Waterbird Count, April 25

With the winds calming down from yesterday and thin layer of clouds blocking out the sun, the morning started off quiet and dark.  The clouds opened up from approximately 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, after which the clouds rolled back over and did not clear again until around 12:30 PM.  This was also around the time the White-winged Scoter activity started to climb, as well as having another first for this spring:  the first day with multiple Red-necked Grebes out on the water.  Fortunately they were all huddled together in a group approximately one half to one mile northwest from the gazebo at McGulpin Point, which made counting them a breeze.  As for the raptor activity, the Broad-winged Hawks reached a record high for this spring at McGulpin Point, along with the first confirmed Cooper’s Hawk.  Surprisingly, despite the improvement in weather, very few people came down to McGulpin Point at all.  Only two cars were seen driving right down to the shore, and only one person visited me while at work.  As summer draws closer and the days get longer and warmer, it makes me hopeful the activity for both the avian and human visitors will continue to rise as well.  Although if the winds continue to blow east, it seems reasonable to expect the raptor movement to decline- like traffic on the highway.

Canada Goose – 6
Redhead– 2
Greater Scaup – 5
Surf Scoter – 2
White-winged Scoter – 46
Long-tailed Duck – 191
Bufflehead – 3
Common Goldeneye – 3
Common Merganser – 10
Red-breasted Merganser – 142
Common Loon – 18
Horned Grebe – 3
Red-necked Grebe – 6
Double-crested Cormorant – 69
duck sp. – 25

Other Species:
Great Blue Heron – 3
Turkey Vulture – 20
Osprey – 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 4
Cooper’s Hawk – 1
Northern Harrier – 2
Bald Eagle – 6
Broad-winged Hawk – 76
Red-shouldered Hawk – 3
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
Buteo sp. – 22
American Kestrel – 2