Waterbird Count, April 22

With not a cloud in the sky and slow winds blowing from the southwest, the morning started off warm and bright.  However, the waterbird activity did not start to get exciting until about 9:00 AM, where Horned Grebes could be seen in flight, the cormorants and Long-tailed Ducks were moving about by the dozens, and the first Pine Warblers of the season reached McGulpin Point.  The Great Blue Heron count also got a boost today, but the raptor activity was disappointingly low for such good weather.  This could be attributed to the fact that by the time the waterbird activity started to pick up, the winds were shifting direction and blowing to the east, making it unfavorable for northward migration.  The day had two firsts for the season:  first, there were no Common Goldeneyes spotted loafing or in flight, and the first Red-throated Loon for the spring season was seen flying west around noon close to McGulpin Point’s shoreline.  In addition to being visited by Ed Pike again, there were several people who came down to inquire about what I was seeing- unfortunately, most of them came at inopportune moments.  This was also the first day that McGulpin Point had temperatures over 50°F and unbroken sunlight all day.  As a native of San Diego, California, this kind of change in weather is an almighty relief.  Along with the rising temperature, the insects are starting to come out in force, and for once I’m not irritated by the thought of having to swipe bugs out of my face.

Canada Goose – 9
Redhead– 5
Greater Scaup – 2
White-winged Scoter – 25
Long-tailed Duck – 424
Common Merganser – 13
Red-breasted Merganser – 175
Red-throated Loon – 1
Common Loon – 15
Horned Grebe – 12
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 69
duck sp. – 10

Other Species:
Great Blue Heron – 7
Turkey Vulture – 11
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 2
Accipiter sp. – 1
Northern Harrier – 1
Bald Eagle – 5
Sandhill Crane – 8