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.