April 19th Waterbird Count Summary

Weather –

-.6 C with 28kph winds out of the north at the start of todays count. By 9:30 the temperature climbed to just above freezing. The barometer rose slightly through the count. 2 ft waves were slapping into the shore ice and the heat shimmer was noticeable.

Waterbird Notes –

A lone COLO was seen rounding McGulpin Point a little after sunrise. This would be the first good look I have gotten of one since the beginning of the count. COLO continued to trickle through during the count today with no apparent rhyme or reason to their movements.

Non- waterbird Notes –

Solid raptor flight today for McGulpin Point. A lone MERL led the flight at 8:21AM. The falcon was locked into a trough between the waves headed north. It was a memorable migrant to see crossing the straits with such little effort. Shortly after the TUVU started to cross in very large flocks. In total 157 individuals crossed during the count today. 4 RTHA made there way west to the gazebo before beginning their crossing of the straits. TUVU were still stacking up at the end of the second half of the count in the evening.

Wildlife-

None

Freighters-

Virginiaborg east bound at 6:46. Ironmaster west bound at 7:00. Philip R Clarke east bound at 7:37. Roger Blough westbound at 5:20PM.

Visitors –

Jim Bricker, Matt, USCG

Total observer hours – 8.0 ( split shift 6:30AM – noon, 4:00PM – 6:30PM)

Next days forecast –

Sunny, with a high near 43. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Todays tally is posted on eBird here.

Update on the road and conditions at the point. Thankfully the road down was plowed after this last storm. It shouldn’t be any trouble for vehicles with 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive. Parking is limited at 2-3 vehicles as the entire lot wasn’t plowed. By the afternoon the lot is quite muddy which could be problematic if you happen to park in a soupy spot. Two patches of ice remain on the road and can be slippery both on foot and in a car. A trail to the gazebo has been walked in nicely. Currently your best bet for an approach to the waterbird count is to park at the McGulpin Point Lighthouse ( if you don’t have a solid vehicle for snow and ice) and walk down the road to the parking lot. Care should still be exercised as there are a couple icy spots. Bring winter footwear though as the walk to the gazebo still has over a foot of snow. This is either rock hard in the morning or slushy by afternoon.

The shore ice is rapidly melting away. I still have a significant ice wall blocking about 20 % of my far western view.