Saturday, October 2, 2010

Start of October

October began yesterday with light to moderate NW winds and continued today with strong N winds and a few spits of frozen precipitation from the sky.  The afternoons continue to be fairly nice with sunny skies helping to thaw out frozen extremities after morning temperatures that are hovering just above freezing.  Tomorrow is predicted to be as cold but with less wind which should make for a more enjoyable experience to those braving the point in the morning.

Diversity continues to be pretty good with yesterday and today showcasing a different group each day.  Yesterday was by far the year's best loon showing with 218 Commons (though only 8 Red-throateds) with a slight continuation of the previous day's grebe show.  Today saw many fewer loons (27 Commons and 3 Red-throateds) but more ducks with scoters (151 White-wingeds, 95 Surfs, and 2 Blacks) leading the way.  Both days have continued to see small numbers of dabblers, mainly American Wigeon and Green-winged Teal, with ever increasing numbers of Aythya ducks which are still mostly Greater Scaup but include a smattering of other species/unidentified birds.  Today was the biggest Long-tailed Duck day to date with 16 while Red-breasted Mergansers continue to pass by in small numbers each day.

Shorebirds have been almost non-existent the past couple days with daily counts of 2 and 6 Sanderlings while yesterday also had 2 American Golden-Plovers and a fly-by Wilson's Snipe.  The most notable bird yesterday was a juvenile Sabine's Gull which worked along the point's shoreline from east to west in the early afternoon.

Strong winds continue to hamper birding in the woods but the suite of cold weather birds (minus the finches and a few later migrants) typical for this time of year are building in numbers each day.  Sparrows continue in the largest numbers with an American Tree Sparrow arriving yesterday along with increasing numbers of Fox Sparrows.  Warblers on the other hand are in ever decreasing numbers with only a handful of Yellow-rumpeds and Palms seen of late.  A Northern Goshawk and a Merlin continue to hunt the flocks of larks, longspurs, and pipits on the point each day.

No comments: