What We Do Waterbird Watch
The Waterbird Watch got started with a bang the first week of September with sightings of both a Parasitic Jaeger and a Neotropic Cormorant. Neotropic Cormorants are seldom seen beyond their northernmost range of Texas and, occasionally, the Great Plains. More recently, WGLBBO technician Calvin Brennan spotted an Arctic Tern, another bird seldom seen in this area.
A cool fact: "In Mexico, Neotropic Cormorants reportedly often fish cooperatively, forming a line across swift-flowing streams and striking the surface with their wings, causing fish to flee, whereupon the cormorants dive and pursue them." www.allaboutbirds.org
Calvin will continue conducting daily counts at the watch site at Harrington Beach State Park through December 5. A wonderful new development for this fall was the construction of a permanent blind for the Watch, which was installed by the Harrington Beach State Park staff. This brings our operation to yet another milestone.
Please visit Calvin at the WGLBBO blind just south of the rocky point on the shoreline (south of the main beach). He will be there this fall for six hours per day, Monday through Saturday, starting at dawn.
Final results of the 2017 fall Waterbird Watch will be shared in our January/February newsletter, as well as why unusual migrants are putting in a more frequent appearance in our area.
At the conclusion of the spring Waterbird Watch in May, the tally stands at 175 total species, 71 waterbird species
The overall number is similar to last year, but the breakdown was different. Most divers, except Red-breasted Merganser, were less numerous. The Double-crested Cormorant total is only about half of last year's. Bonaparte's Gull and Common Tern numbers are a bit higher.
Overall highlights include Harlequin Ducks, one - possibly two - Neotropic Cormorants, a Virginia Rail that flew in off the lake, Whimbrels, Marbled Godwit, Franklin's Gull and California Gull. The California Gull is extremely rare, and this one may have been the second observation ever in Ozaukee County.
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.