Saturday, May 8, 2010

Where have all the birds gone?

Well we're having a spot of weather up here at the moment. Even seasoned UPers tell me that it's exceptional. Strong northerlies and snow have put paid to migration; Common Loons are the benchmark species, and were very few today; yesterday "just" a hundred or so. As you may have read last night, i saw 3 Piping Plovers in the same scope view on the beach yesterday, what looked like a pair and a single. I've reloaded that post as i was hoping to add a nice photo which Jason's promised to let me use - if we can figure out the technology! One bird appeared to be display flighting at one point. However today there was no sign, although in the arctic conditions i'm really not surprised. I'm sure they're just a little further south on a slightly less exposed section of beach, feeding away and waiting for the winds to change again. Hopefully they'll return in the next couple of days. Can i politely ask all folks to keep a good distance from these nationally endangered birds and allow them to raise a family, thanks. I've been a bit unwell the last couple of days and have appreciated having Jason and Chris to step in where necessary, though i don't appear to have missed a great deal. Apart from the Glaucous Gull i mentioned last night which i saw landing at the tip (a 2nd winter/summer - "blotchy" plumage and pale eye - according to a young chap from SW Michigan who got nice and close to it), 3 Bonaparte's were attempting to ride out the storm in the slightly calmer waters in the lee of the point. Of note was the good number of Red Breasted Mergansers again two days ago - 236, this being my highest count so far.
Apparently my birding friends back home are having exactly the same experience as us - north winds and zero migration. The weather forecast for here is looking similar for the next couple of days before winds swing round to the east, hopefully releasing the floodgates and allowing a tidal wave of migrants to pour through.
That's the theory anyway....


Anonymous said...

glad to hear the Piping Plovers have turned up, ofcourse just a few days after my brother and I left. we also saw the Glaucous Gull a nice treat considering how few ducks and shore birds there have been. hopefully it warms up soon and the birds show up.


WPBO said...

Hi, glad that you caught up with the Glaucous, smart birds. Another PP today, in fact a different bird altogether - more details on the blog.