Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009: Big Blue-winged Teal push

It was an absolutely gorgeous day with sunny skies, temp around 65, and a gentle breeze out of the NW. The light NW winds yielded the best waterbird flight so far of the year (for variety).

Waterfowl: The highlight was the number of Blue-winged Teal. 226 were counted which almost triples the high count from last fall. Most of these birds were represented by 3 large flocks-- including one of 90 birds. Other dabblers included 29 Green-winged Teal, 17 American Wigeon, and several Gadwall, Mallard, and American Black Duck. Divers put in a decent showing as well with 427 Red-necked Grebes, 6 Horned Grebes, 20 Common Loons, 17 Scaup, and a couple White-winged Scoters, dark-winged scoters, and Bufflehead.

Gulls/Terns: An impressive 65 Common Terns were totaled with about 40 in one group.

Shorebirds: Very few (because of the presence of a Peregrine) including another Whimbrel which stopped by early to bathe and preen for about 15 minutes before moving on. It is turning out to be quite a good fall for Whimbrels here.

Other: The Peregrine and Merlin put on a hunting clinic picking tired passerines off the lake and the Goshawk gave a nice low flyover. A tired Blackpoll Warbler flew in off the bay and rested on the beach and luckily escaped the detection of either of the falcons. Both Red and White-winged Crossbills were heard and seen flying over.

Tom Prestby
Waterbird Counter

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