Waterbird Count, May 3

For the first time in nearly a week, the sky opened up, and the rays of the midday sun shone upon the straits.  In addition to the implied rise in temperature, the winds had calmed since the previous week, with wind speeds remaining below five miles per hour until the final two hours.  As a result of the slower winds, the waves were smaller, and not only at McGulpin Point; throughout the duration of the day, all of Lake Michigan enjoyed relatively flat water with no area experiencing waves above 1.5 feet.  The count for today was within expectations for the waterbirds- in addition to the Caspian Tern that showed up at the end- but the raptor count was disappointing considering the favorable winds and warm air.  As the sun continues to rise higher and longer every day, I can only hope that storm clouds will gather elsewhere.

Canada Goose – 2
White-winged Scoter – 46
Long-tailed Duck – 260
Common Merganser – 3
Red-breasted Merganser – 198
Common Loon – 55
Horned Grebe – 6
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Double-crested Cormorant – 95
duck sp. – 9
Caspian Tern – 1

Other Species:
Great Blue Heron – 6
Turkey Vulture – 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Northern Harrier – 2
Bald Eagle – 3
Broad-winged Hawk – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
Buteo sp. – 1
Sandhill Crane – 12
American Kestrel – 1