October 1-15, 2016
The migration during this period picked up with the arrival of diving ducks driving the bulk of the increase.
Loons & Grebes: One Red-necked Grebe on the 12th was followed by a flock of five on the 13th. Two Pacific Loons on the 1st were the first of the season and a county high count.
Ducks: 604 Blue-winged Teal on the 7th was the only flight during this period and presumably represents the last big push of Blue-wings for the fall.
On schedule were the first Surf Scoters of the fall which arrived on the 5th. Surprising was a 115 Surf Scoters on the 9th (this is nearly half the season totals for 2013 and '14!) which was followed by 191 on the 13th! This is the second highest day count on record for the county and just below the 212 recorded on Oct. 7, 2012 during the first Tiscornia Waterbird Count. White-winged and Black Scoter arrived on the 13th, which is on par with expected arrival dates. What was surprising was the White-winged Scoter count of 56 from the 13th, White-winged Scoters have never been recorded in numbers this high this early in the fall.
Six Ruddy Ducks on the 6th and 12 Bufflehead on the 13th were firsts for the fall.
Shorebirds: Black-bellied and American Golden Plovers, and Sanderling continued, along with the first Dunlin of the fall on the 14th.
Gull Types: One Parasitic Jaeger on the 4th was the only jaeger for this period.
Bonaparte's Gulls numbers increased during this period with a high of 107 on the 13th. Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were the only other gulls of note during this period.
Common and Forster's Terns were present through the period in expected numbers. A juvenile Arctic Tern on the 5th was at the late end of the expected window (Sept. 29-Oct 6) for this rare but expected migrant.
Non-waterbird highlights include a Whip-poor-will on the 9th (which flew down the pier and briefly landed as I was walking out to start the count. Second Tiscornia record), Cerulean Warbler on the 6th (first Tiscornia record, likely the bird of the fall), Nelson's Sparrow on the 3rd (chased down and eaten by a Ring-billed Gull as it came in off the lake), Vesper Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbird.
Also of interest was a Spiny Soft-shell Turtle (first Tiscornia record) that was dropped on the pier by a Ring-billed Gull (after I tossed it bread).
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