April 20th Waterbird Count Summary

Weather –

Clear and cold start to todays count with a temperature of -5C. By 8:30AM the temperature climbed above freezing. The wind picked up around 12:30 to 19kph out of the north west and the heat shimmer became noticeable. The shore ice is beginning to melt fast and large blocks of undercut ice fell into the lake. On shore the snow from the last storm is condensing fast. Rock hard in the morning and slushy by the afternoon.

Waterbird Notes –

Todays flight marks a steady increase of COLO at 26 individuals. A split count captured todays movement as 17 birds were picked up in the morning between 7:00- 9:00AM. An additional 8 more were detected between 6:00-6:30PM. Going forward I will do my best to get back to the count in the evening when the weather is suitable.

Non- waterbird Notes –

Many of the diurnal raptors that hadn’t crossed the straits yesterday were still roosting in the McGulpin Point area at dawn. Primarily TUVU, which the resident crows seemed to take exception to. A lone SSHA made a crossing of the straits at 11:56. One of the fringe benefits of being the “winter” waterbird counter is seeing the smaller raptors who fly low make short work of the crossing. Much more confident than a timid RTHA who keeps circling back or TUVU who arrive in the evening when it is too late to cross. A PIWO returned to give its wildman call. The bird was very close to the gazebo pounding heavily on a tree. A late season PIGR was heard nearly in the same tree it was spotted in earlier in March.

Wildlife-

RESQ

Freighters-

RTC 100 west bound at 6:45PM.

Visitors –

Lynn Fraze

Total observer hours – 8.0 ( split count 6:30AM – 1:00PM and 6:00PM – 7:30)

Next days forecast –

Mostly sunny, with a high near 49. Calm wind becoming west around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Todays tally is posted on eBird here.

Total Species: 35

Total Count : 1033