Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ongoing Offshore Lake Michigan Waterfowl/Waterbird Surveys (WGLBBO)

The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory continues its offshore surveys by aircraft, from one mile to ten miles offshore along the west shoreline of Lake Michigan. At present there are diminishing numbers of diving ducks and loons present, but Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, a few loons and grebes, and smaller numbers of Long-tailed Ducks are still being seen. We did survey blocks offshore from Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties today. We continue to find good numbers of Glaucous Gulls, with one Iceland Gull today, and increasing numbers of Ring-billed, Herring, and Bonaparte's Gulls. Glare is a huge issue on sunny days, and as we turn north or south, the lake-side observer has to deal with that, while the land-side observer "gets a break" from the visual struggle with glare. Lake Michigan, especially far offshore, is really "wild territory" - and we are reminded of that on every trip.

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