line.
Non-raptor Observations: A Meadowlark was heard (my first of the season) and White-breasted Nuthatches, White-throated swifts, Robins, Mountain Chickadees, Ravens, Scrub Jays, Magpies, and Townsend's Solitaires were all observed.
Predictions: I would imagine it'll be a great day. No predictions really but hoping for some good luck! ======================================================================== 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.