Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 27, 2009- Jaeger & Brewer's Blackbird

Change is in the air with overcast skies and a stronger wind out of the south today. Birds were moving well before a major front and weather system hits tonight.

Waterfowl: A very good day all around which started slow but picked up towards mid-morning. Dabblers had a great day with 117 Mallard and 110 Wigeon. Others were 10 Pintail, 5 Gadwall, a drake Wood Duck, and a few of each species of teal. Aythya had a good day as well with 107 Greater Scaup, 27 Lesser Scaup, and 85 Redhead. Some other highlights were 10 Long-tailed Duck, 57 Red-breasted Mergansers, 15 Red-throated Loons and 33 Commons, and 11 Horned Grebe and 44 Red-necked.

Gulls/Terns/Jaegers: A juvenile jaeger came in off the bay during the second hour. It milled around the tip for around 10 minutes and assaulted a Ring-billed Gull but I never was able to ID the bird because it was always in harsh sunlight and the only field mark I could see was a white wingflash on an otherwise dark jaeger. Also, 13 distant terns flew by that were likely Commons.

Shorebirds: Brutal. 2 Golden Plovers and 3 Sanderlings.

Other: A few highlights at the shack were a flyover Osprey, a few Sharp-shinned Hawks migrating in off the lake, and a kingfisher. The highlight though was a female Brewer's Blackbird near the parking lot that I found when I returned to the car after the count. Brewer's are a fairly uncommon bird at the point and this may be a first September record for the species.

Tomorrow will be my first experience of true Lake Superior fall weather-- the forecast calls for NW winds up to 50mph and a driving rain.
Tom Prestby
Waterbird Counter

1 comment:

Cory J. Gregory said...

In all honesty, having ANY shorebirds is a treat. "Brutal" will come in November...