Cold, beautiful and still this morning on the straits. -6C temperatures started off the day with light cloud cover. Visibility was excellent for the entirety of the count. No wave action today and heat shimmer wasn’t too bad. By the end of the count the temperature had climbed to 0C. Barometric pressure held steady.
Waterbird Notes –
Once again RBME led todays flight with over 396 individuals counted primarily on a west to east flight path between 7:00 and 9:00. A few COME and COGE were detected as well. 9 CANG were noted, but they weren’t behaving like migrants. The big surprise was that none of the waterbirds made use of the open water directly in front of McGulpin Point like they had been earlier in the count when it has been ice free and calm.
Non- waterbird Notes –
An interesting interaction was noted between an adult Bald Eagle and the S3 bird that has been frequenting the area. The adult landed on a raft of ice out near the shipping channel only to be parachuted upon by the S3 bird. It looked somewhat aggressive, but the S3 bird ended up perching about 50 meters from the adult. They both seemed content to be in close range with one another. The forest birds behind the gazebo were active until the din of a suck truck drowned out the sounds of the peaceful morning.
Algo Steel at 9:48 westbound. Stewart J Cort 10:28 westbound. Presque Isle at 1:40 westbound.
Steve Baker dropped by before heading up to the MSRW Hawk Count Site this morning. He assessed the black oil sunflower seed export business. We still have possibly 25 pounds that the resident chickadees need to cache! They now have help from PISI who are happily shoveling half of them on the ground and feisty little RBNU.
Total observer hours – 7.5
Next days forecast –
Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. West wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.
Todays tally is posted on eBird here.