Waterbird Count off to a slow start

The Waterbird count started yesterday on Aug. 20 with little fan fare. One nice thing about the fall start is the temperatures are warm. It started at 65 degrees rising to 76 around noon. The winds were light and variable under mostly cloudy conditions. The only problem was the hazy conditions that reduce visibility to about 4 miles. Observed the usual suspects with 7 species of waterbirds and one local Coopers Hawk that came out of the trees on 3 occasions; flew down the beach and flew back into the trees. Species counted are listed below:
Herring Gull 7
Ring-billed Gull 4
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Double-crested Cormorant 29
Red-necked Grebe 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Monarch Butterfly 5

On Tuesday Aug. 21 it looked like it could rain at any time, with hazy conditions again reducing visibility to about 4 miles. Temperatures started at 70 degrees and rose a few degrees by noon. The winds were NE 3 to 5 mph at the start and increased slowly switching to the north at 12 to 15 by noon.
It seems like the Monarch Butterflies are starting to move south and a few Common Loons were seen traveling their usual migration route NW to SE.
Mallard 3
Red-breasted Merganser 5 (female with 4-2/3 grown young)
Common Loon 3
Red-necked Grebe 2
Double-crested Cormorant 14
Great Blue Heron 1
Bald Eagle 1 adult
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Ring-billed Gull 7
Herring Gull 7
Monarch Butterfly 9

Maybe the weak cold front from the northwest tomorrow morning will bring in few more species.
Ed Pike

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