Category Archives: Waterbird Count 2016

Waterbird Count, August 30

Had another Jaeger today and managed some photos. Upon review, structure and plumage seem to point to an immature Parasitic Jaeger, which is the most probable species of Jaeger at this time of the year. Another highlight was a single flock of 40 Bonaparte’s Gulls — the largest flock I’ve had on the count thus far. Aside from that, it was a fairly slow day.

Mallard – 5
Blue-winged Teal – 2
teal sp. – 4
Common Loon – 1
Red-necked Grebe – 14
Double-crested Cormorant – 41
Great Blue Heron – 2
Great Egret – 4
Bonaparte’s Gull – 40
Parasitic Jaeger – 1

Bald Eagle – 1

Monarch – 2

Parasitic Jaeger 8/30/16

Parasitic Jaeger 8/30/16

 

Waterbird Count, August 29

Quite a slow day, but I had the season’s first Bonaparte’s Gulls fly by. I forgot to mention in the last post that I am also keeping track of migrant Monarch butterflies (and any other butterflies, though I’ve only had a couple sulphur sp.). I have had some nearly, if not every, day of the count so far. Although waterbirds were slow, I did have my best Monarch movement thus far, with 12 butterflies flying south over the Straits.

Mallard – 1
Redhead – 1
Common Loon – 5
Red-necked Grebe – 15
Double-crested Cormorant – 104
Great Blue Heron – 2
Great Egret – 1
Bonaparte’s Gull – 3

Turkey Vulture – 10
Bald Eagle – 1

Monarch – 12

Waterbird Count, Aug 23-28

Last few days of waterbird counting have been fairly eventful. August 23 and 24 were slow compared to the first three days of the count, but I did have 5 Great Egrets on the 23rd. August 25 brought a nice diversity of ducks finally, with 5 species seen. On August 26, an unidentified jaeger species was seen harassing a Herring Gull and then flying west extremely fast. Due to distance, identification was nearly impossible. August 27 was rainy and visibility was low. On August 28, I had my best day of Red-necked Grebes thus far with 120 birds. In addition, I had an adult Pomarine/Parasitic Jaeger flying fairly close to shore. Unfortunately, my view of the jaeger was primarily of it flying directly away from me so I couldn’t visualize its tail streamers or body structure very well, which prevented me from making a definitive ID. Hopefully the third time is a charm and I will have another jaeger come by that I can actually identify.

August 23
Canada Goose – 35
Hooded Merganser – 1
Common Loon – 19
Red-necked Grebe – 10
Double-crested Cormorant – 113
Great Blue Heron – 1
Great Egret – 5
Turkey Vulture – 2

Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 2
Merlin – 1

August 24 — Rainy and overcast
Canada Goose – 9
Mallard – 2
Common Loon – 8
Horned Grebe – 1
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-crested Comorant – 99
Great Blue Heron – 5
Green Heron – 1

August 25
Canada Goose – 25
American Black Duck – 1
Mallard – 7
Blue-winged Teal – 1
Redhead – 2
White-winged Scoter – 2
Common Loon – 17
Horned Grebe – 4
Red-necked Grebe – 46
Double-crested Cormorant – 146
Great Blue Heron – 1
Great Egret – 2

Turkey Vulture – 5
Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 1
Least Sandpiper -3

August 26
Mallard – 1
Redhead – 2
White-winged Scoter – 3
Common Loon – 31
Red-necked Grebe – 37
Double-crested Comorant – 75
Great Blue Heron – 3
jaeger sp. – 1

Turkey Vulture – 9
Northern Harrier – 2
Bald Eagle – 5

August 27 — Intermittent rain
Mute Swan – 2
White-winged Scoter – 3
Common Loon -6
Red-necked Grebe – 13
Double-crested Cormorant – 156
Great Blue Heron – 1
Common Tern – 2

Spotted Sandpiper – 1

August 28
Canada Goose – 6
Mallard – 1
Common Merganser – 10
Common Loon – 29
Horned Grebe – 3
Red-necked Grebe – 120
Double-crested Cormorant – 119
Great Blue Heron – 1
Pomarine/Parasitic Jaeger – 1

Turkey Vulture – 2
Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 3

Fall 2016 waterbird count begins, August 20-22

I’m pleased to be back in Mackinaw City to conduct this fall’s waterbird count! This is a bit out of order since I have yet to post the spring waterbird count summary, but I will post that soon.

The fall count has started off great. In just the first hour of the first day I surpassed the entire spring total of Red-necked Grebes (which was only 20). Red-necked Grebes and Double-crested Cormorants are the main species on the move right now, with a handful of Common Loons as well. Very few ducks so far, but of note were 4 White-winged Scoters.

August 20
Canada Goose – 15
Mallard – 1
White-winged Scoter – 3
Hooded Merganser – 1
duck sp. – 1
Common Loon – 5
Red-necked Grebe – 59
Double-crested Cormorant – 115
Great Blue Heron – 5
Green Heron – 1

Bald Eagle – 3
Spotted Sandpiper – 4

August 21
(Strong winds and dense heat shimmer resulted in some missed IDs)
Common Merganser – 1
duck sp. – 26
Common Loon – 7
loon sp. – 3
Horned Grebe – 6
Red-necked Grebe – 97
Double-crested Cormorant – 87
Great Blue Heron – 1

Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 1

August 22
Canada Goose – 7
White-winged Scoter – 1
Hooded Merganser – 6
Common Loon – 16
loon sp. – 1
Horned Grebe – 5
Red-necked Grebe – 81
Double-crested Cormorant – 177
Great Blue Heron – 1

Turkey Vulture – 1
Northern Harrier – 3
Bald Eagle – 5
Merlin – 1

Waterbird Count, April 28

A decrease in Long-tailed Ducks today and to a lesser extent Red-breasted Mergansers as well. White-winged Scoters are still going strong. Only sighting of note was the largest flock of Common Goldeneyes that I’ve had yet, with 15 birds.

Canada Goose – 2
Mallard – 2
Redhead – 103
White-winged Scoter – 56
Unidentified scoter sp. – 2
Long-tailed Duck – 52
Common Goldeneye – 19
Common Merganser – 18
Red-breasted Merganser – 68
Unidentified duck sp. – 3
Common Loon – 14
Horned Grebe – 3
Double-Crested Cormorant – 58
Bonaparte’s Gull – 25

Others:
Turkey Vulture – 19
Osprey – 5
Golden Eagle – 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 8
Bald Eagle – 2
Broad-winged Hawk – 33
Red-tailed Hawk – 2
Sandhill Crane – 1
Merlin – 1

Waterbird Count, April 27

More business as usual. Once again strong winds in the morning subsided into a calm afternoon. I finally had my first warbler at McGulpin Point — a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Canada Goose – 2
Mallard – 4
Redhead – 71
Greater/Lesser Scaup – 5
White-winged Scoter – 25
Long-tailed Duck – 300
Common Merganser – 12
Red-breasted Merganser – 93
Unidentified duck sp. – 14
Common Loon – 13
Horned Grebe – 2
Double-Crested Cormorant – 48
Great Blue Heron – 4
Bonaparte’s Gull – 3

Others:
Turkey Vulture – 1
Osprey – 2
Northern Harrier – 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 7
Broad-winged Hawk – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
Sandhill Crane – 3
Merlin – 1

Waterbird Count, April 26

Strong winds in the morning subsided into a nice and calm afternoon. Numbers continue to be about the same. Most notable sighting was a pair of Horned Grebes doing a partial courtship dance.

Canada Goose – 1
Gadwall – 2
Mallard – 3
Redhead – 177
Greater Scaup – 1
White-winged Scoter – 18
Long-tailed Duck – 161
Bufflehead – 2
Common Goldeneye – 9
Common Merganser – 20
Red-breasted Merganser – 90
Unidentified duck sp. – 10
Common Loon – 21
Unidentified loon sp. – 2
Horned Grebe – 8
Red-necked Grebe – 2
Double-Crested Cormorant – 19
Great Blue Heron – 2
Bonaparte’s Gull – 7

Others:
Turkey Vulture – 8
Osprey – 1
Northern Harrier – 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 2
Bald Eagle – 12
Broad-winged Hawk – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
Sandhill Crane – 5
Merlin – 1

Waterbird Count, April 25

It rained until around 11:00am today but visibility was mostly good. The wind wasn’t too bad, surprisingly. There were occasional strong gusts but in between it was pretty calm. My only sighting of note was all three expected grebe species. But the best sighting of the day occurred at the hawk watch where Kevin found two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Canada Goose – 1
Wood Duck – 4
Mallard – 2
Redhead – 25
Greater Scaup – 1
White-winged Scoter – 22
Long-tailed Duck – 211
Bufflehead – 2
Common Goldeneye – 7
Common Merganser – 12
Red-breasted Merganser – 81
Unidentified duck sp. – 2
Common Loon – 17
Pied-billed Grebe – 1
Horned Grebe – 5
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-Crested Cormorant – 23
Bonaparte’s Gull – 18

Others:
Osprey – 2
Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 1

Waterbird Count, April 24

More of the same today. Had a little bit of rain in the afternoon but visibility was mostly unaffected. Tomorrow’s forecast of rain and strong wind looks pretty dismal.

Wood Duck – 2
Mallard – 8
Redhead – 1
Greater/Lesser Scaup – 3
Unidentified Aythya sp. – 3
White-winged Scoter – 29
Long-tailed Duck – 243
Common Goldeneye – 8
Common Merganser – 17
Red-breasted Merganser – 103
Unidentified duck sp. – 4
Common Loon – 13
Horned Grebe – 3
Double-Crested Cormorant – 79
Great Blue Heron – 1

Others:
Turkey Vulture – 7
Osprey – 2
Northern Harrier – 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 2
Bald Eagle – 6
Red-tailed Hawk – 1

Waterbird Count, April 23

Pretty average day, with strong wings from the northeast. The largest flock of Redheads I’ve had yet (around 210) flew in from the west and landed around Pointe La Barbe early in the day. Still good numbers of White-winged Scoters around.

Around 6:00 this morning there was an Eastern Towhee singing outside of our bathroom window.

Canada Goose – 1
Mallard – 7
Redhead – 300
Greater Scaup – 2
White-winged Scoter – 45
Long-tailed Duck – 179
Common Goldeneye – 1
Common Merganser – 15
Red-breasted Merganser – 92
Unidentified duck sp. – 22
Common Loon – 9
Horned Grebe – 1
Double-Crested Cormorant – 60
Great Blue Heron – 1

Others:
Turkey Vulture – 15
Osprey – 1
Golden Eagle – 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 5
Bald Eagle – 10
Broad-winged Hawk – 17
Red-tailed Hawk – 6
Rough-legged Hawk – 2
Sandhill Crane – 2
Peregrine Falcon – 1
American Kestrel – 1