Waterbird Numbers Increasing

The waterbird count has been picking up steam over the last week with several new arrivals in just the last few days. Today (April 24) we saw the first Caspian Terns of the season and the first White-winged Scoter. Numbers of other species have been picking up too, such as Red-necked Grebe, 79 of which […]

Spring 2016 Waterbird Count Summary

Here are the totals for all of the waterbirds counted during the standardized 8-hour count at Whitefish Point in Spring 2016 (April 15 – May 31): 1 Snow Goose 3697 Canada Goose (above average seasonal total) 4 Trumpeter Swan 3 Trumpeter/Tundra Swan 18 Wood Duck 4 Gadwall 1 Eurasian Wigeon (first WPBO record; present at […]

Scoter Flights, Morning and Evening

After many days of north winds, a break in the weather a few days ago gave us a big push of migrating waterbirds,  most notably scoters. On May 19, there were 254 White-winged Scoters counted during the morning, almost all before 10 a.m. There were also four Surf Scoters seen early that morning. The last three hours […]

Shorebird diversity picking up

Shorebird diversity at the point has been on the upswing the last few days, with Black-bellied Plover and Short-billed Dowitcher seen flying past the tip on Wednesday, May 11, and Semipalmated Plover and Dunlin spotted on May 12. While these species have already been seen in numbers downstate, it is always special to see them […]

Red-throated Loons!

May 8 was a great day to experience Red-throated Loon migration at Whitefish Point. Flocks of as many as 12 birds flew by several times, and were observed not only from the waterbird count site, but from the parking lot and the hawk deck! One flock of four that flew over the lakeshore by the […]

Piping Plovers have arrived!

The first Piping Plover sighting of 2016 took place on May 6 when visiting Traverse City birder Pat O’Connor found one while walking the beach. I saw what I presumed was the same bird on the beach the following morning. I was a bit concerned when I saw it in flight later in the afternoon […]

Exciting orange-headed waterbirds cap Spring Fling weekend

On Saturday evening, after enjoying Cameron Cox’s captivating program on identifying waterbirds in flight, and a standout meal at the Spring Fling banquet in Paradise, dozens of birders were treated to the sight of a stunning male Eurasian Wigen found later that  evening at the mouth of the Tahquamenon River. (Thanks to Robert Bochenek for spotting the bird, and to […]