Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Increased diversity

As has been the case in recent days the weather was mediocre for bird flight and so the past two days have been average with good diversity but only small numbers of individual species.  Yesterday's wind was moderate to strong from the N/NW and today was light turning strong from the S/SW, not anything to hinder migration but nothing to really get it going either.  Tomorrow and Friday are forecast to be strong from the W/NW with sporadic rain which seems like a recipe for a good flight along the lake.

The past two days have had good waterfowl diversity with 18 species of ducks seen (and Canada Goose) including all three scoters and an increased number of scaups of both species.  No species have been present in exceptional numbers but there have been small mixed flocks regularly passing the point into the early afternoon as of late.  Loon numbers have remained in the same pattern with Common Loon counts in the high-20s both days and a combined 11 Red-throateds with most of those coming today.  Horned Grebes have increased in numbers with day counts of 18 and 11 while Red-neckeds remain in the 50-100 per day range.

For the first time in awhile I did not see a jaeger today though yesterday was more "typical" of this year with the continuing juvenile Parasitic and one unidentified bird out on the lake during the morning.  Shorebird numbers were no better with a few American Golden-Plovers around the point both days and a trio of juvenile Sanderlings still patrolling the shoreline.  Yesterday a migrant Greater Yellowlegs made a brief flyover and an unidentified phalarope was seen momentarily as it worked the breakers off shore before disappearing as quickly as it appeared.

A resurgence in raptor numbers the past few days has led to more action on that front lately with Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Merlin, and Peregrine Falcon all hunting the point at various, and sometimes overlapping, times.  In the prey category sparrows have made their grand arrival with large numbers and good variety present in the woods while a few warblers (mostly Yellow-rumpeds) and thrushes are still hanging on for good measure.

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