April 3rd Waterbird Count Summary

tarp-a-tecture 101

Weather –

A trace amount of snow fell overnight and into this morning. The roads were certainly slick. At McGulpin Point it was quite comfortable out with light winds out of the NE. The temperature was -1.7 C and visibility was superb over 32 km to the east and west. Light snow was falling early in the count, but by 9:30 AM they kicked up to 6-11kph bringing fog and snow. The snowfall was beautiful big flakes blowing through the straits and obscuring visibility to the north. Over the course of the next hour I watched the visibility diminish from 2 miles to the south end of the bridge to within 300 meters off of McGulpin Point in any direction. At this point it was just shy of blizzard conditions in the straits. The visibility was coming and going, but the weather was diminishing quickly. Todays count was stopped at 10:30AM due to lack of visibility in any direction.

Waterbird Notes –

I am beginning to miss the recent days of more diversity. The RBME led the tally again today, but COME are slowly increasing in numbers more regularly. Merganser are not impacted in the least by foul weather in the straits. I have seen both species in some of the worst conditions I have observed in the straits thus far into the count. The blowing snow seemed to cause more movement of small groups than usual. Small groups of 2 – 3 would be going east and west. My favorite observation of the day was 4 LTDU which came very close to the point. When there is fog in the straits it pushes the birds into the small area near the shore that is fog free. I have now seen LTDU twice in conditions like today flying very close. Only one lone Bufflehead heading east, but I enjoyed seeing the bird as they are one of my favorite and it had been a few days since I located one. COGO were busy today as well.

Non- waterbird Notes –

A Bald Eagle coming into its full adult plumage was spotted today. This is likely the same bird from the March 27th Daily Waterbird Count Summary. One lone adult bird was seen perch hunting from the ice near Point Labarbe.

One of the BCCH that has determined I am his buddy landed on my chair handle today. He wanted to look over my observations to see what the daily count looked like. It probably won’t be long before he will be assisting me in the count and helping with forest bird detections.

Freighters-

I saw some to the east and they may have passed, but visibility was limited to 1 mile to the north most of the morning. As such I was unable to see the shipping channel.

Visitors –

None. The road remains open, but it is icy underneath the new snow. I will keep everyone advised as to how this snowfall impacts the situation.

Total observer hours – 3.5

Next days forecast –

Snow, mainly before 1pm. Patchy blowing snow. High near 25. Blustery, with a north wind around 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

Todays tally is posted on eBird here.