Highlights: PACIFIC LOON (1), YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (1), HARRIS'S SPARROW (1)
WEATHER: Skies were very cloudy, winds were light out of the W and NW, and although visibility wasn't great, the background of dark skies made lighting excellent. It did sprinkle early in the count but not for more than a couple minutes. It was warmest during the first hour of the count (21 Celsius) and it dropped to 18 Celsius by the end.
DUCKS & GEESE: Over 80 CANADA GEESE moved by the point along with 7 CACKLING GEESE mixed in. Duck diversity wasn't spectacular today but I still tallied GADWALL, MALLARD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GREATER SCAUP, LESSER SCAUP, and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. It was a decent day for scoters again with over 30 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS seen along with 7 SURF SCOTERS.
LOONS & GREBES: A huge highlight for me this fall came in the second to last hour of the count today. It appeared to be a dismal day for loons and grebes, only 15 COMMON LOONS, a handful of RED-THROATED LOONS, and less than 15 RED-NECKED GREBES were seen. However, a striking breeding plumaged PACIFIC LOON passed the point near 2:30 pm. The bird was relatively close giving GREAT looks of the gray nape and all the other needed fieldmarks. The bird just kept moving though, it didn't stick around or stay in view for more than 30 seconds.
SHOREBIRDS: An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, a couple SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, and near 20 SANDERLINGS were tallied at the point today.
RAPTORS: All three usual falcons were seen; PEREGRINE FALCON, MERLIN, and AMERICAN KESTREL. A couple BALD EAGLES, a NORTHERN HARRIER, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK were also seen.
This morning was a remarkable morning for songbirds out on the beach. The winds that had moved to west pushed a lot of songbirds out over the lake resulting in several hundred birds flying in off the lake during the morning. Although I couldn't catch up with many of them, a couple species landed on the shack or foraged around it. GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS would enter my shack and perch on my chair while DARK-EYED JUNCOS would perch at my feet. Some of the other birds seen from the shack included LINCOLN'S SPARROW, BROWN CREEPER, SAVANNAH SPARROW, HERMIT THRUSH, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, along with the usual LAPLAND LONGSPURS, HORNED LARKS, and AMERICAN PIPITS.
A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (see photos below), an uncommon bird at the point, was in odd form today. It would fly out to the beach, perch on the sand, hop around for a minute or two, and then fly back to the trees. It repeated this trek many times throughout the day.
A HARRIS'S SPARROW (see photo below) was at the gift shop feeders today.
The Loggerhead Shrike was last seen around 11:30 am yesterday even after intensive searching.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for mostly sunny and light NW winds.