Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Good Shorebirds

Today provided the best numbers and diversity for shorebirds, as well as some sparks of life from the ducks. Still nothing close to the past numbers around this time but a whole lot better than the last 5 days.

Weather: Rain in the morning, then mostly cloudy. Chilly, with temperatures only into the low 40s, and a N/NW wind 5-10 mph.

Waterbird Count: 98 Red-breasted Mergansers, 89 White-winged Scoters, 21 Common Loons, 10 Surf Scoters. Best duck for the day was an American Black Duck, which flew in from the north and rested on the point for a little while.

Shorebirds: 35 Dunlin, 10 Semipalmated Plovers, 8 Whimbrel, 6 Black-bellied Plovers, 4 Killdeer, 3 Piping Plovers, 2 Sanderlings, 2 Least Sandpipers, 2 Hudsonian Godwits. The tip was quite literally crawling with birds when I first arrived, a very welcomed sight. Most of the species could still be seen by the end of the count. The Hudsonian Godwits are especially good birds for the spring.

Other Sightings: 2 Peregrine Falcons were patrolling the beach for a good chunk of the day. This didn't seem to phase the shorebirds, and the falcons never did go after them. Also 2 Bald Eagles (1 adult, 1 immature), a male Lapland Longspur in near full breeding plumage, and several Horned Larks.

Forecast for tomorrow is for possible rain (30% chance) and thunderstorms in the morning, followed by partly cloudy skies. Temperatures up to 70 (<--not a typo) and winds SSW at 20 to 30 mph. I'd love to see the wind chill out a bit, but today was just enough to keep my hopes up about the scoters and mergansers.

Andy N
Waterbird Counter

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