Highlights: PACIFIC LOON (1), JAEGER SP. (1)
WEATHER: The day started out really pleasant: the skies were cloudless, the visibility was great, and the temperatures ranged from 10-17 Celsius. However, the last hour of the count was totally different! A huge front came through bringing rain, rougher "seas", very dark clouds, and the temperature plummeted back to 10 Celsius.
DUCKS & GEESE: On average, I would say the movement today was a little slow. Over 200 CANADA GEESE were counted through most of the day but no Cackling Geese were found. Some of the other species tallied included AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL (30+). Aythya were not very common today, just 4 scaup passed by. Ten SURF SCOTERS and almost 70 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS passed by in addition to 45+ RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and nearly 30 LONG-TAILED DUCKS.
LOONS & GREBES: A gorgeous, alternate plumaged PACIFIC LOON, our 3rd of the season, passed along the beach during the 5th count. What a look! Every intricate detail stood out as it passed by in great light. Besides the bright gray neck/nape, one could even see the flared neck shape that Pacific's have. Otherwise, over 50 COMMON LOONS and a couple RED-THROATED LOONS were also tallied. Less than 20 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted along with 4 HORNED GREBES.
CRANES: It was an interesting couple hours mid-day when the SANDHILL CRANES started passing over. In a matter of just an hour and a half, several flocks passed over totally over 220 cranes.
SHOREBIRDS: Five species were tallied including BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SANDERLNG (15), and DUNLIN.
JAEGERS: Our 37th jaeger of the season passed by early this morning. Unlike the two yesterday, this bird stayed very distant and was left as a "jaeger species". It harassed a gull fiercely though and was rewarded with an early morning meal. Unlike the jaegers from yesterday, this bird was probably a young bird. I know there has been some questioning as to the number of jaegers here at Whitefish Point. I can assure you that we are very careful in all identifications and are making sure to the best of our ability that we do not recount jaegers.
RAPTORS: The clear skies brought better numbers of raptors by the point today. We had several different PEREGRINE FALCONS in addition to MERLIN, AMERICAN KESTREL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, and RED-TAILED HAWKS.
Some of the other birds seen from the point today included YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, CROSSBILL SPECIES, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, and HAIRY WOODPECKER along with the usual HORNED LARKS, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and AMERICAN PIPITS.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for rain showers and north winds 5-15 mph.
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