Friday, October 31, 2008

Highlights: Ancient Murrelet
Harlequin Duck

Tim had the best birds of the day out at the waterbird count. A Harlequin Duck flew up the lakeside shoreline, then spent a few hours out on the bay. An Ancient Murrelet gave us pretty decent looks as it flew by at a reasonably close distance in the afternoon. It was another good finch flight, with good numbers of Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, and the best White-winged Crossbill flight of the fall to date. Other sightings included; Black Scoter, Cedar Waxwing, Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, and Common Redpoll. Quite a few of the finches were bathing in the Foghorn Pond this afternoon. We also had a Northern Shrike finishing up a songbird meal at the river mouth this evening.

White-winged Crossbill
American Goldfinch & Pine Siskin

Common Redpoll & Pine Siskin

American Tree Sparrow

Cedar Waxwing & Pine Siskin

Northern Shrike

Highlights: Pine Grosbeak
We continued to get blasted with high winds today. There was again a decent finch flight, with a bit of an increase in White-winged Crossbill and American Goldfinch numbers. We're definitely getting a lot of practice at identifying finches in flight. Other sightings today included; Northern Goshawk, Cedar Waxwing, Rusty Blackbird, and Snow Bunting.

Northern Goshawk

Pine Grosbeak
White-winged Crossbill

Another shot of yesterday's Snowy Owl

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Highlights: Snowy Owl

Don Jennette, Tom Wheeker, Tim, and I were standing at the waterbird shack when Don very calmly said, "would anybody want to see a Snowy Owl?" The owl had snuck in on us and was sitting out at the tip, priceless. High winds kept songbird migration relatively low today. Sightings included; Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and Merlin.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Highlights: Northern Shrike
The songbird migration was slowed by today's snow squalls, but there was still some activity in the woods. Small numbers of Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and White-winged Crossbill were still moving, and several Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Palm Warbler were seen. Other sightings included; Ruffed Grouse, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Tree Sparrow, and Evening Grosbeak.

Black Scoter

White-winged Crossbill
Yellow-rumped Warbler with moth

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Monday, October 27, 2008

I know what your thinking,"Isn't Chris from Philly?", "Don't the Phillies have a chance to win the world series tonight?", "Gee, I hope that won't effect his effort on the blog tonight."
I would never let that happen. Uh, the Phils have the bases loaded in the first.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Highlights: Cattle Egret (above)
A Cattle Egret spent much of the morning at the harbor, this is just the 3rd record of this species for the Point. Efforts to relocate the egret in the afternoon and again in the evening were unsuccessful. Activity around the woods was particularly slow today. Sightings included; Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, American Tree Sparrow, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and White-winged Crossbill.
Horned Grebe

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We were saddened by the news that Paradise resident Linda Roberts died last night. Linda added more local flavor than anyone I have known up here. I will miss her and the sound of her shooting from the O. K. Corral, her house down Wildcat Road
Highlights: Northern Shrike (above)
While the finch flight slowed down a bit today, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Red and White-winged Crossbill, and Evening Grosbeak were seen. After not being seen for a a few days, there were several Yellow-rumped Warblers today. Northern Goshawks continue to be seen in the woods and making sweeps over the beach at the tip. Hundreds of Snow Bunting continue to be seen daily, and Tim had a few Lapland Longspurs today. Other sightings included; Rough-legged Hawk, Brown Creeper, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Cedar Waxwing, and American Tree Sparrow. It looks like we're going to get blasted with our first taste of winter over the next few days......oh yay.

Northern Goshawk, adult

Northern Goshawk, juvenile

Highlights: Dickcissel (above)
After not being seen for a few days, a Dickcissel reappeared at the feeders. There was also a report of multiple Dickcissels seen at the feeders a couple of days ago. There was no real change in the woods today, but the big finch flight continued. Multiple Northern Goshawks were seen, including an adult. While we have seen a few Common Redpolls, and Pine and Evening Grosbeaks over the last few days, we're still waiting for their numbers to increase and for the first Bohemian Waxwings to arrive.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Highlights: Northern Cardinal
A male Northern Cardinal, a good bird here, was seen briefly this morning. There was another big finch flight this morning. In less than 45 minutes over 200 Purple Finch and 700 Pine Siskins passed the hawk platform. Snow Buntings also continued to occur in good numbers. Other sightings included; Northern Goshawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Tree Sparrow, White-winged Crossbill, and Evening Grosbeak.

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Northern Goshawk

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Highlights: Black-backed Woodpecker (above), &
Pine Grosbeak
There was another big finch flight today. Hundreds of Pine Siskins and Purple Finch, along with smaller numbers of White-winged and Red Crossbills, and American Goldfinch came through today. Tim also had some Common Redpolls out at the tip today. A single Pine Grosbeak was seen yesterday, and several more were seen today. Snow Buntings were regularly coming in off the lake. I was out along the lake shore a few miles from the tip this evening and the Snow Buntings were still coming in at sunset. Other sightings included; Ruffed Grouse, Bald Eagle, Winter Wren, and Rusty Blackbird.
White-winged Crossbill

Purple Finch

Downy Woodpecker having a bad hair day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Highlights: Northern Shrikes (above)
Two Northern Shrikes were drawn in by the Merlin pole today. Snow Bunting numbers picked up, and Horned Lark and Lapland Longspur continue out on the beach. A strong northeast wind blew all day, and the waterfowl flight slowed down significantly from yesterday. Long-tailed Duck numbers actually picked up a bit, but all other waterfowl species essentially trickled through. Waterfowl species seen were Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated and Common Loon, and White-winged, Surf, and Black Scoters. A couple Bald Eagles were seen, and a young Northern Goshawk made several sweeps of the beach this afternoon. Tim should be back for the waterbird tomorrow.

Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk & Snow Buntings

Bald Eagle

Monday, October 20, 2008

Highlights: Short-eared Owl, & phalarope

Tim is off for a few days so I'm covering the waterbird count. There was a big movement of waterbirds early this morning. Over 1,100 Red-breasted Mergansers passed by in the second hour of the count. Scoter numbers were relatively low, but all 3 species were seen including 5 Black Scoters. Other waterbird species seen were; American Wigeon, Mallard, Am. Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Lesser & Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Red-throated and Common Loons, and Horned and Red-necked Grebes. A phalarope flew up the lakeside shoreline, but was not identified beyond Red/Red-necked Phalarope. Likewise, 3 flyby swans were only able to be identified as Tundra/Trumpeter Swans. Aside from the phalarope the only shorebirds were 1 American Golden-Plover and 1 Dunlin. The season's first Short-eared Owl was reported crossing the bay this afternoon. Thanks to the gentleman who tried to get my attention for the owl. The Dickcissel continues to visit the feeders, often accompanied by a House Sparrow.
Snow Bunting

Black Scoter (left) & White-winged Scoter

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Highlights: Great Gray Owl & Dickcissel (above)

Along with banding a few Saw-whets last night, Keith and Wendy saw a Barred Owl and the first Great Gray Owl of the season. However, we we had no luck finding any roosting owls today. The Dickcissel was found at the feeders in the afternoon, and was still present this evening. It was another beautiful day, and there was another big flight of Pine Siskins and Purple Finches. Both Red and White-winged Crossbills were also present. Tim had a Tundra Swan on the waterbird count today.

Pine Siskin Purple Finch

White-winged Crossbills

Bonaparte's Gull

Great Gray Owl (photo from 2006)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Highlights: Long-eared Owl (above)
Common Redpoll
A beautiful day at the Point. There was a large flight of finches this morning. Hundreds of Purple Finches and Pine Siskins were coming in off the lake, and White-winged Crossbills were present again. Two Long-eared Owls came in off the lake, including the odd sighting of one in the afternoon. Tim had a good waterbird flight this morning, and also had the season's first Evening Grosbeak, and Common Redpolls. Other sightings today included; Ruffed Grouse, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Winter Wren, and Snow Bunting.

Green-winged Teal

scaup and Black Scoter

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In 2005 we were shocked by the sudden and untimely death of Jim Granlund. Serving on the WPBO board for many years, Jim passionately dedicated much of his time and energy to this organization. A memorial fund was established to honor Jim's love for Whitefish Point and to recognize his tireless contributions to WPBO. Thanks to donations made to the fund we were able to purchase two beautiful benches that were delivered to the Point today. We would like to thank Cheryl Granlund and all who have contributed to this fund.

Jim's simple description of a good day's birding, "Good Stuff"

Highlights: White-winged Crossbill

While migration has been relatively slow the last few days, there has been some activity in the woods. Small flocks of White-winged Crossbills have been occurring daily, and there has been a Gray Catbird frequenting the area behind the bird feeders. American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and Snow Bunting numbers have been slowly growing. Other recent sightings include; Ruffed Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Winter Wren, both Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, and Fox, Lincoln's, and Swamp Sparrows.

Gray Catbird

Golden-crowned Kinglet