Waterbird Count – 13 October

The weather started out pretty bleary today at McGulpin, with spattering rain throughout the first couple hours, but despite that, it turned out to be a pretty busy day. I experienced some technical difficulties for about half an hour in the morning when my scope got stuck on the highest possible magnification, but thanks to Bev and Jack dropping by and Jack’s engineering background, we got back up and running before too long.

Seems like several species have moved in to the straits in pretty decent numbers – in addition to the daily increase in White-winged Scoter abundance, today brought good numbers of Long-tailed Ducks and Bonaparte’s Gulls. The highlight of the day was the first Great Black-backed Gull of the season, which flew right by the beach in the early afternoon.

Horned Grebes are still hanging out by the beach in groups of 2-3, along with small numbers of Red-necked Grebes. I also had a swan that flew by Pt LeBarbe in the morning, and while I think it was a Mute, it was solidly on the other side of the straits.

No real raptor movement to speak of today, aside from a couple of Harriers and a Bald Eagle. There looked to be some Turkey Vultures kettling on the other side of the straits, but they never came over.

swan sp. – 1
Aythya sp. – 177
Surf Scoter – 16
White-winged Scoter – 59
Surf/Black Scoter – 5
scoter sp. – 5
Long-tailed Duck – 34
Common Merganser – 11
Red-breasted Merganser – 3
duck sp. – 32
Red-throated Loon – 2
Common Loon – 11
loon sp. – 1
Horned Grebe – 3
Red-necked Grebe – 5
Double-crested Cormorant – 39
Bonaparte’s Gull – 10
Ring-billed Gull – 15
Herring Gull – 6
Great Black-backed Gull – 1

Other species:
Northern Harrier – 2
Bald Eagle – 1
American Crow – 10

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