Thursday, March 13, 2014

Last cold of the winter? - 13 Mar 2014

Temps hit 5 degrees Fahrenheit this morning after 8" of snow fell yesterday.  We are now only 3" away from breaking the all-time Detroit record for snowfall.  But that was yesterday. Today at noon I took a quick run down to the Detroit River here in Wyandotte to survey the waterfowl situation.

At the foot of St. John's Street and the Wyandotte Municipal Boat Ramp I saw the large raft of White-winged Scoters still hanging around.  They were moving quickly south, however, so I did a quick count through the scope: 63 birds!  That included a gorgeous male Black Scoter!

I also counted 6 Red-necked Grebes at various locations: middle of the river, in the open water between John Dingell Park and the Municipal Boat Ramp, and in front of Mud Island.  Horned Grebes were also present in numbers up to 10 birds.

I could only manage a few digiscoped images of the Red-necked Grebes at Dingell Park, as the rest were too far out in the middle of the river.  Clear skies and bright sun made digiscoping difficult since the sun was mostly backlighting the birds. So, I turned the scope on a freshly-plumaged Ring-billed Gull that was perched on the railing 20 feet away.

A female Canvasback and Red-breasted Merganser were willing subjects, though.

Best sighting of the afternoon after work was Mr. Andrew Sturgess at the Municipal Boat Ramp. We chatted awhile and was able to relocate the White-winged Scoters, but they took off for the Canadian side of the river on the east side of Mud Island.

John D. Dingell Park, Wayne, US-MI
Mar 13, 2014 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     All birds reported were spotted between John Dingell Park to the north and the Wyandotte Municipal Boat Ramp at the foot of St. John Street in Wyandotte. Scoped from the boat launch. Sunny skies, cold 5F.
19 species

Mute Swan  8
Mallard  20
Canvasback  4
Redhead  4
Greater Scaup  4
White-winged Scoter  63     Large raft floating in middle of river approx. 300' from shore; counted through scope as they swam by! Relocated the flock at 3:30 pm in the afternoon, but they had flown to east side of Mud Island on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. Yes, 63 birds!
Black Scoter  1     adult male w/ bright orange knob on bill; in middle of raft of WW Scoters;
Bufflehead  4
Common Goldeneye  10
Hooded Merganser  2
Common Merganser  20
Red-breasted Merganser  14
Ruddy Duck  2
Red-necked Grebe  6     Possibly as many as 10 birds in the Detroit River between John Dingell Park and the Municipal Boat ramp ¾ mile south.  Several pairs in middle of river, while rest were in shallows near the boat docks between the two locations.  Two more pair were seen along the north side of Mud Island;"><img src="" />

Great Blue Heron  2
Bald Eagle  3
American Coot  2
Ring-billed Gull  1
Great Black-backed Gull  1

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

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