Date: 11/21/20 12:14 pm
From: Derek Courtney <derek.dana.courtney...>
Subject: Cheat Lake Waterbird Trip --- Mon. Co.
Hi all,

This morning Mountaineer Audubon sponsored its annual November outing to
Cheat Lake and environs in search of waterfowl led by yours truly. Eight
brave souls joined me for a COVID-modified circuit. The lake was at a good
winter level with exposed sandbars at the upper end. We had decent numbers
and variety for the rather pleasant weather this weekend. We also managed
to avoid the rain, which made viewing much easier for our participants many
of whom were making their first trip with us. Highlights were a couple of
good rafts of both Scaup species and a lone Red-breasted Merganser. Full
waterbird species totals as follows:

Cheat Lake --- Uplake Marinas
Mallard 23
Bufflehead 23
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Ring-billed Gull 1

Cheat Lake --- I-68 Bridge
Mallard 63
Ring-necked Duck 5
Greater Scaup 14
Lesser Scaup 32
Bufflehead 63
Hooded Merganser 11
Ruddy Duck 16
Ring-billed Gull 1

Cheat Lake --- Sunset Harbor
Canada Goose 1
Mallard 53
Ring-necked Duck 2
Bufflehead 11
Pied-billed Grebe 2
Great Blue Heron 1

Cheat Lake --- Cheat Lake Park
Greater Scaup 6
Lesser Scaup 30
Bufflehead 8
Hooded Merganser 5
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Pied-billed Grebe 2

Though landbirds were not our focus, we did keep an ear and eye out for
those irruptive winter finches. Unfortunately we came up empty there, but
the usual suspects were still around.

The next major Mountaineer Audubon birding event will be the annual
Christmas Bird Count. Coordinator LeJay Graffious will undoubtedly be
making some informative announcements soon. So keep a lookout on the usual
channels for the latest word on that. If ever there were a season where
feeder watchers could play a big role in the CBC, this might be it with all
the great northern visitors we are experiencing. Hopefully everyone can
participate in some fashion. Thanks to all who attended and to Mountaineer
Audubon for sponsoring. Best wishes to you all. Stay safe.

Good birding,
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