Waterbird Count, April 27

Today the weather was almost perfect; although the temperatures climbed into the seventies by the end of the day, there was dense fog for the first two and a half hours, so who knows how many waterbirds went amiss.  The temperature started off at 45 °F with moderate easterly winds in the morning, climbing all the way to 70 °F with strong winds from the south.  With conditions as nice as today, it’s easy to see why Mackinaw City is such a popular tourist destination.  Surprisingly though, there were still very few visitors to the lake shore despite the phenomenal weather.  In addition to having record high temperatures for this spring, today yielded a grand total of twenty Horned Grebes- the highest count yet for the season.  The dramatic shifts in atmospheric conditions could be felt by the second starting around 11:10 AM; the wind was becoming more southerly, the humidity and temperature were rising, and the air pressure was dropping.  At around 2:00 PM is when the storm clouds to the northwest could be seen pouring rain, and by the time the work day was done, the rain had finally reached McGulpin Point.  If the weather continues to improve as much as it did today, I might actually get to shed a layer of clothes.

Canada Goose – 2
Mallard– 5
White-winged Scoter – 18
Long-tailed Duck – 59
Bufflehead – 1
Common Goldeneye – 1
Common Merganser – 7
Red-breasted Merganser – 141
Common Loon – 12
Horned Grebe – 20
Red-necked Grebe – 3
Double-crested Cormorant – 71
duck sp. – 11

Other Species:
Great Blue Heron – 4
Turkey Vulture – 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 3
Bald Eagle – 4
Broad-winged Hawk – 23
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
American Kestrel – 1
falcon sp. – 1