Introduction and first update

Hi everyone! My name is Adam Cupito and I’m the Waterbird Counter for MSRW this Spring. Although I’ve worked several avian field technician jobs throughout the country, this is my first official count. I’m excited to hone my waterbird ID skills and experience northern Great Lakes migration.

Due to the extensive ice cover at McGulpin Point, I’ve mostly been counting at Graham Point, though I’m planning on counting at McGulpin tomorrow. As expected, there hasn’t been much bird movement, as the majority of birds I’m observing spend their time resting on the straits. Redhead comprise the vast percentage of species composition, with numbers peaking around 3000. Moderate numbers of Red-breasted Merganser, Greater Scaup, and Common Goldeneye are also mixed in, and I anticipate the quantity of these species will increase over the next week. A few pairs of Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Bufflehead, and Northern Pintail have been some highlights.

I’m expecting to see both increased migration activity and species diversity in the coming days, as temperatures will be favorable and precipitation will be minimal. I will post more frequent updates as the season progresses. Visitors are always welcome at the counting sites!

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