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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.

Waterbird Count update through May 11

Yikes! I have some catching up to do with this blog! Here are some highlights from this May so far, beginning with the most recent: May 11 – A good morning flight of Long-tailed Ducks, with 325 passing by within the first three hours after sunrise. Morning clouds made for good viewing to the southeast [...]

2017-05-11T17:44:47+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Waterbird Count update through May 11

Hawk Count Halfway Point Roundup

With a total of 6,585 counted by the end of April, Sharp-shinned Hawks are the most common species for the first half of hawk count. Chart generated at https://dunkadoo.org/project/wpbo-hawk-count May is here and the hawk count at Whitefish Point is just past the halfway point. Snowdrifts are suddenly difficult to find, even in [...]

2017-05-04T22:24:58+00:00 May 4th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Hawk Count Halfway Point Roundup

Waterbird count updates: Windy April 25, foggy April 26

Tuesday, April 25 started out with several reasonably close flocks of Greater Scaup flying past the tip of Whitefish Point. All but one of the five Lesser Scaup seen that day were nestled in these flocks of Greaters, making this tricky identification task a bit easier. While dabbling ducks were in short supply, a pair [...]

2017-04-26T21:20:35+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Waterbird count updates: Windy April 25, foggy April 26

Incredible Migration at the Hawk Deck!

Action on the hawk deck has completely exploded in the past week! With the arrival of our first Ospreys on the 19th, Broad-wings on the 22nd, and the thrilling addition of Swainson's Hawk on the 24th, we've now detected all of the raptor species one expects in a spring season here at Whitefish Point. This spectacular [...]

2017-04-26T12:02:38+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Incredible Migration at the Hawk Deck!

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 [...]

2017-04-24T23:36:28+00:00 April 24th, 2017|Migration Counts|1 Comment

Weekend explosion of migrants!

A season-high nine Golden Eagles, including the one pictured here, were counted on Saturday April 8th. Photo by Gary Palmer. Toward the end of last week, after a taste of warm, springy, sun-filled days, Whitefish Point got hit with a few of north winds so strong they shook my shack as I huddled [...]

2017-04-10T17:37:16+00:00 April 10th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Weekend explosion of migrants!

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 Golden Eagle photo by Skye Haas. flight here are warm, sunny days, [...]

2018-01-12T13:06:28+00:00 March 27th, 2017|Migration Counts|1 Comment

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 [...]

2016-11-21T12:29:40+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Fall 2016 Waterbird Count Summary