With the temp hovering around 4 deg C and a strong N wind, the windchill was off the scale and the only thing that kept me alive was the great movement of loons - over 300 of them! And as local birder Ken predicted yesterday, passage peaked in the second hour after sun up. At that stage winds were light but they quickly picked up and the loon flight stopped almost completely. Interestingly the vast majority today were quite low over the lake, mostly out beyond the Point, presumably due to the less sunny, cooler, windier weather with fewer taking the "short cut" across over the harbour. Otherwise hardly any other birds moving yet other than the regular trickle of R N Grebe. A few Sandhills came out over the Point and made a half hearted attempt to cross before wisely turning back in the strong wind. Cranes seem to be almost as hesitant as chickadees! Amazing to think up to 23 April last year there had been only 40 Common Loons but over 3000 cranes! Just goes to show the unpredictability of the natural world; who knows how many factors are involved in determining bird numbers - not just weather but weather the previous breeding season, predation of chicks, lemming populations, food abundance in the wintering grounds... a tangled web indeed.
Common Loon 272
R T Loon 47
R N Grebe 44
Yesterday evening after dinner i went for another walk down the top secret trail where i had the Spruce Grouse, and got lucky with my target bird - a Ruffed Grouse gave great views and eventually dropped back down to the ground to continue feeding. Got photos if you don't believe me.