Date: 4/29/18 11:48 am From: Janet Keating <janet.ovec...> Subject: Purple Gallinule at Green Bottom
Wow! The universe bestowed a feathered gift on my birthday.
I arrived at the Hoeft wetlands at Green Bottom WMA a little after 10 am after birding earlier in Wayne county (Camp Branch). I headed back to the second pond. About halfway or a little way down beside the second pond, I saw a bird jump from the water in the seasonal wetlands, into a shrub. My jaw dropped. I knew it wlloas a Purple Gallinule the minute I saw it--beautiful peacock colored plumage on the wings, bright red and yellow beak, light patch above the beak and bright yellow legs (and very big feet!).
I called Gary Rankin because Dave Patick and Mike Griffith are both out of town. As luck would have it, Gary was at the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam. He drove down straight way. As I waited for Gary, the bird was making a soft clucking sound. Right before Gary arrived, the bird flew about 20 feet south of where I was sitting.
Gary spotted the bird right away, perched in some small trees in the seasonal wetlands. I observed it in the small tree while he went to the other side for a better look. It was in shadow from where we were looking, so he took his scope and walked around the seasonal wetlands to the other side where he could get excellent looks. He confirmed it. I observed the bird about 45 minutes in all.
Previously, I have stalked and seen this species before in the Florida Everglades.
Here's a link to the Brooks Bird Club site where Harry Slack (deceased) wrote up the birds of the lower Ohio Valley and the Purple Gallinule:
The last sighting was "collected" at McClintic Wildlife Management Area in 1983.
I am one happy birder and very grateful that Gary Rankin was close by to confirm this sighting!
Janet Keating, Consultant Green Shepherd, LLC
Former Executive Director of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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