April 18th Waterbird Count Summary

Weather –

35cm of snow has fallen at McGulpin Point since the last count on April 14th. In places the drifts are even deeper. Just before dawn winds were out of the north at 12-19kph. Temperatures started off at -1.1C but climbed to above freezing by 9:30. Significant cloud cover for most of the day, but by 2:00PM the winds kicked up a little more to 20-28kph out of the NE and the straits cleared out quickly. The barometer climbed steadily through the count. Despite the cloud cover visibility was excellent with heat shimmer not becoming an issue until the last hour of the count. Light wave action at 1 foot.

Waterbird Notes –

Slow flight today despite it being the first decent day after a 3 day snowstorm impacted the area. RBME led the flight with LTDU nearly edging them out. COME are slowly increasing in numbers. Leonard Graf spotted the first two COLO of the day around 8:00AM. One was heading west and the other was returning south. I spotted another COLO at 9:16 on a similar flight path as the first one headed to the west over Gros Cap.

Non- waterbird Notes –

Raptors were on the move despite a late start. The firs TUVU tried to slip by headed west along the shoreline over the gazebo. They continued to trickle through, but the big numbers started to cross between noon and 2:00PM. One flock of 6 and another of 16. A RTHA was spotted returning from the west and headed back east over the gazebo looking for the proper place to cross. SACR were spotted over the northern side of the straits over Gros Cap. 2 resident SACR are making regular commutes south across the straits late in the count now.  Slow day for the forest birds as they recover from the storm.

Wildlife-

RESQ appears to have eaten all of the suet. He now feels comfortable barking orders and it seems McGulpin Point may have a “problem squirrel “. Like they say in Alaska, a fed squirrel is a dead squirrel. This situation will be monitored and I may need to borrow some pepper spray from the Bricker’s if this squirrel becomes more aggressive. About 7 White-tailed Deer were spotted above the lighthouse when I was leaving. I noticed tracks behind the gazebo too.

Freighters-

Stewart J. Cort westbound at 9:24. This ship helped me get all the LTDU detections as well as bump some WWSC. A tug General was out in the straits at 9:30 and was still there when I finished the count today. I was told by the Coast Guard this was part of the crew inspecting every one of the 5 lines that crosses the straits.

Visitors –

Leonard Graf joined me in the morning for 1.5 hours. He helped add some COLO to the count today. The Coast Guard was down again today and worker from a natural gas company. Evidently there is some excavating that will be going on just up the beach from me in the near future.

Total observer hours – 8.0

Next days forecast –

Sunny, with a high near 38. Northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Todays tally is posted on eBird here.

I am no longer able to insert photos into the days blog posts so images will not be a part of the daily blog posts going forward.