Increased activity at McGulpin

Things picked up at the waterbird count today, Wed., Aug. 22. It was a cool 61, with strong winds from the north switching to the northwest and laying down slowly as the morning passed. Right after sunrise there were Red-necked Grebes flying all around on the horizon. They did not seem to be migrating, but many flocks were circling the Straits area from the Bridge to area of Saint Helena Island. The highest single scan of the area counted 194 Red-necked Grebes in flight; I believe there are many more out there but could only count them when in flight. Trying to keep track of flocks to not double count them was a challenge. They seem to be using the area as a resting area in their travels to the wintering grounds as flocks of 6 to 34 would fly towards the bridge then turn and fly back to the west finally landing someplace way out in the Straits after several large circles.
Several Common Loons were also seen with most in migration moving from the NW to the SE. With the sunny conditions by 8:30 am almost all the activity died down with only a few waterbirds occasionally seen in flight after that time.
Just before sunrise a flock of 48 American Crows were observed flying south across the Straits near the Bridge. Counted today were:
Common Loon 12
Red-necked Grebe 194
Double-crested Cormorant 21
Bald Eagle 3
Ring-billed Gull 10
Herring Gull 3
Am. Crow 48
submitted by Ed Pike

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