Waterbird Count, March 24

My name is Joshua Jaeger, and it is an honor and a privilege to be conducting the MSRW’s waterbird count for Spring 2017.  Due to recent pile ups of ice around McGulpin Point and lack of cooperation from the weather, the official start of the waterbird survey was delayed.  Today’s report was taken at Shepler’s Cove since there is enough open water for ducks to be moving through and resting while simultaneously allowing me to see them from shore.  It had snowed the previous night, and the rainfall today was constant and consistent throughout the duration of the survey.  The waterbird activity was fairly low likely because there is still a fair amount of ice out on the strait.  The ambient temperature was 33 °F for most of the day, wind speed did not exceed five miles per hour, and average visibility was approximately two miles.  At about 02:20 PM is when it switched from rain to snow, and bird sightings began to drop off.  Highlights of the day include one adult male Hooded Merganser that stopped and rested at about 1:45 PM, as well as an adult male Northern Harrier moving east at around the same time.

Canada Goose – 31
Mallard – 6
Greater Scaup – 8
Common Goldeneye – 19
Hooded Merganser – 1
Common Merganser – 40
Red-breasted Merganser – 8
duck sp. – 23

Others Species:
Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 1