Highlights: SNOW GOOSE (38), SHORT-EARED OWL (1), BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (1)
WEATHER: Skies were cloudy, temperatures were comfortable (8-11 Celsius), and winds were moderate out of the west. Visibility was great since the temperature wasn't too chilly.
OVERALL MOVEMENT: It was a little surprising that the winds out of the west-northwest didn't push more birds past the point today. The total number birds today couldn't be more than 4o0! The first several hours were the most active but by the end of the count, birds were very far and few between. No species was seen every hour but Red-breasted Merganser and Long-tailed Duck came the closest (seen 7 of the 8 hours). The most numerous species was Red-breasted Merganser with almost 160 seen.
DUCKS & GEESE: A first for the fall, a flock of SNOW GEESE was seen during the first hour. The flock consisted of 37 "blue-morph" birds and 1 "white-morph" bird. A few dabbler species were seen today: AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. No Aythya species were counted today. Scoter numbers were very low with only 10 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 4 SURF SCOTERS. Over 120 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, over 35 COMMON GOLDENEYES, and a couple BUFFLEHEAD were also seen. Both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were counted.
LOONS & GREBES: Loon numbers were very low; less than 10 COMMON LOONS were seen while no Red-throated Loons were tallied. Almost 20 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by. Horned Grebe was not seen today.
SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.
During the first hour, a familiar silhouette was see flying in off the lake. (Consider this a quiz!) See photo below.
The bird, a SHORT-EARED OWL, swooped in behind the shack and perched in a Jack Pine. See photo below.
Our local NORTHERN SHRIKE put on a quick show when it decided to try to chase down a DOWNY WOODPECKER. This isn't the first time the shrike has tried to pull this shenanigan! In the long run, the woodpecker was able to out-maneuver the shrike. See the "high-quality" and "crisp" photo below of the chase!
Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (1 fly-by), NORTHERN GOSHAWK, BALD EAGLE, SNOW BUNTING, and COMMON REDPOLL.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Mostly sunny, a breezy south wind, and a high of 58 F.