Category Archives: Waterbird Count 2018

Waterbird Count 9/18-9/20

On the 18th, things with wings of all categories were on the move, waterbirds, raptors, and the highest count of Monarch Butterflies I’ve had in a few weeks now.  The 19th was not as productive as the 18th, and today, a rainy and foggy day, even less so.  Friday afternoon into Saturday the winds are predicted to come from the northwest, so on Saturday morning there might be a good number of birds to count.

Here are the migrants counted from McGulpin Point in the past 3 days…

9/18

Snow Goose – 1 (First of season)

Canada Goose – 63

Mute Swan – 2

Gadwall – 4

White-winged Scoter – 8

Common Merganser – 1 (Plus the local family of 5 are still around)

Red-breasted Merganser – 3

Common Loon – 21

Double-crested Cormorant – 65

Turkey Vulture – 1

Osprey – 3

Northern Harrier – 5

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 23

Cooper’s Hawk – 2

Bald Eagle – 16 (9 immature & 7 adult)

Broad-winged Hawk – 2

Unidentified Eagle – 4

Sandhill Crane – 66

Ring-billed Gull – 6

Herring Gull – 3

American Kestrel – 1

Merlin – 4

Unidentified Falcon – 1

Unidentified Raptor – 10

American Pipit – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 20

list via eBird.

9/19

Canada Goose – 46

Teal sp. – 1

Aythya sp. – 2

Red-breasted Merganser – 6

duck sp. – 2

Common Loon – 9

loon sp. – 1

Double-crested Cormorant – 121

Turkey Vulture – 2

Ring-billed Gull – 28

Herring Gull – 3

Merlin – 1

American Pipit – 5

list via eBird.

9/20

Mallard – 4

Common Merganser – 17 (plus local family of 5)

Double-crested Cormorant – 45

peep sp. – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 40

Herring Gull – 2

Peregrine Falcon – 1

list via eBird.

Waterbird Count 9/17/2018 – Prequel of tomorrow?

Birds were moving today, and the winds still aren’t from the north like they are predicted to be starting tonight.  Based on how many birds were found today, tomorrow, as well as some of the other days this week might have the highest counts of this season so far.

Here are today’s totals…

Canada Goose – 5

Mallard – 3

Blue-winged Teal – 1

Greater Scaup – 8 (First of season)

Common Merganser – 15

Red-breasted Merganser – 23

duck sp. – 19

Common Loon – 31 (highest of season so far)

Double-crested Cormorant – 333 (This is the number I’m using at least as I did not want to over-count them.  See the eBird list for details.)

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 3

Bald Eagle – 2 migrating adult (plus 2 resident adult and 1 immature adult)

Ring-billed Gull – 44

American Kestrel – 4 (all female)

Merlin – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 4

Today’s list via eBird.

Waterbird Count 9/14 & 9/15

Not many birds were seen from McGulpin Point in the past 2 days that I would say were definitely migrating.  There have been a decent amount of warblers (especially Yellow-rumped), and other passerines moving around the woods south of McGulpin Point, but from this angle it’s hard to tell which ones are really on the move.

The migrants counted on the 14th were: 9 Canada Geese, 1 Common Loon, 251 Double-crested Cormorants including a single southbound flock of 145, 1 Least Sandpiper, and 3 Ring-billed Gulls.

eBird list 9/14/2018

Migrants counted on the 15th were: 5 Canada Geese, 5 Common Mergansers, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Common Loons, 115 Double-crested Cormorants, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 adult Bald Eagle, 1 American Kestrel, and 1 Merlin.

Additional birds were seen resting on the water like the local family of Common Mergansers that have still been around, 2 Common Loons, and 1 Red-necked Grebe.  2 Pine Siskins and 2 Purple Finches were seen flying past yesterday, and all the birds found can be viewed on this complete eBird list.

The wind is predicted to become more northerly on Monday night and stay that way for at least the following 2 days.  This should hopefully bring a lot of birds to the Straits area with lot’s of counting to be done.

Waterbird Count September 11th-13th.

Wednesday had the highest count of Common Loons for a day this season so far.  The winds have predominately been southerly lately though making for some slow days.  Today came from the northeast for a while, and I noticed a good number of vultures and eagles flying south over McGulpin Point.

Counts of migrants are below.

9/11

Mallard – 2

Red-breasted Merganser – 12

duck sp. – 4

Common Loon – 5

Red-necked Grebe – 13

Double-crested Cormorant – 90

Bald Eagle – 1 (plus 3 resident, all adult)

peep sp. – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 18

Herring Gull – 1

Merlin – 1

eBird list

9/12

American Black Duck – 1 (first of season)

Mallard – 4

Red-breasted Merganser – 4

Common Loon – 28

Red-necked Grebe – 9

Double-crested Cormorant – 139

Ring-billed Gull – 17

American Kestrel – 1

Peregrine Falcon – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 1

eBird list

9/13

Common Merganser – 2

Red-breasted Merganser – 4

Common Loon – 5

Double-crested Cormorant – 78

Turkey Vulture – 25

Bald Eagle – 8

eBird list

Waterbird Count 9/8-9/10

The winds have been easterly in the past few days, which seems to have put the grebes on hold.  I have noticed more raptor movement from the McGulpin point side in the past few days, this includes large kettles of Turkey Vultures over the U.P. but only a small amount were detected flying across on this side.  The first of season Long-tailed Ducks have now made their appearance.  Also of note, this morning some warblers were seen foraging in the trees by the beach including Pine, Blackburnian, and American Redstart.

Here are the total counts of migrants in the past few days.

9/8

Canada Goose – 69

Long-tailed Duck – 1

Red-breasted Merganser – 3

Common Loon – 2

Red-necked Grebe – 2

Double-crested Cormorant – 57

Turkey Vulture – 10

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1

Bald Eagle – 4  (Resident adult 1, migrating adult 2, migrating immature 1)

Sandhill Crane – 2

Ring-billed Gull – 23

Herring Gull – 4

American Kestrel – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 2

eBird list

9/9

Canada Goose – 144

White-winged Scoter – 2

Red-breasted Merganser – 3

Common Loon – 1

Double-crested Cormorant – 78

Turkey Vulture – 4

Osprey – 1

Bald Eagle – 14  (10 adult & 4 immature)

Spotted Sandpiper – 6

Ring-billed Gull – 9

Herring Gull – 3

American Kestrel – 1 (female)

Merlin – 3

Monarch Butterfly – 2

eBird list

9/10

Canada Goose – 9

Long-tailed Duck – 2

Common Loon – 1

Double-crested Cormorant – 81

Turkey Vulture – 3

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 5

Bald Eagle – 6  (3 adult, 3 immature)

shorebird sp. – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 28

Herring Gull – 2

Merlin – 1

Peregrine Falcon – 1

eBird list

Waterbird Count September 5th, 6th, & 7th.

Well, if the cormorants weren’t truly on the move as of yet, they certainly were on the 6th as many flocks flew by.  The Red-necked Grebe numbers have gone up the past few days as well.  Typically in fall, the Red-necked Grebes pass this area going east.  Interestingly, most of the ones I’ve seen here this fall have been going west.  I’ve even seen several flocks come in from the northwest, fly towards the bridge bound for Lake Huron, and turn around headed back west for Lake Michigan.  I have no idea as to why this is, will there be an abnormally high amount of RNGR’s showing up in southern Lake Michigan this year?

Probably the best non-waterbird observation in the past few days was a beautiful male Black-throated Blue Warbler on Wednesday Morning.

Here are the counts…

9/5

Canada Goose – 22

Mute Swan – 2

Common Loon – 7

Red-necked Grebe – 7

Double-crested Cormorant – 72

Bald Eagle – 2 adult

Ring-billed Gull – 23

Herring Gull – 8

Monarch Butterfly – 4

Lists via eBird… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48350362  &  https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48350429

9/6

Aytha sp. – 13

Hooded Merganser – 1

Common Loon – 19

Red-necked Grebe – 96

Double-crested Cormorant – 274

Bald Eagle – 6 (2 immature & 4 adult)

Ring-billed Gull – 21

Herring Gull – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 98

eBird list… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48350525

9/7

Canada Goose – 46

Common Loon – 8

Loon sp. – 1

Red-necked Grebe – 55

Double-crested Cormorant – 85

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1

Bald Eagle – 8 counted (2 resident adult, 4 migrating adult, & 2 migrating immature)

Ring-billed Gull – 19

Monarch Butterfly – 6

eBird list… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48350654

Waterbird count 9/2 & 9/3

The past two days have been the best so far for Monarchs (at least from the McGulpin Point side) and September 3rd proved to be a decent Red-necked Grebe day.  Duck movement also was up on the 3rd due to northwest winds yesterday morning.

Here are the totals of migrants counted…

9/2

Canada Goose – 7

Common Loon – 3

Double–crested  Cormorant – 137

Bald Eagle – 8 total seen: 1 resident adult, 2 migrating adult, 5 migrating immature.

Ring-billed Gull – 38

Herring Gull – 4

Monarch Butterfly – 90 (many of the recent Monarchs were visible scope only quite a ways West of McGulpin Point)

List via eBird… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48289966https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48289966

9/3

Canada Goose – 35

Mallard – 4

Lesser Scaup – 4

Hooded Merganser – 3

Common Loon – 8

Red-necked Grebe – 34

Double–crested Cormorant – 152

Osprey – 1

Cooper’s Hawk – 1

Bald Eagle – 3 total seen: 1 resident adult, 1 migrating adult, 1 migrating immature.

Ring-billed Gull – 56

Herring Gull – 5

Monarch Butterfly – 203

List via eBird… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48290501

Waterbird count 8/29/2018 & 8/30/2018

Yesterday morning was rainy with quickly decreasing visibility, later the rain stopped, but it remained cloudy all day.  I went out to count in the first and last few hours of daylight, but apparently the best time yesterday was the middle of the day.

Migrants counted yesterday were…

Red-breasted Merganser – 3

Common Loon – 4

Double-crested Cormorant – 47

Bald Eagle – 3 (plus 1 resident, all adults)

Ring- billed Gull – 78

Herring Gull – 7

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 1

Monarch Butterfly – Only 1.  I guess those huge numbers found across the strait missed my duration and immediate area.

Yesterday’s complete lists…

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48156009

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48175958

Today’s migrants included…

Common Merganser – 1

Red-breasted Merganser – 2

Common Loon – 1

Double-crested Cormorant – 113

Great Blue Heron – 1

Turkey Vulture – 4

Bald Eagle – 7 total seen (1 resident adult,1 migrating adult, & 5 migrating 1st year)

Ring-billed Gull – 64

Herring Gull – 6

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 2

Barn Swallow – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 17

Here is today’s complete list…

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48176121

Waterbird Count 8/25/2018-8/27/2018

Hello everyone,

My name is Kyle Wiktor, I will be the Waterbird counter for the Fall 2018 season at the Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch.  I am from Illinois, and I’m looking forward to witnessing the fall migration here in northern Michigan.

Here are the total counts of migrating species from this survey from the past 3 days.

8/25

Canada Goose – 3

Double-crested Cormorant – 18

Great Blue Heron – 2

Bald Eagle – 3 (all adult)

Ring-billed Gull – 18

Herring Gull – 3

Caspian Tern – 1

Belted Kingfisher – 5

Tree Swallow – 6

Also a total or 41 Monarch Butterflies were counted migrating across the strait, this does not include any that were just flying around the immediate area.

This list can also be viewed via eBird here… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48069164

8/26

Common Merganser – 1

Red-breasted Merganser – 1

Common Loon – 3

Red-necked Grebe – 6

Double-crested Cormorant – 165

Great Blue Heron – 3

Great Egret – 6

Bald Eagle – 4  (1 2nd year, 3 adult)

Spotted Sandpiper – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 37

Herring Gull – 9

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 1

Belted Kingfisher – 1

Tree Swallow – 2

Monarch Butterfly – 8

This list via eBird… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48091200

8/27

Canada Goose – 22

Common Merganser – 1

Common Loon – 2

Double-crested Cormorant – 79

Spotted Sandpiper – 1

Ring-billed Gull – 35

Herring Gull – 1

Caspian Tern – 1

Belted Kingfisher – 1

Monarch Butterfly – 13

Today’s list on eBird… https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48111641