Waterbird Count, October 5

It seems only fair that I’d eventually face a slow day after a nice run of great days. The weather was quite nice with warm temperatures which exceeded 80 degrees in the afternoon. The wind was shifting directions regularly but was mostly coming from the ENE. I would have expected a better movement given the wind direction and speed, but it was surprisingly slow for waterbirds. There was a bit of raptor movement, but not as much as I would expect with that wind. The most notable sighting of the day was 5 Peregrine Falcons flying south, including 3 birds crossing at once. There was a good movement of American Crows going south, including one leucistic bird with white or pale flight feathers. The best non-avian sighting was of a Northern Water Snake sticking its head out of the water along the shore of Lake Michigan, the first time I’ve seen any snake at McGulpin Point.

Canada Goose – 85
Redhead – 3
Greater Scaup – 2
Lesser Scaup – 1
White-winged Scoter – 5
Common Merganser – 4
Red-breasted Merganser – 3
duck sp. – 13
Common Loon – 22
Horned Grebe – 2
Red-necked Grebe – 10
Double-crested Cormorant – 115

Turkey Vulture – 2
Northern Harrier – 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 19
Bald Eagle – 2
Peregrine Falcon – 5

Sandhill Crane – 27
American Crow  – 48

Common Mergansers, 10/05/16

Common Mergansers, 10/05/16

Turkey Vulture. 10/05/16

Turkey Vulture. 10/05/16

Northern Water Snake, 10/05/16

Northern Water Snake, 10/05/16

Leucistic American Crow, 10/05/16

Leucistic American Crow, 10/05/16