Thursday, October 28, 2010

A little bit windy

flock of American Avocets on the 28th
Well that was quite a storm!  The highest wind I personally dealt with while counting was about 55 MPH though I heard that there were speeds of 63 MPH recorded at the point so either those were during the night or I am a poor judge of wind speed, either way it was strong.  With that said the power is still out at the point and I am currently in Paradise as tonight's temps were just gonna be a little too cold to stay in the house with no heat.  Because I haven't been able to post for quite some time now I'm not going to go over everything that has happened since the 23rd but I'll just give some highlights from each day.

October 24th:

My day off, there was a decent Long-tailed Duck flight, another Harlequin Duck, 6 more Trumpeter/Tundra Swans, and a good count of 161 Green-winged Teal to top it off.

October 25th:

A good duck flight despite the poor wind conditions with a solid 500+ Red-breasted Mergansers and the best scoter numbers in awhile with 17 Surfs, 175 White-wingeds, and 23 Blacks.  Very little else was willing to fly into the wind though.

October 26th:

A pretty poor day overall but what can you expect with 30-45 MPH winds out of the SE (i.e. the direction the birds were trying to fly).  A few Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, and Red-breasted Mergansers still managed to fly south and the first Great Black-backed Gull of the season was an adult bird that flew west with the winds during the afternoon.

October 27th:

A pretty unique day overall, winds from the SSW/SW sustained at more than 30 MPH with gusts into the 50s and perhaps 60s along with the usual rain, etc...  The best birds were an American Coot (only a handful of previous records from the point) and a Franklin's Gull which were both present for only a limited time during the morning and afternoon respectively.  Also of note were the first Killdeer and Lesser Yellowlegs since mid-September along with 42 Blue-winged Teal which had not been seen in any numbers since early-mid September.  Other gulls seen among the Herrings and Ring-billeds which were sheltering on the point throughout the day included a juvenile Thayer's and 2 different juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls.  The only ducks willing to fly in any numbers were Long-taileds with 573 recorded but only about 100 other ducks seen in total.

October 28th:

Today was a bit more tame than the 27th both on the bird and weather fronts.  The clear highlight of the day was a flock of 8 American Avocets which flew by late morning, briefly setting down on the point before heading on south along the shoreline.  This represents only the 2nd or 3rd point record and highest total ever recorded here.  Other birds were similar to recent days with a good count of 22 Black Scoters, a new daily high count of 106 Buffleheads, a mini-resurgence in Common Loon and Red-necked Grebe numbers after a very poor showing the past few days to 38 and 35 respectively, and another (or continuing?) juvenile Great Black-backed Gull roosting on the point.

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