Monday, April 28, 2003

Shenandoah River Highlights - 4/23/03

A quick tour of the Shenandoah River, Jefferson County, West Virginia, on the evening of April 23 from 5:30 to 6:15 revealed a few good birds (despite the gusty wind conditions) along John Rissler and Bloomery roads:

Common Loon - 1 (winter-plumaged)
Red-necked Grebe - 4
Double-crested Cormorant - 16
Turkey Vulture - 5
Canada Goose - 30
"Graylag" Goose - 2 (see comments below)
Wood Duck - 2
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Belted Kingfisher - 2
Purple Martin - 5+
Barn Swallow - 2
Tree Swallow - many
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - a few
Louisiana Waterthrush - 1

The two "Graylags" were feeding with a small flock of Canada Geese along John Rissler Road. They had many of the classic features of Greater White-fronted Geese (e.g., dark, chocolate-colored head and neck, with white flecking on the hind-neck; white on forehead and behind the bill; gray back; pinkish-orange bill, legs, and feet), but the lower breast and belly were light gray, more closely resembling those of a Canada Goose. The birds also appeared too bulky for typical wild Greater White-fronts, especially in the belly, but were not nearly as bulky as the bird featured in Sibley's guide (p. 89)

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