Waterbird Count, October 13

Huge flight of ducks today, but as is the norm these days, there was also very dense heat shimmer. The majority of the ducks were distant and flew through in the first couple hours when it was overcast with low light, resulting in the vast majority being identified only as “duck sp.” There’s a high chance that most of the ducks were Redheads, given that there can be thousands found in the fall/winter around the north end of the bridge. And indeed, the majority of the ducks that I could ID were Redheads. It was also a very nice scoter day, with my best ever day of White-wingeds and my first Black Scoters of the season (though Darrell had a few when he covered for me a while back). Weather-wise, it was probably the coldest day of the fall so far, with 7-15 mph winds shifting from northwest in A.M. to west in the P.M. — northwest winds often provide some of the best waterbird movement here. Aside from ducks, other highlights include 4 Cackling Geese within a Canada Geese flock and 3 Trumpeter/Tundra Swans headed south, which were quite distant and I barely got them passed “swan sp.” I have yet to successfully ID either a Trumpeter or Tundra to species during the count… hoping to change that soon.

Cackling Goose – 4
Canada Goose – 17
Trumpeter/Tundra Swan – 3
American Wigeon – 16
Mallard – 5
teal sp. – 5
dabbling duck sp. – 22
Redhead – 628
Greater Scaup – 17
Lesser Scaup – 2
Aythya sp. – 33
White-winged Scoter – 223
Black Scoter – 3
Surf/Black Scoter – 3
scoter sp. – 5
Long-tailed Duck – 38
Common Merganser – 13
Red-breasted Merganser – 7
duck sp. – 2953
Common Loon – 14
Red-necked Grebe – 16
Double-crested Cormorant – 14

Turkey Vulture – 1
Bald Eagle – 2

Cackling Geese (left 4 birds) with Canada Geese, 10/13/16

Cackling Geese (left 4 birds) with Canada Geese, 10/13/16

3 Cackling Geese with 1 Canada Goose (lower bird), 10/13/16

3 Cackling Geese with 1 Canada Goose (lower bird), 10/13/16