Ice in the Straits

Today is the beginning of the Mackinac Strait Raptor Watch 2018 Waterbird Count. Unfortunately no count was conducted today due to the ice packed in the strait. Ed Pike visited the count site during the afternoon and noticed that quite a bit of open water was visible and as such I will try to count tomorrow. I visited the count site myself before sunset and indeed a channel was visible running west to east through the strait and even more open water was visible out near St. Helena Island.

I did want to introduce myself to the birders, volunteers and members of Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch. My name is Adam Bradley ( Adam Richardson on eBird) and I am honored to be conducting this springs waterbird count. It is my first time visiting this part of Michigan and I am pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the scenery is at McGulpin Point and the surrounding country side. Over the past few winters I have had an opportunity to work on several game bird studies in the west and more recently this winter in Wisconsin. My current migration corridor involves returning to Montana and Idaho to conduct avian point counts until late summer. Fall is spent counting raptors at Bridger Bowl Hawk Watch outside of Bozeman, MT. I was born and raised in Anchorage, AK and was lucky enough to nest search, trap and band shorebirds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As I scan the lakeshore along McGulpin Point I keep expecting a Polar Bear to walk out from the edge of the ice flows! I look forward to meeting more of the volunteers and members of Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch and I am grateful to your efforts and contributions which allow me to count birds in such a beautiful area.

Red Phalarope – Arctic National Wildlife Refuge