Waterbird activity has certainly started to pick up during the last few days, although fog has greatly reduced visibility at times. This morning I was greeted by the whinnying courtship duet of several Red-necked Grebes, and as the fog lifted I observed a total of 24 individuals resting on the water! Horned Grebes weren’t quite as numerous, but I would expect this to change in the coming days. Bufflehead have sharply increased in numbers, as I counted 50 resting birds today. Double-crested Cormorants are beginning to return, while flocks of Sandhill Crane and Canada Geese are migrating in larger numbers. Incessantly vocal Ring-billed and Herring Gulls are becoming more numerous by the day, as the colonies will be soon be in full swing.
Passerines are not a primary focus of the count, but are still observed and recorded. Common Redpoll flocks continue to push north, while mixed flocks of Common Grackles, American Robins, and Red-winged Blackbirds move every which way. A few first-of-year species include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow.