Straits are ice-free

Now that the Mackinac straits are all clear, I will be counting at alternating sites. On odd dates (5th, 7th, etc.) I’ll be at McGulpin Point, even dates (6th, 8th, etc.) I’ll be at Graham Point. The first count at McGulpin produced a few first-of-year species, which include a Double-crested Cormorant, several White-winged Scoter, and a migrating Common Loon!

Migration activity is still lacking in intensity, but I am observing increased numbers of Red-breasted Merganser and Common Goldeneye at Graham. Large numbers of Redhead continue to raft out in the straits, while a small flock of Long-tailed Ducks rests closer to Mackinac Island. I’m excited to see what the warm weather brings in the coming days, as well as the variety in species between the two sites.

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