Waterbird Count, October 27

A slow day with only the usual suspects. The morning started out rather miserable with strong NE wind and persistent rain for a couple hours, but turned into a really nice day with essentially no wind. All species were few in number except Long-tailed Ducks, though I did have 5 Mute Swans which is the most I’ve seen at McGulpin Point. The ducks east of the Mackinac Bridge rose up off the water, so I had many unidentified ducks. These ducks are presumed to be 99% Redheads, but at this distance it can’t be confirmed that that is what I’m seeing, so I don’t count them as such. Within the mix are surely some scaups and perhaps some other ducks.

Raptor migration was definitely not as slow. I ended up with one of my best Red-tailed Hawk days, complete with 2 western subspecies, dark-morph Red-tailed Hawks. It also ended up as my best Rough-legged Hawk day. It is getting late for Turkey Vultures, but I’m still getting a few.

Mute Swan – 5
Mallard – 4
Redhead – 15
Lesser Scaup – 1
White-winged Scoter – 22
Long-tailed Duck – 414
Common Merganser – 3
Red-breasted Merganser – 11
duck sp. – 958
Common Loon – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 3

Turkey Vulture – 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 11
Red-tailed Hawk – 132
Rough-legged Hawk – 13

Dark morph, adult, western Red-tailed Hawk, 10/27/16

Dark morph, adult, western Red-tailed Hawk, 10/27/16

Turkey Vulture, 10/27/16

Turkey Vulture, 10/27/16

Dark morph, juvenile Rough-legged Hawk, 10/27/16

Dark morph, juvenile Rough-legged Hawk, 10/27/16

Mute Swans, 10/27/16

Mute Swans, 10/27/16