Lions or Lambs?

Lake and shelf ice still present, March 30, 2015.
Lake and shelf ice still present, March 30, 2015.

Sunny and warmer conditions greeted our longshore flight on Monday, March 30.  It’s been a cycle of cold and warm with very little continuing conditions.  What seems to be missing are multiple days with continued south winds, particularly those that continue through the night to bring a good morning flight.  By Tuesday morning we’ll be under north winds again.  Today’s count ended with 3,186 birds.  3,000 seems to be the daily average lately.  This puts us about 60% of where we might be on an average year, but right on course with where we were in last year’s really cold spring.  Time will tell if the blackbirds and robins ramp up in time for us to get a decent count from them.

Can you guess the accipiter flying by the beach this morning?  Free prize if you guess right!
Can you guess the accipiter flying by the beach this morning? Free prize if you guess right!  Click to enlarge.

Highlights from the day were White-winged Scoter, a few close flying accipiters, the season’s first Caspian Terns, one of the larger House Finch flights observed in the dunes (top 10 count), and continuing Pine Siskins.  53 species were logged for the day.  Notably absent was a good waterfowl flight, or cranes and hawks.  Do hawk flights still exist!  🙂

Today’s full list below.

Canada Goose 9
Redhead 1
White-winged Scoter 4
Common Goldeneye 1
Common Merganser 2
Red-breasted Merganser 85
Wild Turkey 1
Red-throated Loon 1
Common Loon 2
Horned Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 3
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 4
Turkey Vulture 8
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 6
Cooper’s Hawk 6
Bald Eagle 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 5
Sandhill Crane 332
Killdeer 33
Ring-billed Gull 1616
Herring Gull 14
Great Black-backed Gull 2
Caspian Tern 3 FOY
Rock Pigeon  40
Mourning Dove 16
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
American Kestrel 4
Peregrine Falcon 1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 6
Horned Lark 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Eastern Bluebird 3
American Robin 407
European Starling 84
Cedar Waxwing 4
American Tree Sparrow 7
Song Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 6
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 167
Eastern Meadowlark 10
Common Grackle 38
Brown-headed Cowbird 57
House Finch 164
Pine Siskin 13
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 2

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