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Migration Counts

The WPBO Migration Counts Blog provides updates on the spring and fall migrations of waterbirds, raptors, shorebirds, and more.

Big days of waterbird migration

Despite a strong headwind both days, thousands of waterbirds migrated past Whitefish Point on Tuesday and Wednesday! Following several slow days of warm weather and southerly winds, I wasn’t expecting to see much migration on Tuesday as conditions were set to stay the same. The day got off to a promising start though, with a [...]

2018-09-12T21:37:44+00:00September 12th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Big days of waterbird migration

Sandpipers and More Grebes

For me, the highlight of the past few days has been the shorebirds! I’ve always particularly enjoyed watching them scramble along a beach or a breakwall, even before I began to seriously tackle the notoriously difficult challenge of learning to distinguish one peep from the next. Today I finally caught up with one of my [...]

2018-08-30T21:33:46+00:00August 30th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Sandpipers and More Grebes

Big day for Red-necked Grebes

One incredible aspect of fall migration here at Whitefish Point that makes it so unique is the annual passage of thousands of Red-necked Grebes. According to Behrens and Cox’s Seawatching: Eastern waterbirds in flight, the Point “is the best site in North America for Red-necked Grebe, with numbers that dwarf those counted at all other [...]

2018-08-23T20:20:27+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Big day for Red-necked Grebes

Spring 2018 Waterbird Count Totals

Here’s a list of all the waterbird species seen along with the seasonal total counted during the waterbird count at Whitefish Point in Spring of 2018, from April 15 through May 31: Greater White-fronted Goose: 2 flew low over the waterbird shack with a flock of Canada Geese on April 23. Snow/Ross’s Goose: 1 very [...]

2018-06-25T21:10:16+00:00June 25th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Spring 2018 Waterbird Count Totals

Late May Waterbird update

Some of the highlights since the last blog post include a flock of 19 American White Pelicans that flew past the tip on May 17 and the arrival of several shorebird species. A Red Knot appeared in the pond near the tip for a while on May 18. Surprisingly, this individual was not in breeding [...]

2018-05-25T12:59:29+00:00May 25th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Late May Waterbird update

Immature Broad-wingeds and a new Eagle high

Even with the end in sight the hawk count is still going strong! Among raptors, Broad-winged Hawk remains most numerous with a total of 4,749. They will surely remain in the lead, as immature birds have only in the past two days begun to make up a significant proportion of the kettles overhead, with the [...]

2018-05-24T18:50:56+00:00May 24th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Immature Broad-wingeds and a new Eagle high

10,000 Raptors!

This week the hawk count passed the milestone of 10,000 raptors tallied for the season! As of this update the count currently stands at 10,523 raptors since March 15th. In a strange turn of events, Broad-winged Hawk is the most common species, rather than Sharp-shinned. Just five times previously in the 40-year history of the [...]

2018-05-19T15:14:31+00:00May 17th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on 10,000 Raptors!

Scoters and Whimbrels

One would think that with over 2000 Bonaparte’s Gulls passing by the point the day before that we would have seen at least a few hundred today, but only six individuals were seen braving today’s northwest winds. Fortunately, scoters made up the near absence of small gulls, with 91 White-winged Scoters flying by the point, [...]

2018-05-15T23:17:12+00:00May 15th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Scoters and Whimbrels

2000 Bonaparte’s Gulls

There wasn’t much of an evening flight on May 13, though a close pass by two Red-throated Loons was very enjoyable. There were no Bonaparte’s Gulls seen that evening though. It turns out that they were all waiting for today, May 14. During the eight hour count beginning at sunrise, 1920 were tallied. In an [...]

2018-05-14T22:57:30+00:00May 14th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on 2000 Bonaparte’s Gulls