Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory

Headquarters at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

Waterbird Watch

Waterbird Watch seasonal summary spring 2017

Here are the summarized results from the Spring 2017 Waterbird Watch:

Top Ten Species:

Red-breasted Merganser – 41,274

Bonaparte's Gull – 30,854

Herring Gull – 17,914

Ring-billed Gull – 14,386

Common Tern – 12,403

Greater Scaup – 11,705

Double-crested Cormorant – 11,183

Lesser Scaup – 6,059

Caspian Tern - 5,591

Long-tailed Duck – 3,605

Total for all species – 176,136

175 total species, 71 waterbird species

The overall number is similar as last year but the breakdown was different. Most divers except Red-breasted Merganser were less numerous. The Cormorant total is only about half last year's. Bonaparte's Gull and Common Tern numbers are a bit higher.

Overall highlights include Harlequin Duck, one possibly two Neotropic Cormorants, a Virginia Rail that flew in off the lake, Whimbrel, Marbled Godwit, Franklin's Gull and California Gull.

Waterbird Watch Fall 2016

Today saw a cold blustery end to the fall season for the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory's Waterbird Watch at Harrington Beach State Park. The Watch for this season started on September 1, and ran through today. As is often the case during inclement weather, there were some highlights today to wrap up: 3 Franklin's Gulls flying close along the lakeshore, and 3 very distant jaegers that appeared to be Pomarines, more expected than Parasitic at this late date. Below are the top ten most abundant species tallied during the fall.

  • Red-breasted Merganser - 125,173
  • Ring-billed Gull - 17,222
  • Double-crested
  • Cormorant - 8,940
  • Canada Goose - 5,012
  • Herring Gull - 4,681
  • Mallard - 2,122
  • Bonaparte's Gull - 2,063
  • Lesser Scaup - 2,061
  • Blue-winged Teal - 1,833
  • Barn Swallow - 1,147

Total for all migrants this season - 179,449

2016 Waterbird Watch August Update

Our technician Calvin Brennan will be starting a new autumn 2016 Waterbird Watch season on September 1st. Visit him to learn what he's seeing, at the blind just south of "The Point" in Harrington Beach State Park, from Mon-Sat, from dawn to about noon.