Waterbird Count, September 30

Strong northeast winds didn’t produce all that much today, waterbird-wise. Around 600 ducks rose up from the water east of the bridge and flew west, though much too distant for me to definitively ID them. A decent amount of Red-necked Grebes and Double-crested Cormorants are still hanging around. It was a fairly good raptor day, with Turkey Vultures on the move as early as 9:30am. In fact, it was the best Turkey Vulture day I’ve had, with 232 birds. The largest group I had crossing the Straits at once was 54. The strong NE winds were pushing many of the raptors far west of me, so I likely missed a lot. Steve Baker was across the Straits at Pointe La Barbe and saw at least 2 birds that I didn’t — an early Rough-legged Hawk and a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk.

Canada Goose – 131
Redhead- 65
Greater Scaup – 4
Greater/Lesser Scaup – 12
Aythya sp. – 8
Surf Scoter – 2
White-winged Scoter – 8
Common Merganser – 12
Red-breasted Merganser – 1
Common/Red-breasted Merganser – 23
duck sp. – 743
Common Loon – 36
Horned Grebe – 2
Red-necked Grebe – 35
Double-crested Cormorant – 95

Turkey Vulture – 232
Northern Harrier – 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 13
Sharp-shinned/Cooper’s Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 21
Red-tailed Hawk – 18
American Kestrel – 1
Peregrine Falcon – 2

Sandhill Crane – 13