The first of the year brought stormy weather, but I braved the winds and rain to see what birds might be about. I visited Swan Lake and New Thompson Harbor. The harbor was taking a bit of a beating from the wind blown waves that built up in the channel. I could hear the wind whistling through the poles and rigging on the many vessels tied up at the dock. During some of the gusts, the boats on the outside of the transient float would lean in over the dock as the waves splashed against them. On my way home, I stopped for a few minutes to watch a wind surfer brave the weather heading out from near the bridge over toward Crescent Harbor.
Weather: Another day of wind and rain. It’s probably faulty memory, but it seems like 6 out of 7 days for each of the last month or so we’ve been getting strong winds. Looking back at my weblog, I see there were a few more nice days than that, but we’ve certainly had our fair of storm in the last couple of weeks.
Birds: Although I did not see anything too unusual, I did see quite a few loons close to the dock. There were probably about a dozen of them, mostly in a couple of loose groups of Pacific Loons. The were also a couple of Common Loons.
Other birds in the harbor area included a Red-necked Grebe, several Barrow’s Goldeneye, 4-6 Red-breasted Mergansers, Pelagic Cormorants, Double-crested Cormorants, Common Mergansers, Greater Scaups, and Buffleheads.
At Swan Lake (which was just starting to open up, there was still a fair amount of ice) I saw a male Hooded Merganser and a few scaups and gulls along with the Mallards.
One thing I did not see was the flock of scaups that I have previously noticed in the little cove by SSS and behind th float plane dock. I figured for sure they would be in there out of the wind, but I guess they picked some other places to go. Perhaps some of them went to Swan Lake, since it had started to open up. There was a single male Barrow’s Goldeneye in there, however.