April 21st Waterbird Count Summary

Weather –

The straits were completely still this morning which made for an intense reddish sunrise. Temperatures were just below freezing. By 7:30AM it was above freezing. Barometer held steady during the days count. Except for an occasional gust the winds were negligible. The heat shimmer was noticeable by 10:30. By the end of the count it was 7.8C which is a virtual heat wave for the “winter” waterbird count!

Waterbird Notes –

Solid flight today with good diversity.  MUSW made their first appearance of the season, 3 individuals flying together from the west to east close to the gazebo. DCCO are steadily increasing in numbers in the straits with 109 individuals being counted today. A new migrant made its first appearance of the count and luckily close to 250 meters from the gazebo. A lone HOGR spent the better part of the afternoon at McGulpin to later be joined by another.

Non- waterbird Notes –

The forest behind the gazebo is coming alive! The first TRES, EAPH, SOSP, NOFL all made their presence known. The EAPH came in close to perch in front of the gazebo and Kathy Bricker thinks the bird was eying the gazebo for a potential nest site. A TRES was seen coming down to the water near the shore ice to skim a drink or insect. SOSP was heard up the hill yesterday near the lighthouse parking lot belting out its distinctive song. This bird was heard again this morning first thing in the dark while I hand ground my coffee. The bird eventually found its way down the hill to the gazebo and came continually closer to the gazebo.

Wildlife-

RESQ, but the little trouble maker is keeping its distance which is preferred.

Freighters-

Federal Mackinac west bound at 9:49AM. This boat helped bump the LTDU for the approximate total.

Visitors –

Kathy and Jim Bricker, Diane Morand and Sue Ormand.  For road and approach updates read  April 19th’s post here.

Total observer hours – 8.0

Next days forecast –

Sunny, with a high near 53. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Todays tally is posted on eBird here.

Total Species: 43

Total Count : 1776