Since the last blog post, the migration past the point slowed down to a crawl. There was even a day that we didn’t count a single Red-necked Grebe! But, migration heated back up on the Aug. 30 when we recorded 2,269 Red-necked Grebe. We’ve also seen some good Common Tern flights. The best flight consisted of 209 on Aug. 30. Black Tern have passed by the point in unusually large numbers. This, usually uncommon, tern has been recorded 13 times this fall. We have seen good shorebird diversity during the last week. The notables include a Willet, two Stilt Sandpiper, and a flock of 21 Hudsonian Godwit. Another waterbird highlight was a Sora that flew off the lake and landed close to the shack. On Aug. 31 we saw a breeding plumaged Pacific Loon; this may be the earliest fall record for this species at the point!

One of our first Buff-breasted Sandpiper of the fall!

One of two Stilt Sandpiper seen so far this fall.

We’ve also seen many non-waterbird highlights in the last week. Raptors have been very visible with good numbers of Broad-winged Hawk (for the fall), Sharp-shinned Hawk, Merlin, and a local Northern Goshawk. Passerines have also shown well so far. On a couple of days, we saw many thrushes, warblers, and flycatchers flying in off the lake. From the waterbird count, we have recorded 14 species of warblers!

Broad-winged Hawk have been fairly common this fall.

This juvenile Northern Goshawk made a close pass by the shack!

-Eric Ripma