Date: 11/8/17 12:40 pm
From: Terry Bronson <tbronsonbirds...>
Subject: Cheat Lake fallout--Snow Bunting, Tundra Swans, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneye, possible Brants
Probably the fallout occurred yesterday, but no one was there to document
it. Anyway, here's what Mike Slaven and I found this morning.

South of I-68 bridge:

TUNDRA SWAN--152. Only 32 were on the water, the remainder flying about in
several flocks. Strangely, and this applies to all subsequent sightings
this morning, the birds eventually seemed to move northeast and eventually
east, rather than south. If you look at a map, due east from Morgantown
gets you eventually just north of Baltimore, MD, and if the flocks angle
southward a bit past Cumberland, MD, they would pass near Washington, DC,
Annapolis, MD, and end up at their favorite wintering grounds near
Chesapeake Bay.
Canada Goose--102
Ring-necked Duck--2
Lesser Scaup--6
BUFFLEHEAD--380
Hooded Merganser--1
Ruddy Duck--20
Common Loon--3
Pied-billed Grebe--4
Double-crested Cormorant--11, migrating
BONAPARTE'S GULL--1

North of I-68 bridge:

TUNDRA SWAN--375. About 200 were on the water in a single flock at one
point, the remainder flying around as described previously.
Wood Duck--2
BUFFLEHEAD--265
Ruddy Duck--12
Common Loon--5
Gull species--8. Very distant, so couldn't be sure, but Ring-billed Gull
most likely.
Belted Kingfisher--1. Startled us when it flew out from the substructure of
the bridge just above us.

Sunset Harbor Marina:

TUNDRA SWAN--40 flying northeast or east.
Canada Goose--1 hanging out with the Graylag-type domestic that is likely
its mate.
Gadwall--25
Mallard--1
Pied-billed Grebe--1
Double-crested Cormorant--1

Cheat Lake Park:

TUNDRA SWAN--566. None on the water, though a local resident indicated
there had been many early in the morning. All flying about in many flocks,
some west, some east, some northeast, but most eventually east or northeast.
Canada Goose--1
GOOSE SPECIES--3 high-up birds flying away and distant to the northeast or
east. Looked all dark, but were not Cormorants; nor were they Canada Geese.
Mike thought he saw some grayishness on the body. We did not see any white
near the tail. We both thought they might have been Brant, but the views
were too poor to be sure.
Wood Duck--1
Ring-necked Duck--20
Lesser Scaup--15
BUFFLEHEAD--470
COMMON GOLDENEYE--1 first-year male still molting to adult plumage. No
white eye spot yet, and just an indistinct flank pattern, but solid-green,
mid-peaked head with golden eye, white underparts, and dark upperparts
distinctive. Only discovered among the Buffleheads as we were walking back
to our cars.
Hooded Merganser--8
Ruddy Duck--14
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT--73. The vast majority were migrating.
Common Loon--5
Pied-billed Grebe--8
HORNED GREBE--15, one of which, at a great distance, looked somewhat
larger, but the birds would always disappear before we could get close
enough for a better view.
American Coot--7
BALD EAGLE--3, 2 adults and 1 first-year bird.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker--1
MERLIN--1 female
Yellow-rumped Warbler--2
SNOW BUNTING--1 first-year female on the trail just south of the
administrative building, later on a picnic table next to that building.
Mike got some great photos.
Dark-eyed Junco--22

It looked like all the swans were gone when I crossed the I-68 bridge
heading home.

--
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV
 
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