This is the 33rd survey for the 2018 season. Temperatures ranged from
11 F to 15 F with light snow, fog, and 6 inches of snow on the ground.
The smaller ponds were iced over with a thin layer, but some ice was
thick enough to support Canada Geese, and Tundra Swans.
No new species were seen today. The total species for the year stands
at 150. Total individuals counted today were 8,956 individuals and 27
species compared to 9,476 and 24 species last week. There were 18
species of waterfowl.
American Coots are now down to 588 and will soon be mostly gone.
Several species have moved in with this cold weather to stage and then
move south. Mallards were 3,375, and American Wigeons were at 3,042.
Barrow’s Goldeneyes are increasing and I found 185 today. Grebes are
nearly gone with 18 in three species today.
Tundra Swans were at 365 which is an increase from last week.
SHOREBIRDS AND WADERS:
BIRDS OF INTEREST:
1 Surf Scoter, 3 Snow Buntings.
There were no white geese today, but two days ago I counted 7,500. I
heard them here in Deer Lodge last night, so they are moving south
through our valley. I suspect that some are landing at the WS WMA
daily but don’t stay long.
27 species, and 8,956 individuals. This made up 100% of the total
Not surveyed, due to hunting pressure in the area. In the areas with
easy access hunting, the pressure eliminates most waterfowl. It is
also not necessary to drive where hunters are positioned in blinds. I
did drive through the hunted portion of the WMA and there were only a
few waterfowl present. I will continue to monitor the areas and if
hunting subsides I will begin surveys in those areas again.