With strong NNW winds today at 15-25 mph I set up shop at Rocky River Park between 9:45 and 11:20 a.m. The season’s first big movement of waterfowl was in high gear, with constant streams of mixed species flocks. Mixed species flocks totaled between 5 and 45 birds and moved past consistently, heading from the east to the west. Most flocks had pintail, wigeon, Mallards, and teal mixed in. Highlights included good numbers of Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, a single SURF SCOTER, Merlin.
Totals: Northern Pintail (538), American Wigeon (210), Gadwall (55), Lesser Scaup (4), Northern Shoveler (65), Green-winged Teal (120), Blue-winged Teal (10), teal species (100), Surf Scoter (1), Mallard (320), American Black Duck (38), dabbling duck species (300), Canada Goose (24).
Other species: Merlin (1), Bald Eagle (3), Turkey Vulture (6), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1 – came in off the lake), loads of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, passerine species (2).
Rarities are turning up across the Great Lakes region, with Say’s Phoebes, Harris’s Sparrows (including Tom Kemp’s Bowling Green Ohio backyard yest and today), Western Grebes, Brant, early Purple Sandpipers, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Whitefish Point in Michigan, a Townsend’s Solitaire near Toronto, Canada, a Burrowing Owl last weekend at Montrose in Illinois (!) and today, a Clark’s Nutcracker in Minnesota. October and November equals high time for rarities. Including mega rarities from the west and south.
Get out there!