Waterbird Count, March 31

The first hour today was disappointingly slow, though not surprising given the strong easterly winds and barrage of ice flows getting swept through the straits.  The Red-breasted Merganser numbers were lower than yesterday, though still higher than average so far.  Common Goldeneye and Long-tailed Duck counts also continue to decline, which could be an indication of approaching bad weather, or the unexpected cold weather this late in March is simply slowing down a lot of the usual passage migrants.  Bryant Eddy joined me once again for the morning, and although there wasn’t too much besides Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, we did manage to see a Red-necked Grebe at around 9:00 AM.  This makes it the first for the season, and the first confirmed sighting in my life.  The temperature was rising throughout the day, and by 12:00 PM the sunlight was out in force.  Despite this, raptor activity for the day was significantly reduced.  However I was still fortunate enough to witness not one, but two adult Bald Eagles successfully catching fish and feasting on the drifting ice no more than one hundred yards from my post.  At the very least, the Black-capped Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches in the surrounding woods were even more inquisitive today, and made good company throughout the morning and early afternoon.

Canada Goose – 18
Mallard – 2
Redhead – 1
Greater Scaup – 1
White-winged Scoter – 13
Long-tailed Duck – 9
Common Goldeneye – 2
Common Merganser – 64
Red-breasted Merganser – 442
Red-necked Grebe– 1
duck sp. – 27

Other Species:
Bald Eagle – 5
Red-tailed Hawk – 2
Buteo sp. – 3