Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 13:00:00 Total observation time: 5 hours
Official Counter: Mike Fernandez
Visitors: Erin Cockroft, a young photographer and bird entusiast, visited the site (from Colorado Springs) for the first time and helped with spotting from 10-11 (MST). She found out about us searching the internet for places to see hawks. Gave her our business card so she can check on our reports and learn more. At the same time, a dozen middle-school aged mountain bikers and adult leader took a lunch break on the platform (didn't ask any questions).
Weather: Nice weather all count today. Slight breeze shifted from north to southeast. A little hazy all day. (WU PWS Solterra)
Raptor Observations: Migrating Raptors: A slow day. Busy early and late. Three species passed close over the ridge at 8:00 MST (Coopers, Swainson's and TUVU). Then it was mostly empty skies rest of the day.
Non-Migrating Raptors: Several kettles of Turkey Vultures most of the afternoon over the area from Flat Ridge to Mt Morrison, but I never saw a single one go north from there beyond West Ridge.
Non-raptor Observations: Herd of 16 mule deer at base of bare slope.
Non Raptors seen or heard: White-throated Swift (n=16), Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay (3), Black-billed Magpie (2), American Crow (2), Mountain Chickadee (15), Brown Creeper (2), Mountain Bluebird (1), Townsend's Solitaire (2), Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (2), Spotted Towhee (1), Western Meadowlark (1), House Finch (1).
Mountain Chickadees: A series of pairs moved quickly north on the ridge, pausing in the junipers, then continuing, in a group of about 12.
Swifts: Flew over in small groups all day, close to the ridge.
Reported on eBird.
Predictions: Like Mitchell suggested, no point in predictions. Today seemed like ideal conditions, from a personal and land-based species perspective. ======================================================================== 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.