Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Whitefish Point, MI Update

Eric writes: The following is a cross-post from the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Waterbird Blog.  I won't post many of these here on NuttyBirder but, if you like, you can follow along on the Waterbird Blog.

Very light N winds made for a calm day at the point.  This also made for good mosquito conditions; they were even out at the shack for a couple hours.  The flight was slow but somewhat steady.  Luckily, the best shorebird diversity of the season occured today; 14 species were observed.

Common Loon-easy to identify in this view, but notice the large feet, beer belly, and peaked head that will help you identify this bird at a distance
Here's the rundown:
Five duck species were recorded, all in relatively low numbers.  Mallard (7), Blue-winged Teal (24), White-winged Scoter (3, first of the season), Hooded Merganser (1), and Red-breasted Merganser (1).

Loons and grebes both moved by steadily today.  Red-throated (1) and Common (38) Loons as well as Red-necked (219) and Horned (1) Grebes were counted.

The shorebirds were definitely the highlight of the day.  New species for the season included Greater Yellowlegs (1), Ruddy Turnstone (1), Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1), and Stilt Sandpiper (1).  Piping Plovers and Baird's Sandpiper are still daily at the point.

Common Terns (161) moved by in small flocks throughout the count, mostly in flocks of 10-30.

We're heading into at least a few days of south winds so we may have to wait a while for another flight.  Even with S winds you never know what may show up.  

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