Friday, April 16, 2010

15th & 16th April

Well i finally arrived after a long journey!
Nice to meet the rest of the WPBO team and some of the Board - thanks to Jerry for picking me up in Newberry at 6.15 a.m!
The weather started out warm and sunny and it was great to see a good hawk passage on Tuesday, especially so many Kestrels. An Eastern Phoebe was seen twice by the road, on Wednesday there was an excellent number of Flickers, some Lapland Longspurs, and a pair of Blue Winged Teal on a forest pool plus some Ring Necked Ducks and a Tree Swallow.
Yesterday was the first day of the Count, and with the wind switching from the West to the East, it was "in at the deep end"! A good passage of waterbirds at first light tailed off after a couple of hours but produced the following:

Canada Goose 3
Mallard 8
Pintail 4
Green Winged Teal 30
Greater Scaup 17
Scaup sp 3
LT Duck 31
Bufflehead 37
Goldeneye 12
Common Merg 7
R B Merg 7
Common Loon 7
Horned Grebe 1
R N Grebe 27
Sandhill Crane 364
Killdeer 1
Boney's 1
Tundra Swan 1

Today the wind had switched to the west again and passage was much lighter. Three Bald Eagles showed well for me and Tom and it was really nice to see a male Merlin on the Point most of the day, and a steady stream of Harriers continued to head out over the waves just like yesterday - really impressive stuff, they just aren't fazed by the strong winds, big waves and not being able to see the other side!

Canada Goose 22
G W Teal 8
Scaup sp 1
L T Duck 9
Bufflehead 7
Goldeneye 1
Common Merg 2
Common Loon 3
Horned Grebe 4
R N Grebe 12
Sandhill Crane 250
R B Gull 1

Most of the birds were in the first couple of hours, except the Cranes and even they stopped flying as the wind really picked up towards the end. There were more waterbirds sheltering on the lake than yesterday including a lovely pair of Bufflehead (rather small and cute), 4 summer plumaged Horned Grebes, several summer plumaged R N Grebes and a sum plum Common Loon. Overhead a Snow Bunting called and showed its diagnostic wingbars. A female Chaffinch was behind the Gift Shop and on the way home a female Hooded Merganser showed well in the harbour.
Will be interesting to see what the NWerly gales and snow bring tomorrow...Snowy Owl perhaps?

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