Waterbird Count, October 16

The first four hours were coated in a thick fog, with visibility as low as a quarter of a mile at some points. At first I thought this would result in very few birds. However, it seems the fog caused the waterbirds to fly much closer to McGulpin and lower to the water than usual. On top of that, tons of birds were moving. The primary species was Redhead, of course. I was grateful to have several visitors with me during this intense movement as they really helped me in spotting all of the flocks. Once the fog cleared around 11:30am , the movement came to a halt. Among the large movement were my first-of-season Buffleheads and the first Common Goldeneyes I’ve had in a few weeks. Later in the afternoon, 5 Bonaparte’s Gulls flew by. On the other side of the Straits, I saw 100s of Turkey Vultures and American Crows, but only a few ended up crossing.

Gadwall – 1
Mallard – 7
Northern Pintail – 2
dabbling duck sp. – 2
Redhead – 935
Greater Scaup – 20
Lesser Scaup – 6
Greater/Lesser Scaup – 5
Surf Scoter – 1
White-winged Scoter – 141
Surf/Black Scoter – 1
Long-tailed Duck – 31
Bufflehead – 14
Common Goldeneye – 2
Common Merganser – 50
Red-breasted Merganser – 38
Common/Red-breasted Merganser – 18
duck sp. – 55
Common Loon – 11
Horned Grebe – 20
Red-necked Grebe – 13
Double-crested Cormorant – 11
Bonaparte’s Gulls – 5

Turkey Vulture – 21
Northern Harrier – 3
Bald Eagle – 7
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
Peregrine Falcon – 1

Sandhill Crane – 38
American Crow – 25

Monarch – 3

Juvenile Ring-billed Gull, 10/16/16

Juvenile Ring-billed Gull, 10/16/16