Highlights: CAVE SWALLOW (1), BOHEMIAN WAXWING (1), NORTHERN SHRIKE (1)
WEATHER: It was a beautiful day to be out birding! The light south winds brought mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures (13-18 Celsius). Visibility was decent in the early hours but as the temperature rose, the visibility worsened. The wind started to strengthen a little towards the end of the count.
OVERALL MOVEMENT: Today was surprising; it was great birding AND the weather was enjoyable! Migration was impressive today, over 4000 waterbirds passed by including a decent mix of species. Most notable were the impressive Aythya numbers and a big Bufflehead flight. Four species of migrants were seen every hour: Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, and Red-necked Grebe. Red-breasted Merganser was the most numerous species but Bufflehead was close behind with nearly 400 seen.
DUCKS & GEESE: Some species seen today included GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON (70+), MALLARD, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Over 1000 Aythya were seen including a mix of REDHEAD and SCAUP species. Over 400 scoters were seen today including 260 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 70+ SURF SCOTERS, 10+ BLACK SCOTERS, and several "dark-winged" scoters. Almost 400 BUFFLEHEAD passed by in the first 4 hours! Also seen were LONG-TAILED DUCK (130+), COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSER (3), and hundreds of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.
LOONS & GREBES: Over 120 COMMON LOONS and a couple RED-THROATED LOONS passed by, mostly in the last half of the count. Nearly 190 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to a surprising 175+ HORNED GREBES.
SHOREBIRDS: Three species were seen including DUNLIN, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, and SANDERLING.
GULLS: Almost seen every hour were numerous flocks of BONAPARTE'S GULLS passing by the point. Over 225 were recorded for the waterbird count but numerous flocks kept on flying by later in the afternoon.
Without a doubt, the excitement around Whitefish Point today was a well-studied and photographed CAVE SWALLOW! It was seen sporadically through 3 pm and no sightings have come since then. If looking for this bird, be cautious as CLIFF SWALLOWS were also seen and photographed. Pictures taken by Chris Neri of the Cave Swallow can be seen on the sightings blog at http://wpbosightings.blogspot.com/.
Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included BOHEMIAN WAXWING (1), NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, TURKEY VULTURE, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, PILEATED WOODPECKER, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain is likely with a moderate west wind. Temperatures will be in the 40's and 50's. Dare I mention it... but snow is in the forecast for later this coming week!