Date: 12/28/17 12:17 pm
From: Terry Bronson <tbronsonbirds...>
Subject: Cheat Lake freezing; Common Goldeneyes arriving on Mon River in Morgantown area
This morning the entire south end of Cheat Lake (both sides of the I-68
bridge and Sunset Harbor Marina) was nearly 100% frozen. At Cheat Lake
Park, the backwaters were frozen, but the lake itself was almost all open
water, though it was tough to tell due to the amount of steam rising from
the lake. There was some ice beginning to form along the shores. With
temperatures in Morgantown forecast not to rise above freezing until Jan.
6, I expect the lake will be completely frozen by the first of the year,
and duck season will be at an end.

Consequently, pickings were slim:

Cheat Lake Park:

Bufflehead--6
Pied-billed Grebe--1

Sunset Harbor Marina, all birds roosting on ice at end of piers:

Canada Goose--15
American Black Duck--4
Mallard--35

North of I-68 bridge: nothing

South of I-68 bridge:

Canada Goose--75 roosting on ice and in small patch of open water at inflow
of stream across lake from Whip-poor-will Bar.

--------------------------

I then went to the Monongahela River, which was unfrozen, though there was
the beginning of ice along the shore in a few places, and some floating ice
chunks.

Normally the river hosts increased numbers of birds once Cheat Lake freezes
and the birds are forced to move elsewhere. In addition, new birds arrive
from the north once lakes and rivers freeze in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and
Canada. That process seems to be beginning. Most notable were the 7 Common
Goldeneyes; only a handful of single birds have been reported to eBird this
fall and winter in WV. From south to north:

Uffington boat launch area:

Canada Goose--94
Mallard--14
Common Goldeneye--2 females
Hooded Merganser--8
Common Merganser--2

Morgantown Lock and Dam to Cobun Creek:

Mallard--2
Common Goldeneye--3 females
Hooded Merganser--2
Pied-billed Grebe--2

Walnut Street boat ramp area:

Canada Goose--5
Mallard--13
Lesser Scaup--1
Bufflehead--1
Hooded Merganser--2
Pied-billed Grebe--3

Morgantown power plant:

Mallard--6
Bufflehead--16
Hooded Merganser--1
Pied-billed Grebe--1

Barill Park:

Mallard--11
Bufflehead--11
Hooded Merganser--4
Pied-billed Grebe--3

Star City wastewater treatment plant, viewed from across the river since
access to the small creek next to the plant is now closed due to
construction:

Wood Duck--2 drakes
Mallard--92
Northern Pintail--2 drakes
Green-winged Teal--3
Redhead--1 female
Bufflehead--40
American Coot--1

Route 100/Fort Martin Road:

Mallard--30
Bufflehead--5
Common Goldeneye--2 females
Hooded Merganser--3
Common Merganser--1 drake
Pied-billed Grebe--1
Great Blue Heron--1
Belted Kingfisher--1

--
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV
 
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