The fall waterbird count kicked off on the morning of Aug. 15. We’ve been lucky to start the season off with relatively good numbers throughout the first week. As usual for August, our most common migrant has been the Red-necked Grebe. We’ve counted a total of 3,292 with a peak of 809 on Aug. 20. The second most common migrant has been Common Tern with a total of 449 recorded thus far. A peak of 378 was counted on the 20th. Some dabbling ducks have started moving thorough with Blue-winged Teal being the most numerous. Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, and American Wigeon have also been recorded. Shorebird numbers have started off slowly but a Whimbrel and a couple of Ruddy Turnstone have been the highlights. The most unusual species recorded have been an adult Parasitic Jaeger (present on both the 15th and 16th) and a Lark Sparrow which was seen on the 17th. Raptors have been seen in small numbers. A young Northern Goshawk has been showing well on most days since the start of the count. Broad-winged and Sharp-shinned Hawks, Merlins, and American Kestrels have been putting on a show for the birders present at the shack as well.
The count will continue through mid-November starting at sunrise each day. We hope to see you out at the shack!