Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1 Good, 7 Slow Hours

Today got off to a fast start with an excellent first hour. Things really fizzled however, and only a few waterfowl trickled through the last 7 hours of the count.

Weather: Partly cloudy, temperatures into the mid 50s. Wind from the SE 15-25 mph with occasional stronger gusts. The birds really seemed to be struggling with the wind today.

Waterbird Count: 162 RB mergansers (99 in the 1st hour), 24 WW scoters, 14 common loons, 7 LT ducks, 5 scoter sp, 3 double crested cormorants, 2 RN grebes, 1 sandhill crane. The sandhill actually landed on the beach, which was a first for me despite all the individuals that have been counted migrating. I've seen sandhills abandon migration attempts with the lightest of E or SE winds, so I was surprised to see one even try today with the powerful gusts.

Shorebirds: 2 of the piping plovers were spotted today. Also 1 killdeer and 2 semipalmated plovers.

Other Sightings: Not too much. A few bobolinks, 1 male lapland longspur, and 44 american pipits. I estimated todays blue jay flock was about 130. There was a kestrel and a few sharpies battling the wind all day. They would try to fly against it, and essentially end up flying in place, as if they were on a treadmill. It was quite a funny scene.

Forecast for tomorrow is for another windy one. Partly cloudy, temperatures into the high 40s, and winds from the W at 15-25 mph. The RB merganser push seems to have started and we should be due for a lot more. Other species due for larger in numbers in mid-may are scoters and LT ducks. Unfortunatly the loons seem to have peaked, but there is always the possibility they could have another big flight before the end of the month. I'd really like for these winds to calm down just a bit, both for my own personal comfort and for the sake of waterfowl migration.

Andy N
Waterbird Counter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I guess loons are a pretty regular occurance there, but I have had a common loon on our small less than a quarter acre pond now for about a week. I live in Ball Ground Georgia- Wendy