Waterbird Count, October 17

Surprisingly, I had never counted at McGulpin during a thunderstorm before today, so I was curious how that would affect waterbird movement. During the first 2 hours, there was a bit of thunder and lightning but little to no rain. It appeared to suppress movement, because it was quite slow. Around the third hour, the thunder and lightning had stopped and it started raining hard with strong NE wind and waterbird movement definitely picked up. There was a rather large influx of Long-tailed Ducks, a nice variety of dabbling ducks, and all 3 scoter species. Even though visibility was low (the bridge was nearly, or entirely, obscured all day), a lot of birds were flying closer to shore than on a clear day. Thanks to Dave Jacobs who braved the rain and helped me spot birds for a few hours.

Canada Goose – 60
Gadwall – 9
American Wigeon – 2
American Black Duck – 1
Mallard – 4
Green-winged Teal – 2
Redhead – 33
Greater/Lesser Scaup – 10
Surf Scoter – 8
White-winged Scoter – 23
Black Scoter – 1
Surf/Black Scoter – 1
Long-tailed Duck – 372
Bufflehead – 2
Common Merganser – 4
Red-breasted Merganser – 10
duck sp. – 188
Red-throated Loon – 1
Common Loon – 3
Horned Grebe – 2
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 9
Bonaparte’s Gull – 3

Bald Eagle – 1
Peregrine Falcon – 1