Waterbird Count, April 7

Today the winds had calmed slightly, but their direction had not shifted much.  However, unlike yesterday, there was brilliant sunshine for the entire duration of the watch.  Even so, the big waves made spotting loafing birds difficult, and the heat shimmer was more intense than it has been since the beginning.  There was a decent diversity of waterbirds and raptors seen today, but the activity level plummeted by midday, where even the Red-breasted Mergansers were not moving much.  Before the morning activity waned, I had the good fortune to see what I thought was a leucistic Red-tailed Hawk, but as it flew and I got a good view of the profile of its head and wing beats, I realized it was a Snowy Owl.  Hopefully as the weekend passes, the weather will improve, and the birds will be migrating rather than finding quiet pockets to shelter in.

Canada Goose – 1
Redhead – 15
Greater Scaup – 5
White-winged Scoter – 6
Long-tailed Duck – 55
Common Goldeneye – 4
Common Merganser – 9
Red-breasted Merganser – 165
duck sp. – 276

Other Species:
Turkey Vulture – 23
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 6
Red-tailed Hawk – 6
Buteo sp. – 4
Snowy Owl – 1
American Kestrel – 2
Merlin – 2