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Gusty southeast winds and a steady dumping of rain (and occasionally sleet) marked the start of WPBO's 2013 spring waterbird count. Leonard Graf and I made our way to the shack with expectations low, but hopes high, for some birds to be on the move-- and we would be in luck. A fair number of waterfowl pushed through the rough weather, with Common Goldeneye being particularly obvious during the first two hours.
Today brought some really phenomenal birding to the point amidst the rain, snow and other crud. An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was seen three times during the count, and gave it's distinctive call during the last hour and it's "semipalm" call during the first hour. Apparently this is the latest fall record for the point by 9 days. Pretty amazing, but I really feel bad for this bird who should be far, far away by now. That aside, two CAVE SWALLOWS spent some time about 40 feet directly above t
The last two days have helped to seal this season's fate as the second-highest waterbird season ever in terms of migrating individuals. We have surpassed 105,000 birds, and while it will not likely be the "birdiest" season of them all, it's been pretty darn cool. Today's interesting Bufflehead barrage was just what I needed. Today's forecasted southeast winds had me moping out to the shack fearing the worst. Yet as I approached, Dan Elliott was waving me in, saying I needed to see what was shaping up to be a phenomenal Bufflehead flight once the sun finally rose
Yesterday brought under 100 waterbirds total, yet another new low for the season. Most of these were Herring Gulls. I really can't say much about the flight, except that there wasn't one, and I witnessed only 32 ducks, mostly Long-tails. Some raptors seemed to enjoy the south wind though, with 4 species present: Northern Goshawk (1 Beautfiul adult), Red-tailed Hawk (1 or 2), Merlin (1 chasing the Gos) and Bald Eagle. A lone Sharp-tailed Grouse perched atop a jack pine for a moment, the third of the season. A warbler whose call note I didn't recognize flew