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 Tahquamenon River mouth the night before.)
30 American Wigeon
11 American Black Duck
125 Mallard
2 Blue-winged Teal (very low seasonal total)
20 Northern Shoveler (high seasonal total)
124 Northern Pintail (high seasonal total)
44 Green-winged Teal
7 dabbler sp
6 Redhead (low seasonal total)
19 Ring-necked Duck
378 Greater Scaup
118 Lesser Scaup
69 scaup sp.
24 Aythya sp.
29 Surf Scoter (low seasonal total)
1262 White-winged Scoter (somewhat below average, but does not include evening flights.)
6 Black Scoter (high seasonal total)
5 dark-winged scoter
773 Long-tailed Duck (low seasonal total)
59 Bufflehead
106 Common Goldeneye
15 Hooded Merganser
250 Common Merganser
1462 Red-breasted Merganser (quite low seasonal total)
106 duck sp.
369 Red-throated Loon (rather low seasonal total)
1 Pacific Loon
2709 Common Loon (second-lowest seasonal total since count began in 1984 and less than the half the average seasonal total for the spring season.)
3 loon sp.
8 Horned Grebe (extremely low seasonal total)
583 Red-necked Grebe (seasonal total only slightly below average)
190 Double-crested Cormorant (slightly lower numbers than in recent years)
14 Great Blue Heron (low seasonal total)
2 Great Egret
11814 Sandhill Crane (record high number, does not include birds seen after count period
1 American Avocet (second spring record)
65 Black-bellied Plover
63 Semipalmated Plover
30 Piping Plover (certainly includes the nesting pair counted repeatedly)
111 Killdeer
25 Greater Yellowlegs
9 Lesser Yellowlegs
4 Solitary Sandpiper
1 Spotted Sandpiper (low seasonal total; some hugging the lakeshore surely went undetected)
345 Whimbrel (above average seasonal total)
1 Hudsonian Godwit
44 Ruddy Turnstone
33 Sanderling
118 Semipalmated Sandpiper (record high seasonal total)
35 Least Sandpiper
5 White-rumped Sandpiper
11 “peep” sp.
91 Dunlin
9 Short-billed Dowitcher
2 American Woodcock
1 Wilson’s Snipe
1108 Bonaparte’s Gull (slightly below average seasonal total)
1 Franklin’s Gull
1894 Ring-billed Gull (high seasonal total)
211 Herring Gull (low seasonal total)
3 Glaucous Gull
20 Great Black-backed Gull (record high seasonal total)
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Iceland Gull
50 Caspian Tern (near record high seasonal total)
57 Common Tern
2 Forster’s Tern
255 tern sp.

A few expected species are not on this list because they were missed entirely. These include American White Pelican, Red Knot, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Little Gull. The only jaeger of the season was a Parasitic seen from the hawk deck only.