May 3rd Waterbird Count Summary

Weather –

2.8C and no wind at the start of the count. No wave action either. The barometer was steady all day. The wind did pick up out of the west lightly in the afternoon. Luckily the heat shimmer never appeared.

Waterbird Notes –

Before dawn the sky was filled with COLO (334). Had I not been in place before official sunrise I would have missed nearly 100 birds. Before anyone steals the thunder out of migration in the straits, I understand more loon are seen in an hour at Whitefish Point. Either way after sitting patiently through the last of the winter weather I enjoyed the spectacle thoroughly. 161 COLO flew through between 6:18 – 6:22AM.  Another 117 flew through between 6:24 – 7:23AM. The straits were literally filled with COLO! HOGR (35) are increasing in numbers daily and again defying many peoples assumptions. These birds were all staged in close to McGulpin Point. Arriving well before dawn and walking as quietly as possible to the gazebo made it such that the birds stayed close to be counted and observed.

Non- waterbird Notes –

As I was getting my gear out of the car the first WIWR (1) was heard belting out a mouthful. In the midst of all of the COLO air traffic (3) SSHA set off north across the straits. I definitely missed many raptors today as I was counting waterbirds. Ed Pike called in the afternoon to ask if I had seen any BWHA, which I hadn’t. Not shortly after I noted 35 or more raptors high over the towers of the bridge. I am not saying they fly over the bridge, but anyone who has spent time at McGulpin knows that from this vantage point it looks as if that is where the birds are. I was able to sort out a few BWHA (2) before returning to the waterbird count. A PEFA (1) had taken prey, possibly a NOFL just 100 meters away from me. I saw the bird flying away out of the corner of my eye and when I stood up I could make out the strongly tapered wings of a falcon and prey in its talons.

Wildlife-

RESQ stopped by for some crackers. The beaver that was spotted a few days back was seen multiple times today heading west only to return later heading east.

Freighters-

James R. Barker east bound at 9:49 and Kaye E. Barker west bound at 11:45.

Visitors –

Joe Haas

Total observer hours – 8.0

Next days forecast –

Showers, mainly before noon. High near 52. East wind 10 to 15 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Todays tally is posted on eBird here.

Total Species: 46

Total Count : 1638