Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Gary Rossmiller
Observers: Bill Hancock, Celeste Rossmiller, Janet Peters
Visitors: Bill Hancock from Maine was in town visiting his kids. He was there most of the day, excellent birder, asking Janet about local sites and local birds. My sister, Celeste, spent the day with us. She spotted several birds also.
Weather: Overcast with some sun peaking thru mid-day. Slowly falling barometer from 24.29 to 24.23, wind a very consistent B2-B3 out of the east. Humidity dropped from 50% down to 26%. Trail was frozen on the way up, getting dry in spots on the way down except for the first steep part. Still lots of snow and/or mud. Horizons visible. Observation deck is clear, mostly dry.
Raptor Observations: Sporadic, most flights straight over the ridge, some over the west valley. A few migrators spotted when we watched a primary migrator head north. A NG, SS, and a CH rounded out a bunch of RT. Several local RT seen all day but not consistent. UA got by us heading south. Early birds went over fairly low, later birds soared to limit of eye sight.
Non-raptor Observations: Elk (20) on the peak just to the right of the Cabrini statue, a nice bunch of 20+ Mountain Bluebirds visited us late today resting on the powerlines. Flicker, Solitaire, Magpie, Robin, Crows, Ravens, Woodhouse Jay. Very large hiking group on trail, trail fairly busy with hikers and runners. Two parties asked where the dinosaur tracks are. MW and Green Mountain Park trails were closed today, due to muddy condition.
Predictions: Wet tomorrow, doesn't look good. 52F on Sat, 65 on Sunday! Be ready!! ======================================================================== Report submitted by DAVID HILL () Dinosaur Ridge - Denver Field Ornithologists information may be found at: http://www.dfobirds.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 of any skill level are always welcome. HawkWatch at Dinosaur Ridge is generally staffed by volunteers 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 southwest end of lot to the 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. (Distance: 0.56 miles, Elevation gain: 259 feet)