Date: 9/6/17 11:27 am From: Terry Bronson <tbronsonbirds...> Subject: Possible record-early Coot, early Merlin, Veery, warbler wave in Morgantown
This morning, I checked the Monongahela River in Morgantown briefly for terns, gulls, cormorants, and other water birds.
All I could come up with was an AMERICAN COOT at the Barill Park boat ramp in Star City. Although basically in adult plumage, it appeared to still have a hint of brownish gray in a couple of places, so I would guess it to have been born this year. This could possibly be the earliest fall migrant coot in West Virginia: the only other eBird record for September is September 30 at Hannibal Dam in Wetzel County in 2016 by Wilma Jarrell. There are 3 eBird records from August 5-20; whether or not these were migrants or over-summering birds is open to debate.
Afterward, I birded the WV University Core Arboretum for over 2.5 hours. Actually, a wave of migrants in the fruiting black cherry trees along the rail trail just north of its intersection with the service road kept me within 0.1 mile of that location for almost 2 hours, so I never got to the flood plain or the northern and central parts of the Arboretum.
Merlin--1. Very early, though there are a few August records in the WV lowlands. Great Crested Flycatcher--2 Veery--1 Black-and-White Warbler--1 Magnolia Warbler--3 Chestnut-sided Warbler--2 American Redstart--1 Blackpoll Warbler--2 Yellow-throated Warbler--1 Warbler species--10 at least. Too much flitting in the trees in poor light to be sure what they were. Some could have been vireos, I suppose. Northern Cardinal--7. Included was a juvenile male with a black bill. Most interesting, though, was a female that flew into a tree overhanging the rail trail just south of the Arboretum boundary. Closer inspection showed her to be in a nest in incubating/brooding position. Getting kind of late, but not unprecedented, I'm sure. Baltimore Oriole--2 American Goldfinch--4, with a male feeding a begging youngster