March 23rd Waterbird Count Summary

Weather-

This morning dawned clear and cold. Temperatures were again in the mid teens as I made may way to the count site. At the frozen lakeshore it was calm, but there was significant haze on the north shore from controlled fires. At about 8:30AM a strong eastern wind suddenly gusted through. 2 hours later the winds started to subside. The channel was open again as if a boat had gone through sometime after yesterdays count was terminated. A large pool of open water was directly in front of the count site. The Coast Guard and a ship named the Niagara motored through both of which shifted the ice and suddenly connected the pool in front of the count site to the channel. It was also noted that the ice that had slowly moved south yesterday was again moving towards the north and west as the lighthouse on St. Helena Island was more visible. Barometer held steady throughout the day and the temps gradually warmed up to the high 20’s before the count was terminated around noon.

Waterbird Notes-

It didn’t take long for the wintering resident birds to take advantage of the open water near the count site. Canada Goose, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser were all active between 8:30 – 9:30. The merganser were busy fishing in the newly opened water directly in front of the count site. A lone Herring Gull was sited flying high and to the north. The gull activity on the north shore was again in full swing with approximately 35 birds swirling around.

Two Red- breasted ( one has his head down fishing) and one Common Merganser

Non-waterbird Notes-

A flock of Snow Buntings were observed crossing the strait today. Some Common Redpoll were heard early behind the gazebo mixed in with the PISI calls. A lone Adult Bald Eagle was seen flying low across the straits, possibly a resident bird.

Freighters – Niagara

Visitors-

Ed Pike.

Total observer hours – 5.25

Next Day Forecast-

Sunny with a high near 31. Wind chill values as low as -2. East wind 10 to 15 mph.

Canada Goose – 17
Common Goldeneye – 1
Common Merganser – 3
Red- breasted Merganser – 7
duck sp. – 6
Herring Gull – 1
gull sp. – 35

Bald Eagle – 1
American Crow – 2
Common Raven – 2
Black- capped Chickadee – 3
American Robin – 1
Snow Bunting – 11
Red- winged Blackbird – 1
Common Redpoll – 3
Pine Siskin – 3