Waterbirds – 9/24/2016

I filled in for Jason at the waterbird count again on Saturday.  It was an exciting day right from the beginning as an Eastern Screech Owl was vocalizing in the trees behind the count.  The day featured three species of goose with Canada, Cackling (thank you to Jason for keeping on my case about the small goose and for providing photos), and blue-morph Snow Goose.  Other waterbird highlights include all three species of scoter with very close looks at six Surf Scoters.  And estimated 2000 Redheads also lifted off from east of the bridge and flew out of sight to the west.  Oddly enough, after that the waterbird flight sort of stopped.

However, raptors took off in a big way with many birds streaming over from the Upper Peninsula.  Most of these were Turkey Vultures,  but Bald Eagles and Sharp-shinned Hawks made a strong showing as well.

The real highlight of the day for me was right at the end of the count when a Parasitic Jaeger flew by close enough to be identified – always a challenge with Jaegers.

The Straits continues to provide exciting birds.  Stay tuned to read about what shows up next.

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)  1
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  1
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  634
Cackling/Canada Goose (Branta hutchinsii/canadensis)  2
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  1
Redhead (Aythya americana)  2007
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)  9
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  6
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca)  42
Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)  2
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)  1
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  1
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  19
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  15
duck sp. (Anatinae sp.)  2
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)  3
Common Loon (Gavia immer)  32
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena)  1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  77
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  209
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  2
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)  31
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  86
Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (borealis) (Buteo jamaicensis borealis)  11
Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  83
Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus)  1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  27
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  5
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
falcon sp. (Falco sp.)  3
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  53
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  25
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  7
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  13
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  2
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  8
Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  5