Saturday, April 18, 2009

Harriers and kestrels

Harriers and kestrels were practically the only raptors seen migrating in today's miserable weather. They're both well-known 'rain birds' that will sometimes show great flights in light rain, when other raptors take a day of rest. Almost half of today's 35 Northern Harriers was seen in the first hour of the count; by midday, their migration had slowed down and several could be seen hunting all afternoon. American Kestrel did almost as well as yesterday, with 24 for a day count. Other raptors on the tally included Turkey Vulture (4), Osprey (5), Sharp-shinned Hawk (3), Rough-legged Hawk (2), and Merlin (1).

Overall avian diversity around Whitefish Point is definitely increasing, with notable sightings today of one Short-eared Owl flying out over the bay, first Greater Yellowlegs I've seen here, first Wilson's Snipes, and first Northern Shovelers. Other species, like Common Loon, Common Merganser, Evening Grosbeak are starting to show up in greater numbers than before.

A correction to yesterday's post: one of the readers of this blog was kind enough to correct me regarding the distribution of American White Pelican. This species does actually breed in Ontario, namely in the Lake of the Woods and Lake Nipigon areas. Thanks David for providing that information!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for keeping us informed!
    I truly have been enjoying reading your counts/comments-keeps me *thinking spring* until I can get out there in person to witness it myself!
    Stay warm & dry and thanx again!
    Kathi in Brimely