Waterbird Count, April 14

The morning started as it usually has:  cold, calm, clear, and a lot of birds moving through.  There were plenty of Red-breasted Mergansers and Long-tailed Ducks loafing, and quite a few Common Loons resting out on the straits as well.  Curiously, none of the Common Loons sighted today were seen in flight; they were all seen resting on the water simultaneously.  Another oddity for the day was the significant drop in numbers of both the Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneyes.  There were also nearly a dozen Mute Swans seen resting out on the open water near St. Helena Island, and for the first time this spring and in my life, I witnessed a Horned Grebe in flight.  In addition to having nearly one hundred Sandhill Cranes fly by, I was fortunate enough to witness a beaver swimming close to shore, and to be visited by Lynn Fraze, who considerately decided that with all the visitors at the hawk watch, I could use some company down at McGulpin Point- thank you Lynn!

Canada Goose – 37
Mute Swan – 9
swan sp. – 4
White-winged Scoter – 57
Long-tailed Duck – 221
Common Goldeneye – 1
Common Merganser – 11
Red-breasted Merganser – 187
Common Loon – 7
Horned Grebe – 1
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 29
duck sp. – 17

Other Species:
Turkey Vulture – 33
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 3
Accipiter sp. – 2
Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 7
Red-shouldered Hawk – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 5
Buteo sp. – 4
Sandhill Crane – 83