Saturday, October 23, 2010

10/22 and 10/23

juvenile Northern Goshawk
Today was almost pleasant on the point with mild temps (32-50 degrees), no precipitation, and lighter wind although its direction (ENE/E/ESE) left something to be desired while yesterday was unexpectedly unpleasant with rain for nearly 4 hours during the late morning and early afternoon to go with moderate SW wind and temperatures that never reached 40 degrees.

The waterfowl highlights of the past two days both came today with a family of 4 Tundra Swans that made a close fly-over of the shack late this morning and a Harlequin Duck which passed by with a flock of White-winged Scoters during the last hour of the count.  The first Long-tailed Duck push of the season continued yesterday with 2906 counted while the number dropped off considerably today into the 600-700 range.  A few Mallards and American Black Ducks continue to pass each day with small numbers of Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal also noted while the Aythya numbers continue to be low with about 100 total birds yesterday including 15 Redheads and only 12 total birds today.  Scoter numbers are holding firm in the low-moderate range with 4 Blacks seen yesterday but none located during today's count.  Rounding out the ducks currently being seen are consistent numbers of Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes with daily averages around 25 and 60 respectively and moderate numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers with daily counts of 371 and 302 over the past two days.  Loon and grebe numbers are almost mirror images of each other with Common Loon and Red-necked Grebe both averaging about 30 per day while just a couple Red-throated Loons and Horneds Grebes are being seen daily. 

The Sabine's Gull show continued yesterday with a bird that hung out around the point for much of the day and a second bird which was seen intermittently to the west of the point as it would feed on the lake before moving back towards the west and out of sight, however with a the change in weather overnight there were no Sabine's seen today after 10 consecutive days of sightings dating back to the 13th.  For the first time in almost a week there were sandpipers on the point yesterday and today with a pair of Sanderlings among the roosting gulls at the tip.

Meat-eating birds continued to make their share of appearances over the past two days with a few Rough-leggeds Hawks and a single Short-eared Owl noted flying in off the lake while small numbers of Bald Eagles, Northern Goshawks, Red-tailed Hawks, and Merlins are seen on the point.  Overall bird numbers remain low on the point though an increase in Pine Siskins and a recently arrived Northern Shrike were noted today along with continuing Brown Thrasher, Indigo Bunting, and Evening Grosbeaks.

1 comment:

markieo said...

I would so love to be there Tuesday and Wednesday. Hold on to your hat matey and wear those long johns.