Waterbird Count, April 28

The weather is just like the daily counts- unpredictable.  The day started off in the high thirties with twelve mile an hour winds from the west and three foot waves, it seemed to get worse every hour.  Moderate rain dominated the first four hours, and from 10:48 AM to 10:52 AM it snowed.  Curiously though, the waterbird activity seemed to only improve by the hour despite the worsening weather.  During the second hour both an adult Great Black-backed Gull and Bonaparte’s Gull were seen flying west and loafing respectively.  Following that hour came a flock of seventeen Gadwall.  Over the course of the next two hours the Aythya ducks and Great Blue Herons moved through.  The final hour even got some Red-necked Grebes- though this was not the most exciting detail of the final hour.  Throughout the day, the Common Loons were coming out of the woodwork in ones, twos, threes- all the way up to an unbelievable nine individuals in a single group.  With a grand total of nearly two hundred Common Loons for the day, and a total of sixty-nine in the final hour alone, this could be the looniest day for the MSRW waterbird counting.  Carol Goodman, chairman of Dunkadoo, also managed to pay me the visit she promised me several weeks ago.  I was thrilled that I got to show her several Red-breasted Mergansers like I promised, though I was disappointed that I could not produce some Long-tailed Ducks amidst that washing machine-like water.  Following her visit, a reporter from St. Ignace news also stopped by to ask me questions regarding about what I was seeing and the goals I hope to accomplish for myself and the MSRW.  If Mother Nature could have quelled the winds and opened up the clouds even for a short time, today would certainly have been a perfect day.

Canada Goose – 6
Gadwall– 19
Redhead– 14
Greater Scaup – 37
White-winged Scoter – 35
Long-tailed Duck – 431
Common Goldeneye – 7
Common Merganser – 7
Red-breasted Merganser – 80
Common Loon – 180
loon sp. – 4
Horned Grebe – 8
Red-necked Grebe – 4
Double-crested Cormorant – 29
duck sp. – 16
Bonaparte’s Gull – 1
Great Black-backed Gull – 1

Other Species:
Great Blue Heron – 3
Turkey Vulture – 5
Bald Eagle – 3