Back in Action for 2016!

The 2016 longshore flight count is prepping for what we hope is another successful season.  Today, February 19, is definitely one of those days that has us looking at the upcoming bird migration in March.  In fact, we tested out the migration today with the first waterfowl and passerines that decided to move on the super strong south winds.

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Watching waterfowl on February 19.  Not the minimal shelf ice currently.

The official start for this year’s longshore flight project is March 6.  But, today brought a strong movement of waterfowl.  Most notable was not any high count but the amazing diversity.  Divers, such as scoters, mergansers, and scaup were moving right along side the first waves of dabblers who are very likely still having difficulty finding open water.  Shovelors, teal, and wigeon moved by among flocks of mallards throughout the morning.

The first passerines included the typical robins and a few blackbirds.  The best being horned larks and a few early Killdeer.

Here is  today’s preseason totals for February 19:

Greater White-fronted Goose  16
Canada Goose  43
Wood Duck  5
Gadwall  14
American Wigeon  2
Mallard  264
Northern Shoveler  21
Northern Pintail  32
Green-winged Teal  12
Redhead  102
Greater Scaup  5
Lesser Scaup  19
Surf Scoter  1
White-winged Scoter  16
Bufflehead  2
Common Goldeneye  8
Common Merganser  48
Red-breasted Merganser  40
Red-throated Loon  3
Sandhill Crane  1
Killdeer  9
Ring-billed Gull  118
Herring Gull  254
Glaucous Gull  2
Great Black-backed Gull  3
Rock Pigeon   3
Mourning Dove  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  12
Horned Lark  25
Black-capped Chickadee  1
American Robin  3
European Starling  45
Lapland Longspur  13
Snow Bunting  5
Red-winged Blackbird  18
House Finch  1
House Sparrow  2