Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Long-tailed season begins

juvenile Sabine's Gull
Today's weather has taken the top spot in the "I wish I was somewhere else" category with temperatures that fluctuated between 30 and 35 degrees all day with wind gusting up to 35 MPH and just as icing on the cake we had rain, freezing rain, sleet, dry snow, and wet snow come through in waves throughout the day, FUN!!!

Overall waterbird movement was good, however about 75% of that was Long-tailed Ducks which had their first good movement day with 1498 recorded.  A few dabblers were again seen with small numbers of Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, and Green-winged Teal noted along with a pair of Canada Geese that flew in during the morning.  Other diving ducks seen included the highest counts yet of Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye with 72 and 66 respectively, a similar number of scoters to recent days with 7 Surfs, 28 White-wingeds, and 9 Blacks, a small increase in Aythya ducks over recent days, and another decent merganser day.  Loon numbers held firm with 26 Common and 1 Red-throated seen while Red-necked Grebes were down a bit to 22 with no Horneds observed for the first time in quite awhile.

The Sabine's Gull show continues (though only for a few privileged individuals it seems) with a single bird noted in the early morning and then up to 2 birds that were seen at the point's tip for most of the afternoon from 12:30 until the count ended around 4.  The birds this afternoon were actually the most cooperative yet with most of their time spent within 100 yards of the point.

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