Date: 1/25/18 5:38 pm
From: jugbayjs <jugbayjs...>
Subject: [MDBirding] Jug Bay Greater White-fronted Goose, Short-eared Owl
Sorry I didn't report this sooner today (stressful day at work), and really glad that Karen et al observed and documented it today on their birdwalk! I just submitted an eBird report for the one I had this morning. I heard one here (my house/Jug Bay) early this morning (5:55 am) while I was filling the feeders before I went to work. It was somewhere north of the railroad, and presumably was one of the birds Karen saw in Billingsley marsh shortly afterwards.

It was heard several times, although it was puzzling at first since it wasn't making the typical laughing sort of calls that are often heard in flight. Obviously not a Canada Goose call, which have high variability but fairly consistent tones, which change in pitch with a tonal rise in second part, and are more flutey. Not a Snow Goose call, which is more nasal, sharp, and a squeaky monotone. It had a loud first syllable that dropped in pitch and volume in the second part, and sounds like a gull. I've heard them many times, including two weeks ago in TX, and can differentiate GWFG calls from Cacklers, Snows and Canadas.

I looked for one this eve when I got home (post sunset, and I only had about 25 minutes before dark). No luck with GWFG, but I saw a Short-eared Owl!

This was an awesome surprise; very uncommon here at Jug Bay. Seen first at 5:32 with bins as it flew across from AA to PG County, but it dove on some prey and was out of sight for ten minutes. It resumed flight at 5:42 and I watched it for several minutes in my scope, hunting in Billingsley Marsh close to the river.

Jeff Shenot
Croom, Md

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