Thursday, September 16, 2010

The start of a new season


Today signaled the beginning to the high season with poor weather dominating and yet birds still passed by in moderate numbers. The day was nothing but E, ENE, and NE winds (once again the rain passed around the point) but despite that there was still some duck, loon, and grebe movement past the point throughout the day, it was a sight for sore eyes.

The majority of birds on the move today were the 380 Canada Geese which flew by before noon, a distant second were Red-necked Grebes with 49, and third was grabbed by Common Loon with 42. Overall duck numbers were not exceptional but diversity was good with 2 American Black Ducks, 12 Green-winged Teal, and 11 Northern Shovelers leading the dabbler pack while 9 Redheads, 9 Greater Scaup, 12 Surf Scoters, and 9 White-winged Scoters headlined the divers. Other grebe and loon movement was moderate with 12 Horned Grebes noted this morning and 13 Red-throated Loons passing by in the afternoon.

A Ruddy Turnstone and 2 Baird's Sandpipers joined the 28 Sanderlings on the point this morning while an unknown Phalarope flew over the point from south to north, but was lost almost immediately when it dropped into the waves along the lake shore. Another jaeger passed by off the point, an unidentified light-morph adult, and small numbers of Bonaparte's Gulls and Common Terns continued to be seen feeding in the rip current off the point's tip.

No new landbirds were noted today but overall warbler numbers were better with increased numbers of Orange-crowned, Black-and-white, Northern Parula, and Nashvilles while several of each Philadelphia and Red-eyed Vireos were seen. Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, and White-throated Sparrow continue to make up the majority of the passerine flocks that are now being hunted by a juvenile Northern Goshawk as well as the resident Merlin.

1 comment:

The Owl Ranch said...

Hi Scott,

As always, it is interesting to note the similarities and differences in waterbird migration along Lake Superior. A buddy & I spent 5 hours looking at the lake north of Marquette and had a massive goose flight with at least 1581 Cananda's & 3 Cacklers going by. Our next most common species was Common Loon with 41 birds. We were pleased to have 2 Jaegers (1 Parasitic, 1 unkwn.) and a Sabine's as well.