Waterbird Count, May 11

With the sky continuing to clear up, identification of species over the well-lit straits was no difficult feat today.  Though the activity overall was very impressive, it was the third hour that delivered the most excitement:  a pair of Gadwalls, a pair of Common Terns, and a lone Red-throated Loon heading east.  Visitor activity at McGulpin Point also continues to increase, and for the first time in nearly two weeks, a fellow birdwatcher came down to greet me and inquire what I was doing and seeing.  The woman from Connecticuit had many questions for me regarding the waterbird activity and migration- some of which I am ashamed to say I did not have all the answers for.  Needless to say, it was a welcome relief from the simple tourists walking in front of my field of view and the swarms of flying insects flying into my eyes.  Aside from absorbing a little too much refracted sunlight, today was ideal for waterbird watching; moderate eastern winds with patchy cloud cover, low heat shimmer, and a gradually increasing temperature.

Canada Goose – 3
Gadwall – 2
Mallard – 2
White-winged Scoter – 5
Long-tailed Duck – 638
Common Merganser – 5
Red-breasted Merganser – 187
Red-throated Loon – 1
Common Loon – 3
Double-crested Cormorant – 77
duck sp. – 3
Common Tern – 2
tern sp. – 1

Other Species:
Great Blue Heron – 1
Turkey Vulture – 9
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 2
Accipiter sp. – 1
Bald Eagle – 4
Broad-winged Hawk – 1
Buteo sp. – 2
Sandhill Crane – 1
Killdeer – 1
Spotted Sandpiper – 1

Red Admiral Butterfly