Sunday, September 7, 2014

Whitefish Point Waterbird Count

A sunrise over Whitefish Point.
Since my last post, there have been some ups and downs for the waterbird count.  My best Red-necked Grebe day occurred but there were also a couple days with only a handful of birds.  August 31st was exceptionally productive.  Passerine numbers have significantly increased through September, with many coming in off the lake during the first couple hours of some mornings.

A small portion of a flock of Common Terns
As I said, August 31st was a great day to be at Whitefish Point.  Over 2500 Red-necked Grebes were counted during the 8 hour count alone.  It was also a great day for jaegers; 6 total with 1 each of Long-tailed and Parasitic.  The other 4 jaegers being too distant to identify to species.  It also turned out to be a great day for shorebirds.  The highlights were Whimbrel (9) and Buff-breasted Sandpiper (2).

This is the usual bad looks you get at jaegers. This bird was a Parasitic but
you can't tell from this photo.

A Red Knot in flight.
Other recent highlights have been a single Hudsonian Godwit and a significant increase in dabbling duck numbers.  The dabbling duck provide much more of a challenge than the endless flocks of Red-necked Grebes.  Both the identification and counting is more difficult with mixed dabbler flocks.

A first year Whimbrel that has spent a few days at the point.

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