Date: 5/14/18 3:50 am From: Terry Bronson <tbronsonbirds...> Subject: Late Red-breasted Mergansers at Willow Island Dam
Yesterday, May 13, there were 12 Red-breasted Mergansers swimming in the Ohio River at the fishing access area on the downstream side of the Willow Island Dam in Pleasants County, WV.
All the birds were the same size. One was a spiffy male, the othets in female-type plumage. Since this species does not breed in WV and it would be far too early for ducklings to have grown to full adult size, I think this must have been a family group from 2017 where the young birds have not yet molted to adult plumage.
Also there are a pair of Ospreys nesting somewhat precariously on top of a metal power line pole. A week ago I thought there was a young bird in the nest, but today the bird in the nest did fly around a bit, then settled in to incubate, so I was mistaken.
Also a Yellow-breasted Chat, 2 Herring Gulls, 2 Double-crested Cormorants, 4 Killdeers (but no sign of the 2 chicks I saw last week), and only 2 Cliff Swallows nesting on the dam.