Bluebird skies of high cirrus and cumulus clouds for the entire count. Thermal lift was poor to fair. W-SW winds at 11-23kph. Low temperature of -6C and a high of -1C at 13:30. It stayed fairly warm until the end of the count. Barometric pressure was steady but high for the entire count. Visibility was excellent to both the E and W at 100km in either direction.
189 migrating raptors put on a show today for the last day of 2019 Bridger Raptor Fest. SS (16) CH (3) NG (2) UA (3) RT (3) UB (1) AK (1) GE (151) NH (2) UU (2) PR (1) BW (3) BE (1). The GE were flying today! From 10:00-16:00 we averaged at least 25 birds an hour with 34 coming through at 12:00-13:00 and 36 at 14:00-15:00. Birds appeared to be flying in primarily from the west side of the Bridger Range and continued on south on the same side of the ridge. A few more BW came through as well and provided excellent views streaming directly over the OP. The last bird of the day was an exciting adult NG who was dogfighting with our long-lost immature light-morphed RTHA.
Today I was able to confirm that our resident immature light-morphed RTHA was still localizing in the Bridger Range. Additionally, an adult dark-morphed was spotted as well. The resident GOEA was seen performing a roller-coaster display early in the morning, possibly knowing it’s territory was about to be overrun.
Approximately 80 AMCR flew through on the west side of the OP heading south. 100 GCRF came through as well.
42 visitors were up during the 2019 Bridger Raptor Fest to enjoy this wonderful fall afternoons flight. Eric Bendick of Grizzly Creek Films was up early and got some good footage of today’s flight. He also helped us spot and age some birds too. The other half of the MSU Field Ornithology Class was up today and helped us spot and ID some difficult birds. We had lots of families visiting with their kids today too which was awesome being able to put them on migrating GOEA. If any parents have cool photos of their kids feeding some of the Bridger All-Stars please email me some photos and I will put them on the blog! The Bridger All-Stars were putting on a stellar show! Judy Tsiang even hiked up before her days volunteering in the Jim Bridger Lodge for SAS. Thank you kindly for the wonderful canned goods Judy! I also wanted to give Matt Keefer and Bob Smith a huge thank you for helping me these past two busy days. I couldn’t have done a decent job without their help. Thanks to Erin and Katee from the Bridger Bowl marketing department for putting on such a wonderful festival!
Next Day Forecast
Mostly sunny, with a high near 50. Southwest wind 13 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
Considering that it is still peak migration and we have yet another storm approaching the area I would suspect that we should have another decent flight tomorrow. Definitely consider coming up if you have the time in the afternoon to help us scan for birds and rack some more Golden Eagles up before the next round of winter weather. The trail is icy after all of the traffic this weekend so I highly recommend traction devices and trekking poles. Additionally, the most direct trail is by and large a muddy toboggan run after all of the traffic. I would consider coming up the service road.