Ducks on the Move!

Sorry for the late post, but I’ve been travelling around the Upper Peninsula a bit.  I counted Sunday morning and had a really good push of Ducks through the area.  While we’ve had relatively low numbers of Dabbling Ducks this season, now that the Divers are taking over it seems that the Straits are becoming busier for migrating waterfowl.  White-winged Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers and Long-tailed Ducks have been putting on a good show, while Common Goldeneyes and Bufflehead are becoming more common.  In fact, on Sunday, I saw my first Bufflehead of the season and the first Common Goldeneyes that I figure are probably actual migrants.  The number of Dark-winged Scoters (Surf/Black) has also increased.  81 Sandhill Cranes also flew south over the Straits.

I stopped by briefly on Saturday afternoon to count as well.  The same species were flying, mainly White-winged Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks (including one flock with over 225), and Red-breasted Mergansers.  Between squalls, raptors were flying over.  I counted 19 Red-tailed Hawks and one Northern Harrier.  A White-rumped Sandpiper flying down the beach was a highlight.

Of course, what all this means, which may come as bad news to some of you, is that winter is coming!  Well, good news or bad news, here are the numbers from Sunday followed by a few pictures, although the day was not a good photography day.

Species East West
Red-necked Grebe 0 1
Common Loon 12 2
White-winged Scoter 22 249
Duck sp. 46 36
Red-breasted Merganser 25 94
Greater Scaup 4 1
Lesser Scaup 6 2
Common Goldeneye 1 4
Redhead 19 4
Scaup sp. 52 0
Long-tailed Duck 19 433
Green-winged Teal 0 2
Aythya sp. 10 33
Double-crested Cormorant 3 1
Dark-winged Scoter (Surf/Black) 0 1
Bufflehead 0 6
Black Scoter 0 3
Canada Geese
American Crow
A large flock of Long-tailed Ducks
Long-tailed Ducks
A close crop of the head of the previous flock – clearly showing that they are Long-tailed Ducks.
White-winged Scoters with Black Scoters
A large string of White-winged Scoters

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