Waterbird Count, March 25 — 1000+ Long-tailed Ducks

A welcomed improvement from yesterday — weather-wise and bird-wise! It was sunny and in the mid-30s with very calm, westerly winds. Around 9:30am, I spotted approximately 400 Long-tailed Ducks in flight south of St. Helena Island, where they eventually resettled. Throughout the day, many more groups of Long-taileds moved west toward the south side of the island, where I could see that nearly all of them were landing. Aside from this, the ducks were about the same as usual. But I did have a first or second cycle Great Black-backed Gull flying south across the Straits and also had two flyover blackbird sp. that I believe were Brewer’s Blackbirds based on call, but I’m not confident enough to say for sure. Unfortunately, I missed Kevin’s call about a Black Vulture headed my way and it had likely crossed the Straits before I could look for it.

Tomorrow’s forecast shows southerly winds, so I’m hopeful for some new arrivals.

Canada Goose – 2
Mallard – 2
White-winged Scoter – 18
Long-tailed Duck – 1115
Bufflehead – 1
Common Goldeneye – 8
Common Merganser – 15
Red-breasted Merganser – 106
Common/Red-breasted Merganser – 1
Unidentified duck sp. – 59

Northern Harrier – 3
Bald Eagle – 5
Great Black-backed Gull – 1