A Slow Start but…

The day started out rather slow, but as the Sun came out in the third hour so did the birds.  Toward the end of the third hour the clouds moved back in and the birds stopped moving again.  The waterbirds were highlighted today by my first good sized flock of dabblers with 10 Gadwall flying by to the east, my highest number of Red-necked Grebes yet with 19, and my first two flocks of White-winged Scoters.  Common Loon numbers were down quite a bit, and I still haven’t seen a Red-throated go by, but I keep waiting anxiously.

Songbird numbers were also low with a couple of Black-throated Green Warblers, a Blackburnian Warbler, an unidentified Warbler, two Cedar Waxwings, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and a small flock of Black-capped Chickadees making up the entirety of what I saw today.  I didn’t seen any of these birds flying in off the lake, so they may have already been hanging out in the trees.

A single Sanderling flew by close during the third hour as well and represented the only Shorebird for the day.  A single Great Egret was the only Heron to be seen.

The Raptor flight got pretty exciting when the sun came out.  Five Northern Harriers, an American Kestrel, and six Sharp-shinned Hawks flew in off the lake.

In addition to birds, I counted five Monarch Butterflies coming off of the lake today – all during that third hour when the sun was out.

Here is a list of the suspected migrant waterbirds today followed by a few photos.

Species East West
Double-crested Cormorant 0 29
Red-necked Grebe 6 13
Horned Grebe 5 1
Common Loon 1 3
White-winged Scoter 0 11
Gadwall 10 0
Great Egret 0 1
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Black-throated Green Warbler

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These Common Mergansers greeted me this morning just off shore.

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A wider shot of the Common Mergansers. I counted 34 all together.

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A Double-crested Cormorant with a freighter in the background. It was a bit hazy today.

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One of the Monarch Butterflies that flew in off the lake today.

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One of the five Northern Harriers that crossed the straits.

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A young Sharp-shinned Hawk that flew in off the lake.

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The young Sharp-shinned again.

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A distant flock of White-winged Scoters.