The Longshore Mixed Bag

Another longshore flight, another video for you today!  Today, April 17, brought a little rebound in both temperatures and total number of birds.  For the day 67 species totalling 4,549 birds were counted.  It was a little mixed bag of birds today.  A little highlight from each bird group.

From the lake, 9 lingering  White-winged Scoters and 3 Long-tailed Ducks were worth noting now in late April.  From the air up high, blackbirds put on a small show.  Most surprisingly was an increase in the already surging Rusty Blackbird count we’ve been logging this year.  1,525 more Rusty Blackbirds (and one Brewer’s Blackbird) look to be the dunes area’s 4th highest count.  Just behind the slightly higher count posted on the 14th.

The afternoon flight brought in only a few raptors.  Again this year, Merlins seem to make a good flight.  They’re being seen nearly daily, and our season total is already up to 25 bird, which is five more than we saw at this point last year.  The afternoon also brought a very good bird for the park.  Right around noon, an Upland Sandpiper was sighted drifting in over the pines.  It glided into the dune prairie grass and disappeared.  A search for it on foot re-found the bird, but it unfortunately continued on it’s migration.  Videos of both birds are below.

Brendan was joined by Ken Brock, Brad Bumgardner, Ben Mitchell, Eric Delbecq, Penny Starin, and Carl Swisher.  Highlights below.  The next two days do not look very ideal for the longshore flight, but Sunday looks good.  If you have a chance to break away from Easter activities, join us at the tower site.

April 17, 2014
White-winged Scoter 9
Long-tailed Duck 3
Red-throated Loon 8
Common Loon 5
Osprey 1
Solitary Sandpiper 3
Lesser Yellowlegs 3
Upland Sandpiper 1
Wilson’s Snipe 1
Bonaparte’s Gull 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 3
Pileated Woodpecker 1
American Kestrel 1
Merlin 4
Eastern Phoebe 2
Eastern Bluebird 1
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 48
Lapland Longspur 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 30
Red-winged Blackbird 1420
Rusty Blackbird 1525
Brewer’s Blackbird 1
Purple Finch 1

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