2019  by Joseph Youngman and Phil Quenzi

Coppermine Point       Ontario

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory has conducted waterbird counts in spring and fall since the late 1980's and Whitefish certainly sets the standard for magnitude of waterbird movement.     In my quest to try and tease out all the major flyways in Lake Superior I realized that the extreme east shore of Lake Superior probably had a movement of waterbirds following the shoreline there and those birds would just NOT be visible from across the way at Whitefish.  In May of 2016 I decided to go do a spring count at Coppermine Point to see what turned up. (Certainly other people suspected and acted upon the same thought ahead of me.)

I had ALOT of Common Loons go by.  At least one of those days I saw more COLO at Coppermine than the Whitefish counter had the same day.   The loons and ducks I saw were within a mile or two of the shore and were heading N, NNW or NW and could not have been birds that passed Whitefish Point.    On my first day a light southerly breeze  brought across several dozen raptors from Whitefish in a three hour period including: Bald Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Kestrel.   The distance between Whitefish Point and Coppermine Point is just over 17 miles.

A simple spreadsheet of the passing waterbirds from that count is here  ----

Youngman at Coppermine Point  May 2016

Wider view of the count site with the small navigational light

A chart of the area including Whitefish and Coppermine Points on each side of Whitefish Bay