Calm and a temp of -1C at the start of the count. A light haze hung in the straits. By the afternoon it had warmed to 8.9C and a light wind blew out of the north east. Heat shimmer started around 10:30AM. By the end of the count a little after 2:00PM the winds had picked up to 11kph out of the north east and the temperature was 11.1C. Barometric pressure fell steadily through the count.
Waterbird Notes –
BWTE (2) were a welcome addition to todays flight. LTDU (404) continue to be in the shipping channel and St. Helena vicinity during most of the afternoon. WWSC ( 111) were actively moving through the straits as well. The first CATE (1) was heard, then spotted flying west directly over the gazebo.
Loon migration is in full swing! (30) COLO and (5) loon sp. The busiest time of the count was 8:30AM to 10:30AM when 27 individuals moved west through the straits. Scanning for loons is quickly becoming an obsession. Loon make quick work of motoring through the straits, sometimes high over the supports of the bridge. It is also important to consider that of the 35 individuals spotted today, possibly and equal number is moving by above McGulpin on the south side of the straits. These loon wouldn’t be visible from the gazebo. I have spent a couple afternoons watching raptors from Darrow’s and watched 1-3 loons fly from out of a kettle of raptors. These loon were all COLO and flying south of the straits high over land.
Non- waterbird Notes –
Raptors were active crossing the straits at 12:40PM. BWHA (2) were seen flying higher than the TUVU across the straits, from my vantage point higher than the towers on the bridge. When raptors are taking the eastern crossing it pays to look above the TUVU. RTHA (3) and RLHA (1) both crossed the straits near McGulpin Point. (71) SACR were seen migrating today both at dawn and in the afternoon. The resident Merlin were active, calling from perches behind the gazebo throughout the day. A TUTI tried to visit the feeder without being noticed, but the distinctive crown gave it away as I scanned for loons.
Calumet east bound 7:17, American Spirit west bound 9:16, Philip R. Clarke 11:12.
Tony USDA and a reporter from the St. Ignace News.
Total observer hours – 8.0
Next days forecast –
Partly cloudy. Slight chance of rain. High near 50F. North west winds 10 to 15mph.
Todays tally is posted on eBird here.
Total Species: 42
Total Count : 1563