Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009- Sabine's Gull & Scaup movement

It's hard for any day to follow up the kind of amazing day that yesterday was but today didn't do that poorly of a job. Skies were mostly sunny, temps were in the upper 40's, and winds were moderate out of the North.

Waterfowl: There was a huge movement of scaup today. The combined totals of scaup and other aythya species (Redhead and Ring-necked) was about 5000 birds!!! Birds were moving by at an incredibly fast pace in the morning when each of the first three hours recorded more than 1000 individuals. Scoters had a good day as well with 148 White-winged, 16 Surf, and 2 Black. Dabblers weren't nearly as plentiful as yesterday but Wigeon (39), Mallard (15), and Green-winged Teal (33) put in decent showings. Loons and grebes moved by in decent numbers as well with 130 Red-necked and 37 Horned Grebes and 89 Common and 9 Red-throated Loons.

Gulls/Terns: The highlight of the day was a juvenile SABINE'S GULL that flew by during the 5th hour. The bird didn't stick around but flew by slowly for a nice and not-too-distant look for the lucky birders who were present at the waterbird shack at the time.

Shorebirds: A Golden Plover and Black-bellied Plover stopped by briefly.

Other: Red Crossbills were seen occasionally and the Merlin made mincemeat of another Downy Woodpecker that made an ill-advised flight towards the tip of the point.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the birders who were present today for helping me spot flocks of scaup and other migrating waterfowl this morning-- especially Chris Neri, Skye Haas, Darleen Friedman, Jeff McCoy, John Cassady, and Ken Mettie Jr (I'm sure I'm missing a few others). Without your help, a lot of birds would have slipped by without being counted or ID'd.

Tom Prestby
Waterbird Counter

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