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WPBO Waterbird Counter

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So far WPBO Waterbird Counter has created 18 blog entries.

The Whimbrel Day

When I took on Whitefish’s spring waterbird count, there were several avian phenomena I looked forward to: Red-throated Loons mixing with the Commons in a ratio not found elsewhere in Michigan. Big scoter flights. The possibility of southwest winds and the vagrant birds they might bring. One of the things I looked forward to the [...]

2019-06-05T19:57:16-04:00June 5th, 2019|Migration Counts|Comments Off on The Whimbrel Day

Scoters, Bonaparte’s, and Long-tails: Waterbird Count Week 5

It hardly seems possible, but Whitefish’s Waterbird Count is nearing the end of its penultimate week. And, what a week it has been! Some of the migration moments I’ve been anticipating since season’s start have happened, and they’ve been well worth the wait. These include:  The Scoter flight: this time of year, hundreds of White-winged [...]

2019-05-23T23:42:22-04:00May 23rd, 2019|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Scoters, Bonaparte’s, and Long-tails: Waterbird Count Week 5

Week 4 Waterbird Count Recap: Good Numbers, Good Birds.

Some days, the most peaceful moments of the waterbird count are about ten minutes before it actually starts. I like to arrive at the shack a little early: collect the first weather data, scan the lake and beach for resting birds--ease into things, you know. When the sun edges up over High Hills, time starts [...]

2019-05-15T22:38:56-04:00May 15th, 2019|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Week 4 Waterbird Count Recap: Good Numbers, Good Birds.

Welcome to May: 3rd Week of the Waterbird Count

  At this latitude, May is a high-octane month. Night starts later, day begins sooner, and I think we all flounder a bit as we try to keep up with all we want to see. When dusk falls, Long-eared Owls rise from the pines near the Point and often, I fall victim to the urge [...]

2019-05-09T21:30:19-04:00May 9th, 2019|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Welcome to May: 3rd Week of the Waterbird Count

Ice Out, Birds In: Waterbird Count Week 2

Eight hours most days, I stand on Whitefish Point’s cobbled beach. There, from whichever side of the waterbird shack is the lee side du jour, I make sweeping scans with binoculars and spotting scope. To the west is a stand of scrappy jack pines where, this week, a shrike has (albeit with different, more murderous [...]

2019-05-01T16:05:55-04:00May 1st, 2019|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Ice Out, Birds In: Waterbird Count Week 2

The Crossing: First Week of the Waterbird Count

A woodcock twitters overhead, squeezing one last display flight into a sky just beginning to color. You do claim this bird as your spring harbinger, I remind myself. It bears repeating--the morning’s commute starts as a cautious traverse across frozen melt puddles, then transitions to a postholing of sorts through still-deep snow. During the first [...]

2019-04-22T10:37:45-04:00April 22nd, 2019|Migration Counts|Comments Off on The Crossing: First Week of the Waterbird Count

Spring 2017 Waterbird Count summary

Here is a list of all of the waterbirds that were counted during the waterbird count at Whitefish Point in Spring 2017, along with the seasonal totals from Aril 15 through May 31. The count was usually conducted for eight hours, beginning at sunrise, but there were a few days when the count was shortened [...]

2017-06-15T13:30:01-04:00June 15th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Spring 2017 Waterbird Count summary

Waterbird count ends with huge goose flight

The WPBO waterbird count for spring 2017 came to its scheduled end on May 31, though some species are still migrating, such as Red-throated Loons, 11 of which were seen on June 1. The highlight of the last three days of the official count period was the incredible influx of Canada Geese. There has always [...]

2017-06-02T14:28:30-04:00June 2nd, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Waterbird count ends with huge goose flight

Whimbrels and Scoter numbers peaking

Marbled Godwit by Skye Haas The last week has been a good one for seeing big shorebirds at Whitefish Point. On May 22, not only did flocks of Whimbrel totaling 184 birds fly past the point, but we were twice visited by individual Marbled Godwits. The first flew by with a flock [...]

2018-02-21T13:39:40-04:00May 28th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Whimbrels and Scoter numbers peaking

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 [...]

2017-05-11T17:44:47-04:00May 11th, 2017|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Waterbird Count update through May 11