2018 Waterbird count has begun!

Adult Bald Eagle perched along the edge of the lead


Today dawned mostly clear, cold and windy. Temperatures hovered in the teens as a stiff 10 mile and hour breeze blew from the north. Barometer held steady throughout the day. By 14:00 the temperature finally climbed above freezing and the wind became light and variable.

Waterbird Notes-

First birds to be spotted this morning were in a perfect “V” near the NE side of the Mackinac Bridge. During the first hour of the count 3 Canada Goose were noted flying low to the North directly in front of the count location. Shortly after 3 Common Merganser were noted heading East again directly in front of the count site. Several flocks of ducks were noted at a great distance crossing from St. Helena Island back to the south and west of the count site. Due to the direction of flight and low altitude they were considered as resident birds.

Non-waterbird Notes-

The first birds noted were the gull species emanating from the North West side of the bridge. They seemed to be in constant motion throughout the day. A group of resident crows made short work of the crossing early in the morning. They seemed to stage somewhere behind the count location before heading across the straits together. 3 Adult Bald Eagles were perched on the edge of the ice directly in front of the count location a little before mid- day. A lone CORA was heard gurgling some strange call in addition to BCCH, AMRO and Pine Siskin. Flying just above the tree line behind the gazebo was a lone Red-winged Blackbird.


Two visitors from Traverse City made it down the icy road to the count site. As of now please use caution coming down the sheet of ice to the lower parking lot. Your best bet is to use either side of the road and make use of the trees as something to lean on. I promptly went down on my first visit and I would like to think I have good balance! Somehow Ed Pike made it look simple when he visited towards the end of the count today. I still had to clamber up and down with my micro-spikes on so chains are advised.

Total observer hours – 6.75

Next Day Forecast-

Mainly sunny with a high of 34. Winds NW at 10-15mph.

Canada Goose – 3
Common Merganser – 3
duck sp. – 24
gull sp. – 50

Bald Eagle – 3 (Adult)
American Crow – 15
Common Raven – 1
Black- capped Chickadee – 1
American Robin – 1
Red- winged Blackbird- 1
Pine Siskin – 2


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