I am so happy to be here conducting the 2021 Mackinac Waterfowl Count! My name is Ty Sharrow and I’m from northeast Pennsylvania. This past May I graduated with my bachelor’s of wildlife biology degree from Keystone College, which is also in Pennsylvania. I started bird watching when I was 16 and have fallen in love with everything in nature shortly after that. Here is a link to my ebird account and a link to my iNaturalist profile, I am very active on both. My experience includes working in southern Illinois doing northern bobwhite telemetry, grassland biodiversity surveying, reforestation plantings in Hawaii, conducting research on snake and salamander chemical cues, and working as a bird banding technician. I will be starting my masters at Arkansas State University in the spring studying the effects of American kestrel and barn owl presence on pest populations in agricultural fields.
The first day of the count was at McGulpin Point. I am very pleased with the location, the view of the bridge is amazing and I have been enjoying the shade on these warm days. Steve Baker was there at the start of the count to welcome me to McGulpin Point. I quickly spotted the first bird of the count… a ring-billed gull! Initially that morning (and for most of the day) there was very little activity over the water. However, a chickadee mixed feeding flock appeared with a black-throated green warbler and a yellow warbler getting ready to make their journey south. Sometime later I saw the first migrating waterfowl of the count, a distant common loon making it through the straits. Shortly after that, I found a pair of resting red-necked grebes on still water to the west of the count site. Before I knew it it was time to end the count. I am so excited to see all the other birds that will be migrating through!