Waterbird Count, April 18

Yesterday Darrell covered for me giving me a chance to sleep in a little, but I joined him for around 4 hours. I don’t have the full report, but we had good numbers of Common Loons (19 while I was there), Turkey Vultures, and most interestingly a Pied-billed Grebe fairly close to shore. There were more Long-tailed Ducks than there had been (at least 310), and many were vocalizing. Thanks to the calm water and wind, we also got to hear Red-breasted Mergansers vocalizing while displaying. Weather-wise, it was very nice.

Today was pretty nice as well, but with stronger winds from the west that were sometimes quite cold. Raptor numbers were down, probably in part due to the westerly winds. There was heavy heat shimmer, probably the worst I’ve had yet, that reduced visibility. Common Loons numbers continue to rise and there were way more Long-tailed Ducks resting in the straits. I also had a new species for the season with a flock of 13 Bonaparte’s Gulls that were flying west, close to shore.

Canada Goose – 5
Mallard – 4
Green-winged Teal – 3
Redhead – 3
Greater Scaup – 20
White-winged Scoter – 14
Long-tailed Duck – 670
Bufflehead – 3
Common Merganser – 17
Red-breasted Merganser – 119
Unidentified duck sp. – 77
Common Loon – 29
Horned Grebe – 1
Double-Crested Cormorant – 67
Great Blue Heron – 2
Bonaparte’s Gull – 13

Others:
Turkey Vulture – 32
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 5
Bald Eagle – 3
Red-tailed Hawk – 6
Sandhill Crane – 35