Fall Waterbird Count: Week 9

The movement of waterbirds during migration season can be highly wind and weather dependent. This was certainly true on October 19th, as a perfect NW wind with a cold front of light snow led to a significant movement of waterbirds past McGulpin Point. 

On this day, flocks were streaming through the Straits from sunrise to sunset. Over 4500 Long-tailed Ducks, and a total of 386 White-winged Scoters were tallied, both representing daily high counts for this season!

As colder weather approaches, new species of winter waterfowl are returning. Bufflehead and Goldeneye have appeared in small numbers. Sightings of Red-breasted Mergansers and dabbling ducks are now more frequent. American Coots can be seen at local marshes, although this species is not typically observed in active migration during the day.

A highlight for this week was a flock of seven Snow Geese flying directly overhead at McGulpin Point on October 19th. The group consisted of four blue and three white morph individuals. 

Long-tailed Ducks w/ 4 White-winged Scoters – McGulpin Point 10/19/22

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