Highlights: BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (1 adult), JAEGER SP. (1)
WEATHER: Having light winds out of the N and W today was a treat after several days of strong winds. Skies were mostly sunny, visibility was good most of the day, and the temperatures ranged from 7-12 Celsius.
DUCKS & GEESE: The last couple days had been slow for scaup but their numbers rose again today. Overall, the movement was alright but no record-breaking took place. Several of the usual species were seen such as MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Over 700 Aythya were seen which included REDHEAD (17), RING-NECKED DUCK, and hundreds of SCAUP. All three scoter species were seen yet again which included WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (160+), SURF SCOTER (15), and BLACK SCOTER. Several BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and LONG-TAILED DUCK (280) were seen. Both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS also passed by the point today.
LOONS & GREBES: Less than 30 COMMON LOONS were seen and only a single RED-THROATED LOON was tallied. About 80 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted along with 5 HORNED GREBES.
SHOREBIRDS: Three SANDERLINGS were the only shorebirds seen today.
GULLS/JAEGERS: In the third hour of the count, a very distant adult JAEGER was seen flying past from the north. Unfortunately, the bird never reappeared in the day or got any closer. The outstanding highlight of the day came in the fifth hour when Erik Enbody spotted an adult BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE headed for the beach! The bird flew around the point and actually landed on the beach for a moment! The bird then lifted and eventually made its way out to the SE over the bay (where it was chased by a gull). This marks the first Black-legged Kittiwake of the season and it was extra special since the adult kittiwakes are much rarer in the Great Lakes (most BLKI sightings are of juveniles).
RAPTORS: Some of the species seen today included ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, MERLIN, and RED-TAILED HAWK. A really interesting looking bird, a rufous/dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, hung around most of the day and was last seen late in the count.
Putting on a great show was a NORTHERN SHRIKE that repeatedly attempted to catch a Downy Woodpecker! The shrike would often land on the snags and tree tops behind the shack.
Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, HORNED LARK, AMERICAN PIPIT, and a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET which landed on Cindy Johnstone!
The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for mostly sunny skies and calm winds. Could be interesting!
Thanks for checking in,