Highlights from the past several days…

On August 22nd at McGulpin Point, I had the best raptor day so far. I had 5 species of raptors flyover, including Bald Eagles (13), a Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Northern Harrier (1imm/adF), Sharp-shinned Hawk (2), and an Osprey (1). I am thankful McGulpin Point is across from Pointe LaBarbe and the hawk watch along the migrational corridor. I would not want to miss the fall raptor migration. Back in Pennsylvania I always made at least a few trips to Bake Oven Knob. Bake Oven Knob is a hawk-watching site about 12 miles north along the Kittatinny Ridge from Hawk Mountain. There we’re on a ridge top, sometimes looking down on the raptors or even eye level (like a golden eagle on a special occasion). I am delighted to experience The Great Lake’s hawk migration and see their annual movements in a very different setting.

eBird List: https://ebird.org/checklist/S93597708

On August 29th, I had a little friend for most of the day. A beautiful migrating Sanderling foraged along the shore next to me at Grahmn Point for several hours. It got within 3 feet of me at one point but mainly kept a distance ~25 feet away. This bird was an ID difficulty for me. I do not have much experience with shorebirds, but I know a few key features to look for. I was mistaken and thought I saw this bird had a hind toe leading me to believe it was a Semipalmated Sandpiper. However, after posting photos of it on iNaturalist, someone noticed that it actually did not have a hind toe which is distinct for the species. I was pleased to have been wrong with my ID, for Sanderlings are more uncommon than Semipalmated Sandpipers. I am so used to seeing Sanderlings running across sandy east coast beaches I was surprised to see one this far inland, still on sand nonetheless.

Sanderling iNat post: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/92957840
eBird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S93905339

Today August 3rd, I had the count at McGulpin Point, and a barge and a tugboat welcomed me at sun rise and stayed a few hundred feet from shore until I left. They used a crane all day digging and moving sediment, creating a lot of noise. I had a prolonged day waterfowl-wise. I saw 11 very distant Canada Geese to the left and a single Common Merganser near McGulpin’s Rock in the whole day. I am sure the noise deterred waterfowl from the area while they were working.

eBird list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S94131439

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