Waterbird Count, October 3

A nice day for waterbirds, raptors, and cranes. I ended up with my best Redhead, White-winged Scoter, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, and Sharp-shinned Hawk of the season (and in some cases, of either season). Among the migrating raptors was a late Osprey, a Northern Goshawk, and a Peregrine Falcon. Yet another day where the ducks, presumably 99% Redheads, on the east side of the Mackinac Bridge lifted up off the water and headed west. They conveniently flew in very strung out lines from the start so I was actually able to get a rough but more-precise-than-usual count. I estimated about 1900 headed west, of which about 300 ducks came close enough for me to identify as all Redheads. White-winged Scoters increased quite a bit today, I’m still patiently waiting for my first Black Scoter of the season.

Canada Goose – 442
Northern Shoveler – 1
Green-winged Teal – 1
Redhead – 328
Greater Scaup – 5
Surf Scoter – 1
White-winged Scoter – 58
Common Merganser – 14
Red-breasted Merganser – 8
duck sp. – 1620
Red-throated Loon – 2
Common Loon – 46
Horned Grebe – 3
Red-necked Grebe – 20
Double-crested Cormorant – 76

Turkey Vulture – 449
Osprey – 1
Northern Harrier – 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 23
Sharp-shinned/Cooper’s Hawk – 1
Northern Goshawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 48
Red-tailed Hawk – 33
Buteo sp. – 4
American Kestrel – 2
Peregrine Falcon – 1
falcon sp. – 2

Sandhill Crane – 319