WEATHER: What a day! On the drive up to the point this morning, I had to stop and clear fallen trees! That was my first hint. The woods around me were just thrashing and my walk out to the shack was even a little eerie. The north winds out on the open beach were phenomenal, easily gusting over 50 mph. The storm surge had pushed water to within 30 meters of the shack whereas a normal day would be around 150 meters! Small pieces of driftwood were simply flying through the air. I wasn't worried about the shack blowing over or the windows collapsing inward, I was more worried about the size of the rocks that were air born and hitting the windows! Waves were between 15-20 feet high (see photo below). Temperatures ranged from 3-5 Celsius, skies remained cloudy, and visibility was decent (if it weren't for the water spray).
OVERALL MOVEMENT: The numbers today were definitely higher than the last several days, I imagine the gales out of the north really boosted their air speed!! Over 3000 migrants were seen total and two species were seen every hour: Long-tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with over 2600 counted.
DUCKS & GEESE: No dabblers were seen today. Scoter numbers were boosted a little; 40+ WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 3 BLACK SCOTERS were seen. Almost 400 COMMON GOLDENEYE, 10+ BUFFLEHEAD, and over 210 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen. Otherwise, LONG-TAILED DUCK (2600+) stole the show. Their numbers were fairly consistent throughout the day but with a little drop the last hour. Pictured below are 2 different male Long-tailed Ducks, the top photo being the typical winter plumage.
LOONS & GREBES: Five COMMON LOONS and 2 RED-THROATED LOONS were tallied in addition to 8 RED-NECKED GREBES.
RAPTORS: No raptors were seen today.
SHOREBIRDS: A lone, dark, small, mystery shorebird buzzed by in the 3rd hour.
The only non-waterbird species seen from the waterbird shack were SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, and COMMON REDPOLL.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Snow is likely along with a moderate north wind and temperatures in the 30's F.
Thanks for checking in and making sure I'm alive!