Sunday, August 18, 2002

A Hot and Sultry Morning of Birding

Matt Orsie's report to the WV-Bird listserv of 8/16/2002 jolted and me out of my heat-induced malaise, prompting me to brave the hot and sultry morning air to check out a few ponds and creeks in Berkeley County for any waterbirds that might be lingering about. This wasn't a complete survey of all water bodies, and probably doesn't even represent a random sample, but it should give some approximation of what is around. I counted 126 individuals of 10 species (plus 2 additional varieties) at 9 different ponds and creek access points (out of approximately 30 checked). Here's the complete list:

Great Blue Heron - 4 individuals at 3 localities
Great Egret - 1/1
Green Heron - 3/3
Canada Goose - 79/3
Wood Duck - 11/2
Mallard - 22/5 (wild 14/3, domestic 2/1, Pekin 6/2)
Ring-necked Duck - 1/1 (see below)
Killdeer - 2/1
Solitary Sandpiper - 2/2
Belted Kingfisher - 1/1

The Ring-necked Duck was a complete surprise. Are there any other early-fall records for the State? It was a female-plumaged bird, identifiable by profile and a very faint, pale "spur" on the side of the breast.

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