The ice returns

Weather-

Another clear, cold but thankfully still morning today. Temps hovered in the mid – teens as I made my way in the dark to the count location. It actually felt warmer at the count location before sunrise than it did later in the day due to the lakeshore being in the shade. It was still noticeably more comfortable than yesterdays stiff breeze. Barometer held steady all day and the winds picked up a little by the afternoon. Visibility was excellent and no heat shimmer was coming off the ice. By afternoon the temps were still in the negatives.

Waterbird Notes-

The only waterbird movements today were a couple of Common Merganser who were the first two waterbirds noticed yesterday. They flew on a west to east flight line directly in front of the count site. Later in the day I noticed them loafing in an open pool near the southwest edge of the bridge. A larger flock of 6 Common Merganser were noted flying from somewhere in the vicinity of St. Helena Island. It was interesting to compare their movements to yesterday as they initially headed back to the west of the McGulpin Point, but quickly wheeled around and came directly towards the count site. They then turned again and ended up flying to the north of St. Helena Island. By the looks of it even the merganser were caught off guard by the shifting ice which has closed off much of the channel that was open yesterday. On that note I watched the lighthouse on St. Helena Island slowly disappear from view between a wall of ice that was moving towards McGulpin Point slowly throughout the morning from the north to the south. I heard Canada Goose but could never get eyes on them. Even the gulls normally seen along the north shore directly across from the count site seemed less active today. I did have one lone Herring Gull flying high directly across the strait.

Non-waterbird Notes-

The resident crows were not too interested in crossing the strait today. Some new detections today ( auditory) were Red- bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, White- breasted Nuthatch, Northern Cardinal and a lone Pine Grosbeak singing to me from behind the gazebo.

Visitors-

Ed Pike visited a little before noon.

Total observer hours – 4.25

Next Day Forecast-

Sunny, with a high near 33. North wind around 5mph.

Common Merganser – 10
Herring Gull – 1
gull sp. – 28

Mourning Dove – 1
Red- bellied Woodpecker – 1
Blue Jay – 1
American Crow – 3
Common Raven – 2
Black Capped Chickadee – 3
White- breasted Nuthatch – 1
American Robin – 1
Northern Cardinal – 1
Pine Grosbeak – 1
Pine Siskin – 8