|Great day out at the point!!!
90 species were sighted in five hours, that makes a two day total
of 100 species! Lots of migrants have moved in overnight. For the
first time this year we saw more Magnolias, Redstarts, and Wilson's
Warblers than Palms and Yellowrumps. Overall we had 22 species of
warblers and banded 13 species, including Canada, Mourning,
and another Blue-winged Warbler. Ovenbirds, Swainson's Thrushes,
and Veeries were common in the forest undergrowth. A Summer Tanager
was spotted at the tip and at the main banding station. It's not known
if these were the same birds or not. A female Ruby-Throated Humminbird
was seen feeding on honeysuckle near point # 2, and White-Crowned
Sparrows were abundant all over the point. On the shore were two
straggling Lesser Scaup, Shovelers, Pintail and Black Ducks mixed
in with the Mallards. As well as 10 species of shorebirds and 20 Bonaparte's
|The morning hours were very
windy, and it didn't calm down enough to do surveys until after 9:00.
Most of the warblers were concentrated on the north side of the point
and along the north beach. Overall I recorded 83 spp.
in just under 3 hours!! 17 spp. of warblers including Blackpoll,
Bay-Breasted, Black-Throated Blue, Wilson's (numerous), Magnolia
(numerous) and American Redstart. Still no Swainson's Thrush, but
I did see a Veery and heard and saw many Wood Thrushes. An Eastern
Wood Pewee was calling west of net # 4 as I was leaving. Shorebirds
have finally started to arrive in good numbers. 11 species were seen
including; Dunlin, Semipalmated, Least, Spotted, and Solitary Sandpipers,
Ruddy Turnstones, Semipalmated Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and
Short-Billed Dowitchers. Things are really starting to heat up
out there and we're up to 155 spp.
total for the point.
|Saturday was a wonderful, clear
sunny day to band at Point Au Sauble. The checklist totaled 68 species.
An Osprey was seen once again along the Bay. There were a surprising
number of Bay-breasted warblers singing in the trees. Yellow-rumped
and Palm were the most common warblers found. A pair of Pintails was
found in the lagoon, which was a rare site this time of year at the
Point. The Sandhill Cranes were also once again found in the lagoon.
16 birds were banded from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. We also had the pleasure
of Provost Cohen who joined us for the morning.
|Wednesday morning was warm
and calm, with winds picking up in the early afternoon. Lots of Yellow-rumps,
Palms, Yellow, Cape May, Tennessee and Nashville warblers, but low
overall diversity. A small flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers
were seen near pt. # 8 with a Solitary Sandpiper. The carp are running
heavily up into Wequiock creek, but the low water has kept them out
of the inner lagoon for now. Pelicans and Cormorants were feeding
heavily in the areas to the north and west of the point. Least
Flycatcher and Red-Eyed Vireo were the only new forest
birds for the point. We are up to 148 spp. seen this spring
and 85 birds banded.
|A long day out at the point
turned up a few new arrivals. Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstones,
and a Black-Bellied Plover were seen along the north beach.
In the woods, Scarlet Tanager males and females were seen at
various locations. Warblers were somewhat less abundant than they
were on the weekend, with Yellow-rumps and Palms still the most abundant
species. In all, 13 warbler species were seen, including our first
American Redstart of the year. Along the beach and lagoon,
Eastern Kingbirds were busy fighting over the best perching
areas. In the afternoon, a large Chironomid hatch attracted hundreds
of swallows to the lagoon and point. All six species of Wisconsin
swallows (Bank, Cliff) were seen, as well as a Chimney Swift.
On the way back to point # 3, a Black-Billed Cuckoo was spotted
perched over the lagoon. This is our first record in two years.
|Banding was slow this morning.
We banded our first Ovenbird and Wilson's Warbler of
the year. One Lesser Scaup still remains along with the local waterbirds.
A Sora was heard for the first time this spring, and Tennessee
Warblers are showing up on the point.
|Constant rain yesterday afternoon
and this morning have filled up the lagoon and wequiock creek, after
a long dry spell. Good numbers of warblers, but low diversity. First
Ovenbird and Northern Waterthrush seen this year singing
at numerous locations. After the rains stopped, a handful of Wood
Thrushes and Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks greeted the sun with song.
Baltimore Orioles and Gray Catbirds have returned to territories,
along with a pair of Brown Thrashers and numerous Yellow Warblers
and Warbling Vireos. Still no rails or bitterns seen or heard in the
lagoon. Out on the beaches, Caspian Terns are abundant, with over
50 resting on the tip of the point.
A quick evening stop to the point yielded the first Red-Headed
Woodpecker of the year for the point. Warblers were abundant,
but most were Yellow-Rumped and Palm. Six Great Blue Herons were
perched in the trees above the lagoon. Catbirds and Orioles were
abundant all over the point.
|Great day of Banding out on the point.
We got 19 spp. and 41 birds in just over three hours. Blue-Winged Warblers
were seen in numbers that defied the imagination...Nashville,
Palm, and Myrtle were the most common warblers seen. New warblers
to the point today include: (Golden-Winged, Cape May, Mourning(early),
Northern Parula, Pine, Common Yellowthroat). The Pine Warbler
was significant because they are rarely ever seen on the point. The
Mourning seems awfully early as well. Other new forest migrants included:
Baltimore Oriole, Great-Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-Throated Vireo,
Philadelphia Vireo, Veery and Wood Thrush. At point # 4 a pair
of Greater Yellowlegs were feeding with a pair of Spotted Sandpipers
and two Solitary Sandpipers. Only a few scaup remain, as the
good birding shifts to the trees and away from the bay. At the end
of April we are now at 126 species!
|Jay and I went out for an
evening hike to determine the extent of the warbler migration. Woah!
I'm glad we did. We totaled 65 spp. in just over an hour and a half.
Including ten spp. of warblers : (Orange-Crowned, Bay-Breasted,
Nashville, Blue-Winged, Yellow, Black and White), Warbling Vireo,
Eastern Towhee, WILF/ALFL? empidonax flycatcher, and lots of White-Throated
Sparrow, Myrtles, and Palms. Out on the beach, most of the Scaup
have left, but lots of Caspian and Forster's Terns are busy croaking
and screaming at each other. Just before dark we also saw a 2nd or
3rd summer Greater Black-Backed Gull fly in with some Herring
Gulls. Out on the point a large flock of Pelicans, Cormorants and
Gulls were joined by a small flock of Dunlins.
|Another windy day from the
SW today. This is starting to become commonplace. Today marked the
first day of banding for the
spring out on the point. However, because of the high winds, the birds
were not cooperative. Over half of the Lesser Scaup had left the point
overnight, and the remaining birds were being harassed by an adult
Peregrine Falcon at point # 1. The falcon stooped on the resting
scaup to get them to fly, and then picked out a drake scaup and knocked
it out of the air. Fortunately for the scaup, the Peregrine was reluctant
to swim for a meal. The scaup shook off the incident and swam farther
out into the bay. Kinglets, Yellow-Rumps and a few Palm Warblers were
common in the undergrowth. A singing Gray Catbird was seen
on the west end of the lagoon, and was later banded. There are still
a few Shovelers, Teal, and Wigeon in the lagoon, and today they were
joined by a Greater Yellowlegs.
|A beautiful day out at the
point. Good numbers of Scaup still surrounding the point, with a few
Gadwalls, Shovelers and Blue-Winged Teal mixed in. Forster's Terns
were seen hunting and courting in the bay. The first Spotted Sandpiper,
Green Heron, House Wren, Palm Warbler, and Purple Martins were
all seen. The Orchard Oriole from yesterday was not relocated. Raptors
made a good showing with Osprey, Merlin, Red-Tailed Hawks, Cooper's
Hawk, and many Sharp-Shinned Hawks observed. Including one adult female
Shin butchering an American Robin near point # 6. The Eastern Bluebird
that Rusty and I saw at Point # 2 on our way back in made 100 species
for the point so far this year !
| The heavy winds from the
West/Southwest brought in some new migrants and grounded them out
on the point. In the forested areas, White-Throated Sparrows, Hermit
Thrushes, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, and
Ruby-Crowned Kinglets were abundant. At point #5 a singing Orchard
Oriole was also spotted and a lone Black-Throated Green Warbler
was singing near the lagoon. Overhead Tree Sparrows, Northern Rough-Winged
Swallows, and a few Chimney Swifts were hawking insects
and battling the winds. The lagoon finally had a nice mixture of puddlers,
a pair of Pied-Billed Grebes, and a pair of Sandhill Cranes. Lesser
Scaup are still numerous in the bay, along with a few Pelicans, Canvasbacks,
Redheads, Ring-Necked Ducks and finally some Ruddy Ducks!!!
A nice adult male Merlin made several hunting passes as I was
out on the point.
|Friday afternoon was windy
and warm with Thunderstorms threatening on the horizon. Lesser Scaup
were still fairly abundant around the point, but the only other ducks
seen were a pair of mallards. A Northern Harrier and Great
Egrets were seen in the back marsh. Five Sandhill Cranes were
stalking Leopard Frogs in the lagoon. The usual suspects were lurking
in the forest undergrowth, including a Brown Thrasher. Bonaparte's
Gulls, Caspian and Forster's Terns were all spotted loafing
on a spit of sand north of the point. We are still patiently waiting
for Ruddy Ducks, Bitterns, Rails, and the first push of migrant warblers.
We are up to 85 species for the year!
|It was a very windy day at
Point au Sauble. Lesser Scaup were in very close to shore and Ring-Necked
Ducks were mixed in. Two Golden-Crowned Kinglets were seen
at point three. Also, a pair of Brown Thrashers were seen very
close to this point calling to each other frequently. The two Sandhill
Cranes were in the lagoon and did not fly off when they saw me. Many
Yellow-Rumped Warblers were calling from the trees. A few more female
Red-Winged Blackbirds were seen perched on the cattails in the lagoon.
| A beautiful morning out on
Point au Sauble. Over 6000 Lesser Scaup are grouped up all around
the point and out into the bay. Double-Crested Cormorants were seen
in greater number for the first time, flying up the east shore to
feeding areas. In addition, a lone American White Pelican was
seen flying over the point for the first time this spring. A Red-Tailed
Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, and adult Northern Goshawk were
all spotted on or over the point. This Goshawk was the first seen
in two years of surveys on the point. Yellow-rumped warblers, sapsuckers,
Hermit Thrushes, Fox sparrows, and a few White-Throated Sparrows
were seen in the forest. Tree Swallows were fighting over nest cavities
and a lone Barn Swallow was hawking insects off the tip at
point # 6. At point # 4 a Swamp Sparrow was singing in the
cattails and a Belted Kingfisher has again taken up residence.
Canada Geese are paired off and setting up nests in numerous areas
on the point. The total species count is now at 78!
|Lots of new birds were discovered
on an early evening jaunt around the point. The barrier forests and
marshes held the first female Red-Winged Blackbirds seen this
year. In addition, lots of Rusty Blackbirds and even a few
Brewer's Blackbirds were singing in the tops of the trees. The
Brewer's Blackbird is a new species for the point. Lesser Scaup were
still abundant all the way around the point, as the ice has finally
given way. The Common Goldeneyes have left, but Ring-Necked Ducks
and Red-Breasted Mergansers have taken their place. In the
woods Fox sparrows, Brown Creepers, Hermit Thrushes, Ruby-Crowned
Kinglets, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Northern Flickers,
and Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers have all shown up. A pair of Sandhill
Cranes have taken up residence in the lagoon, and hopefully a couple
of colts will be running around in a month.
|Steve Price walked the point
today and noted a few new migrants for the year. Tree Swallows
were present hunting over the lagoon, and American Wigeon and Northern
Shovelers were finally detected on the point. A male Common
Snipe was heard doing his winnowing display out over the lagoon
as well. Double-Crested Cormorants were spotted flying out
over the bay for the first time this year. In the woods, Winter
Wrens, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and Brown Creepers were all seen
for the first time.
|There are over 10,000 diving
ducks North and West of the point. Most are Lesser Scaup and Goldeneyes,
with some Canvasbacks, Redhead, Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, and
Ring-Necked Ducks mixed in. A lone Common Loon and Pied-Billed
Grebe were also spotted. Fox Sparrows were mixed in with
the Juncoes and Tree-Sparrows in the shrubs. A pair of juvenile Bald
Eagles were perched over the point checking the flock of ducks
for wounded individuals. A lone Sandhill Crane was wading among the
Bidens at point #2, and Green-Winged Teal were finally spotten
in the lagoon. Northern Pike were also spotted beginning their
spawning run at point #4.
|The inner lagoon has lost
most of its ice cover and is being used by Wood Ducks, Blue-Winged
Teal, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers and Black Ducks. The open water
off the tip of the point has expanded. There are thousands of Lesser
Scaup and Common Goldeneyes feeding on zebra mussels and plants off
the tip. Mixed in are hundreds of Canvasbacks, Redheads, and a few
Buffleheads and Common Mergansers. Red-Winged Blackbirds and Song
Sparrows are singing on territories all over the point, and a male
Cooper's Hawk was doing his best to reduce their numbers. The first
Great Blue Heron was seen flying into the back marsh for an evening
meal. The only common ducks for the area not seen yet are Shovelers,
Wigeon, and Green-Winged Teal. Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers were actively
drumming all afternoon. Northern Flickers, Tree Swallows, and Eastern
Phoebes have yet to arrive.
|The first day of Spring turned
out to be an excellent day to bird on Point au Sauble. Ice still covers
most of the shoreline, however, off the tip there is a large expanse
of open water that was filled with Goldeneyes, Common and Hooded Mergansers,
Both Scaup species, Canvasbacks, Redheads, Bufflehead, Canada Geese,
Mallards, Gadwall and even a few Pintail. The woods and
marshes were alive with singing Red-wing Blackbirds, Robins, Mourning
Doves and Cardinals. Not to be outdone, one European
Starling was imitating a Sora rail and an Eastern Meadowlark in
an alternating sequence. Tundra Swans and Kildeer have
arrived at the Point and towards dusk Song Sparrows could be
heard singing and thousands of Red-wing Blackbirds were coming
to roost in the lagoon.