This week has been incredibly busy for the waterbird count. A string of West winds has brought substantial aythya movements. On October 8th alone, over 6000 of these diving ducks flew past Graham Point throughout the day! These flights consist mostly of Redhead, although Greater and Lesser Scaup are common and often mixed within the flocks.
Scoters are currently in the peak of their migration through the Straits. Elegant lines of White-winged Scoters, with their eye-catching wing patches, are a familiar sight throughout October. Both Common and Red-throated Loons are still moving in significant numbers. Small groups of Long-tailed Ducks are beginning to appear, and numbers of this species will increase exponentially as winter approaches.
The highlight of this week (and quite possibly the entire count) was a Brambling, first spotted by Jack Kew on October 8th at Graham Point. The bird has been visiting a local feeder for almost a week and now over 100+ birders have travelled from across the state to enjoy it. A Brambling is a type of Eurasian finch which, in the ABA area, is only reliably found on Alaskan islands. This represents the 6th record for Michigan!