Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009- Incredible Day!!!!!

I can't even fit all of the highlights from today into the subject line! Highlights during the count were a SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, probable Boreal Owl, and Short-eared Owl and after the count were NORTHERN HAWK OWL and RED PHALAROPE.

It was mostly cloudy with winds out of the south at first shifting to the west. It was my day off so Chris did the counting which allowed me to casually bird the point for a change of speed.

Waterfowl: A very good mix of waterbirds went by today, especially dabblers. 187 Wigeon, 68 Gadwall, 35 Mallard and a few others. Scaup went by in ok numbers (about 250). Red-necked Grebes had another solid day with 201 seen but RB Mergansers (35) and White-winged Scoters (9) dropped off significantly from yesterday. However, 10 Surf Scoters and a Black were seen.

Shorebirds: None during the count but a very good one after the count. See below.

Other: The highlight of the count was a SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER that came in during mid-morning. The bird spent about an hour near the treeline until it moved on. A distant digiscoped picture is below-- see the sightings blog for much better pictures. A Short-eared Owl came in off the lake around the same time. In early afternoon we watched a medium-sized owl come out of the woods and fly north over the lake towards Canada. From what we were able to see, the best candidate for this bird was a Boreal Owl.

After the count: Many birders stayed out because of the excitement earlier in the day and were rewarded for doing so. Things started with a Short-eared Owl sitting at the end of the tip but this bird was soon forgotten about when a NORTHERN HAWK OWL was discovered on the merlin pole. It was enjoyed by many for about 10 minutes until it flew north over the lake. A picture of the Hawk-Owl is below. Just a little later Chris spotted a shorebird flying down the beach which looked like it landed near the tip. After some searching we found a phalarope a couple hundred yards away. Thankfully, it gradually worked its way closer and we were able to id the bird as a RED PHALAROPE!! See the sightings blog for an idable picture of this bird.

It was one of those legendary days that Whitefish Point is known for and a day that I'll never forget in my life.

Tom Prestby

1 comment:

Paul Schilke said...

Amazing! That's like a year's worth of rarities in a day. It's crazy how that place can produce good birds.