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