Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Same old, same old

For the past few days a big ball of high pressure has been sitting around the Great Lakes which has meant a little bit of "Groundhog Day" syndrome for me up here.  Each day I know exactly what to expect, cool and clear mornings with light bird movement and a late morning warm-up into the high 50s/low 60s with almost no birds and lots of sun.  Its a great recipe for a lengthy afternoon nap, unfortunately for me that's a luxury which I am not afforded.  It sounds crazy but I'm really hoping for some clouds and colder temperatures, at least then I wouldn't be so tempted to close my eyes and go someplace a little more exotic.

Duck numbers remained steadily unimpressive with the big pushes typical for this time of year still not happening due to the current weather patterns.  The most common species however have been right on target with scoters (mostly White-winged), scaup (mostly Greater), and Red-breasted Mergansers leading the daily tallies since Sunday.  Smaller numbers of dabbling ducks continue to pass by with Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, and Mallard leading that group and a scattering of other Aythya ducks as well as a few other scoters and the occasional Long-tailed Duck add to the diver numbers.  Loon and grebe numbers have been steady with 20ish Common and a couple Red-throateds seen daily while around 50 or so Red-neckeds have been joined by 10+ Horneds to start the week.

A first of the year showed up on the 4th while a nearly forgotten friend made an appearance this morning. Yesterday was the grand arrival of the fall's Dunlin season when a single bird flew past the point during the afternoon as well as a Sandhill Crane.  Today marked the first jaeger of October when an unidentified bird was noted multiple times during mid-morning.  Few other birds have been around of late with a single American Golden-Plover still hanging around been the most notable.

Landbird numbers have held steady in much the same way as the waterbird numbers with the same grouping of birds still about but with few arrivals or departures.  Of note today was a strong showing by Red-tailed Hawks when at least 15-20 birds used the warmer temperatures to their advantage as they kettled and moved SE along the lake shore during the early afternoon.  Passerines have remained consistent with sparrows and chickadees still being the dominant forest birds while a few other late migrants join them each day.  The most unusual bird for the point seen recently was, drum roll please, a female House Sparrow which was present around the bird feeders yesterday afternoon.  If that doesn't get you out here in a hurry I am at a loss as to what will.

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