Waterbird Count, October 4

Lovely weather today with very calm water and low, mostly easterly winds. Thanks to Phil Odum who joined me for the count today and helped spot many birds. Waterbird numbers were fairly low, but we had a nice scoter day with my best count of Surf Scoters to date. Long-tailed Ducks have started to increase after not having any since the single bird almost two weeks ago. Where today really shined was raptor movement. We had an exceptional Sharp-shinned Hawk migration, surpassing my previous high count by more than 5x. We also had 3, perhaps 4, Peregrine Falcons come through, including one juvenile which successfully caught a crossing Sharp-shinned Hawk over the water after a dramatic chase. Last but not least, it was also my best day of Northern Harriers to date.

Canada Goose – 152
Green-winged Teal – 1
Redhead – 50
Greater Scaup – 2
Lesser Scaup – 1
Greater/Lesser Scaup – 1
Surf Scoter – 15
White-winged Scoter – 30
Surf/Black Scoter – 4
Long-tailed Duck – 23
Common Merganser – 9
Red-breasted Merganser – 5
Common/Red-breasted Merganser – 6
duck sp. – 22
Common Loon – 13
Horned Grebe – 8
Red-necked Grebe – 10
Double-crested Cormorant – 100

Turkey Vulture – 38
Osprey – 1
Northern Harrier – 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 123
Cooper’s Hawk – 2
Sharp-shinned/Cooper’s Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 7
Red-shouldered Hawk – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 8
Buteo sp. – 1
Peregrine Falcon – 3
American Kestrel – 2

Sandhill Crane – 123

Monarch – 1

Sharp-shinned Hawk, 10/04/16

Sharp-shinned Hawk adult, 10/04/16

Peregrine Falcon juvenile, 10/04/16 (Photo by Phil Odum)

Peregrine Falcon juvenile, 10/04/16 (Photo by Phil Odum)

Peregrine Falcon with Sharp-shinned Hawk prey, 10/04/16

Peregrine Falcon with Sharp-shinned Hawk prey, 10/04/16