Highlights: BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (1), HOODED MERGANSER (3), HOARY REDPOLL (2, at feeders), PRAIRIE WARBLER (1, inland)
WEATHER: Skies were cloudy, temperatures were cool (5-7 Celsius), and winds were light out of the NW. Visibility wasn't hampered by fog or rain but instead by the cooler temperatures over the warmer water. A couple snow pellets (also known as "graupel") were seen for a minute or two this morning but it never really snowed or rained heavily.
OVERALL MOVEMENT: Considering the winds were out of the NW, the movement today was minimal. For the first several hours, every flock of Long-tailed Ducks were actually heading north. It's not uncommon to see a flock heading north but the ducks were numbering in the hundreds and I never saw any of them turn around! Odd. No species was seen every hour but Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck came the closest (seen 7 of the 8 hours). The most numerous species was Red-breasted Merganser with almost 80 seen.
DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabbler seen was a single GREEN-WINGED TEAL while less than 30 Aythya were counted today. Scoter numbers were low with only 13 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 2 SURF SCOTERS, and 6 BLACK SCOTERS. Over 70 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, over 60 COMMON GOLDENEYES, and 10+ BUFFLEHEADS were also seen. All three Merganser species were counted: RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (75+), COMMON MERGANSER (9), and HOODED MERGANSER (3).
LOONS & GREBES: Loon numbers continue to drop; less than 10 COMMON LOONS were seen while no Red-throated Loons were tallied. Almost 40 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to a couple HORNED GREBES.
SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.
GULLS: A juvenile BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was found at 12:02 pm at the point. It was first seen swimming in a puddle out at the point before it lifted up and eventually disappeared out to the southeast. This is the first juvenile kittiwake of the season and our second kittiwake overall.
Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included some vocal NORTHERN SHRIKES (2), SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, and COMMON REDPOLL.
Two HOARY REDPOLLS have been seen at the gift shop feeders. A PRAIRIE WARBLER was seen inland as well. Check out the WPBO Sightings blog for more details.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Cloudy with a moderate wind out of the west. Forecasted high of 53 F.