Thursday, May 14, 2009


4th snowy owl of the season on North Shore Rd.

Powerful west winds (average of about 20 mph, gusts much faster) seemed to suppress any waterbird migration today. Very little in the sky on the point, though the birding elsewhere was quite good.

Weather: Windy, rainy, and at times foggy. Temperatures fluctuated from high to low 40s, strong W wind, and heavy fog the first 30 minutes of the count. Things cleared up by the end of the day.

Waterbird Count: 17 common loons, 11 RB mergansers, 5 sandhill cranes, 2 WW scoters, 1 gadwall.

Shorebirds: 3 dunlins, 3 semipalmated plovers, 1 spotted sandpiper, killdeer.

Terns: 1 Caspian

Other Sightings: It was a good warbler day from what I heard. John had around 12 species from the platform and in the net lanes. Being on the beach all day I didn't see as much, but I did stop by the feeders once or twice. There were a plethora of white crowned sparrows, a scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, savanna sparrow, and a cape may warbler. There was a merlin on the beach all day hunting quite aggressively, and snatched a few song birds out of the air.

We also had our 4th snowy owl of the spring, this was in plain view on North Shore road. It could be seen from the road but wasn't there last I checked around 7pm. A strange place and a strange time for a snowy sighting. It's pictured above, far from a good shot but you can see how much it stood out from the road.

Forecast for tomorrow is a little bit better. Warmer, with temperatures into the high 50s, and a 0 % chance of rain. Winds SE 10-20 mph.

These 15 straight extremely slow hours, along with a smattering of slow days in May, are slowly chipping away at my eternal optimism about the season picking up. But I'm still semi-hopeful and on paper tomorrow is offering good conditions. Will the waterbirds accept? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

Andy N
Waterbird Counter

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