The fifth season of the Tiscornia Waterbird Count began on August 20 and will run through November 30. The count is conducted daily at Tiscornia Park, St. Joe starting at sunrise and running for eight hours each day. This report details observation from the period of August 20-31, subsequent reports will be posted on a semi weekly basis.
The migration has been good with a early teal flight and good diversity of shorebirds.
Blue-winged Teal: 845 on the 22nd with a total of 1,560 for the period makes this the second highest August total in the history of the count.
As expected Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Northern Pintal, and Northern Shoveler have also been recorded in lesser numbers.
A juvenile American White Pelican anded on the beach on the 27, the first since 2014 and one of the earlier records for the fall.
Shorebirds: 17 species have been recorded thus far including three Black-bellied Plovers, 1 Am. Avocet, 8 Willet, 1 Whimbrel, 21 Hudsonian Godwits, 3 White-rumped Sandpiper, 4 Baird's Sandpiper, 1 Stilit Sandpiper, and 1 Red Knot.
Gull Types: Jaegers have had a good early flight with eight recorded thus far including two Parasitic on the 23rd, and a Long-tailed on the 29th.
Bonaparte's Gulls have been moving through in light numbers while a juvenile Sabine's Gull gave good looks as it flew south on the 29th.
Common Terns have been moving through in slightly below average numbers with the 805 recorded during this period.
As expected Black Tern numbers peaked in the first couple days of the count with a high count of 43 on the 29th. 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, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, 2 Purple Martins, Olive-sided Flycatcher.