The migration during this period was one of the slowest on record with just under 3,000 migrant waterbirds recorded. This is nearly a thousand less than expected for this period and would be even lower if it wasn't for a teal and tern flight on the 8th.
Horned Grebe: One on the 5th was on schedule with the expected arrival dates.
Ducks: 1,266 Blue-winged Teal on the 8th was impressive considering no other day in this period broke 100. mixed in with the BW Teal were Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, and American Wigeon.
Magnificent Frigatebird: A single adult female going down the shoreline into south winds on the 6th. Fourth Tiscornia record and third in September, all since 2008.
Shorebirds: Decent diversity but low numbers. Four Black-bellied Plovers is on par with past years for this period. Two Willets on the 5th were the only large shorebirds of the period. One Buff-breasted, 3 Baird’s, and 7 Pectoral Sandpipers were recorded during this period along with a White-rumped Sandpiper on the 7th which is the first fall record since 2011.
Gull Types: Jaegers are well below previous years with only two Parasitic Jaegers recorded during this period. For comparisons 2012-14 averaged 11 for this period.
Two Great Blacked-backed Gulls were recorded this period, well ahead of the previous early arrival date of September 20. The first Little Gull of the season was recorded on the 9th, with the second of the season coming on the 11th. Both of which were juveniles.
Common Terns continue to move through in below average numbers with the 622 recorded during this period well below the previous low of 1,036. The peak count during this period was 213 on the 8th. A flock of five Black Terns on the 6th was the only sighting for this period and likely represent the last sighting of the season.
New additions to the non-waterbird list include Merlin, Common Nighthawk, Swainson's Thrush (the gulls seem to have an easy time catching them), Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, Yellow-rumped, Palm, Wilson's, and Pine Warbler (only the second I've ever had at Tiscornia!), and Savannah Sparrow.
Also notable was a Map Turtle that swam past the north pier on the 2nd.
The count begins! Migration has been relatively slow, possibly due to weather conditions (south winds and thunderstorms have dominated this period, but then again a cold front went through on the 31st and failed to produce any sort of a migration) or the warm temperatures further north have encouraged migrants to linger a bit longer before moving south.
Blue-winged Teal: 533 on the 25th was impressive considering no other day in this period broke 100.
Great Egret: Nine were recorded during this period including a flock of 6 on the 24th.
Shorebirds: 14 species have been recorded thus far including a single adult Black-bellied Plover on the 24-25, and three Piping Plovers on the 20th. Surprisingly the Piping Plovers were not from the Great Lakes population but from the Dakotas!
Uncommon at this time of year were eleven American Avocets and 14 Willets (getting late) that flew by over the course of the day on the 25th. Five Buff-breasted Sandpipers and 10 Baird’s Sandpipers were recorded during this period.
Gull Types: Jaegers are just starting to move with two Parasitic and a Jaeger sp. on the 28th, the only day with any jaegers thus far this season.
Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the 21st were dramatically early.
Common Terns have been moving through in below average numbers with the 485 recorded during this period well below the three year average (for this period) of 1,796. As expected Black Tern numbers peaked in the first couple days of the count with high counts of 87 and 77 which is on par with past seasons. Black Terns are an early migrant, and away from the breeding grounds are a pelagic species and on Lake Michigan generally stay well offshore during the fall which negatively effects counting them from shore.
Non-waterbirds included Osprey, five Bald Eagles, two Peregrine Falcons (one adult, one banded juvenile), 4 Purple Martins, and single Cape May and Mourning Warblers.