Signs of Spring!

Since my last post things have begun really heating up at the point! In the past week three new raptors have been added to our season totals. March 29th brought a pair of Rough-legged Hawks, and the first Turkey Vulture finally appeared on the 30th. Surprisingly, after their first arrival for the count being a […]

A slow and steady March toward spring

March, as I have been learning firsthand, can be a rather hit-or-miss time on the hawk deck. Diurnal migration is highly dependent on prevailing weather conditions, especially when it comes to early season short-distance migrants. The best conditions for a strong hawk flight here are warm, sunny days, with moderate southwest winds. Or so I’ve been […]

Hawk count beginnings

I’ve just finished my third day as the WPBO hawk counter — what a fun job! Despite the mere trickle of raptors so far, I’ve been having a fantastic time spending my days up on the hawk deck. The first raptor of my season didn’t come until the second day, but it was worth the […]

Fall 2016 Waterbird Count Summary

The 2016 fall waterbird count was a record breaker! In terms of waterbird species, we broke the previous record of 80, with a season total of 82. In terms of numbers, we had the second highest count with 111,126. The major highlights of the count consisted of Ancient Murrelet, an eider, two Ruddy Ducks, Red […]

The Birds are Leaving

It’s that time of year again; the count ends and the birds leave. Well, maybe there are still some birds hanging on up here. As expected, the waterbird counts were relatively slow throughout the last week and a half of November but the rarities kept the count interesting. We did have a couple of good […]

A Great Start to November

November can be a slow month for waterbird migration here at the point. Luckily, this November has started off quickly with lots of good birds and a good flight. For the point, November is the time for big flights of Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye and also occasional flights of Long-tailed Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers. Today […]

Heating Up!

It’s been one great October thus far! The waterbird highlights are coming every day or two and the woods are producing some great birds! In terms of duck numbers we have had a couple big aythya, scoter, and Long-tailed Duck days. Today was rather spectacular with over 11000 Long-tailed Ducks migrating past the point. The […]


For the fall season, October is usually the best month at Whitefish Point in terms of quality and quantity. And this October has been no different! Scoters and scaup have been moving by in good numbers while rarities such as Red and Red-necked Phalarope and Sabine’s Gull have been recorded. The woods have also produced; […]

September Update

It’s been a relatively slow September in terms of numbers of migrating waterbirds. But, the number of jaegers coming by the point has been great! So, if you’re a true “lakewatcher” this is a great season for you. We’re at about 45-50 total, including evening flights. Luckily, all three species have been represented during the […]

2016 Fall Waterbird Count

The fall waterbird count at Whitefish Point kicked off on August 15th. The count has had it’s ups and downs. August was well above average in terms of numbers but the south winds to start September, have slowed migration. The August highlights included a flock of 5 Stilt Sandpiper (which tied the season record, in […]