Waterbird Count, April 9

Today’s weather was a huge step up from this previous week; with mild winds blowing from the south, melting ice, and crystal clear water, it seems spring has finally taken a hold of the Great Lakes.  The usual birds like mergansers and goldeneyes were still present, but today the lake had some summer visitors like cormorants, loons, flycatchers,  swallows, and even a river otter.  The only downside to the day was that with the dramatically increasing temperature and sunlight, the heat shimmer on the lake was blinding.  Birds even one-quarter of a mile away were hard to identify down to species simply because of the intensity of the heat shimmer.  Another shock for today was the fact that there were very few raptors seen moving across the straits despite the favorable weather at the front of what tomorrow will not be very favorable weather.

Canada Goose – 97
Mallard – 14
Northern Pintail – 2
Redhead – 3
Greater Scaup – 2
Aythya sp. – 32
White-winged Scoter – 3
Long-tailed Duck – 500
Common Goldeneye – 11
Common Merganser – 16
Red-breasted Merganser – 186
Common Loon – 6
Double-crested Cormorant– 11
duck sp. – 37

Other Species:
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 2
Red-tailed Hawk – 6
Buteo sp. – 1
Killdeer – 1
Merlin – 1

100_5742

One of three Eastern Phoebes at McGulpin Point today.