Waterbird Count – 21 September

After heavy thunderstorms for much of last night, I came to the beach this morning anticipating that the storms may have pushed some ducks around. That was in fact not the case, and aside from a large group of Blue Jays and a single White-winged Scoter, it proved to be the quietest day this week for both waterbirds and raptors. The weather was still unseasonably warm and calm, and looks to stay that way through the weekend and the beginning of next week. I’m not the sort to complain about beautiful weather, but I will say that after seven and a half hours of watching a near empty lake, a single White-winged Scoter is deeply exciting.

It’s always interesting to see how different species respond to weather conditions during migration, and how timing for migration can differ annually in response. While our observations of waterbird movement in the straits barely scratch the surface of the complexity of migration, it’s great to be able to contribute to greater understanding of local bird movement, and of migration as a whole.

White-winged Scoter – 1
Common Merganser – 35
Duck sp. – 1
Common Loon – 3
Horned Grebe – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 35
Ring-billed Gull – 37
Herring Gull – 5

Other species:
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 2
Bald Eagle – 4
Belted Kingfisher – 1
American Kestrel – 1
Blue Jay – 101
Black-capped Chickadee – 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
Monarch Butterfly – 2