Waterbird Count, April 16

Today the visibility was perhaps the worst it’s been all season.  It rained in varying intensity throughout the first half of the counting session, but the fog was at full strength for the entire day.  The max visibility was perhaps one mile, but that only lasted for a few minutes around midday, and the average visibility was approximately one-quarter mile.  Despite only being able to see birds close to shore, there were still a few nice surprises, including a pair of Green-winged Teals and an immature male Hooded Merganser.  The first few hours were the most frustrating because the sounds of Long-tailed Ducks and other birds being stirred up by the passing ships were clearly audible, but with visibility so low, there was no way to know how many or how far away they were.  The later hours proceeded slow as they usually do, that is until I had visits from Karen Brusch, Jim and Kathy Bricker, and Fred Sroica.

Canada Goose – 2
Mallard – 2
Green-winged Teal – 2
Aythya sp. – 3
Long-tailed Duck – 5
Bufflehead – 6
Common Goldeneye – 1
Hooded Merganser – 1
Common Merganser – 27
Red-breasted Merganser – 142
Common Loon – 4
Double-crested Cormorant – 1
duck sp. – 3

Other Species:
Northern Harrier – 4
Sandhill Crane – 3
Killdeer – 1