Thursday, November 05, 2015

Last of the October Tuesday Outings

The seasons have certainly changed since we started in January. But, any given day, the weather turns relatively nice and in company of some nice folks, is a good day to go bird watching. We visited the eastern half of Sullivan county to places like Osceola Island and the Weir Dam, Paddle Creek Pond, Musick’s Campground and Beaver Pond. Some places were better than others, of course, and we had a few surprises!

On this particular crews consisted of Roy Knispel, Reece Jamerson, Gil Derouen, and myself.

We are probably nearing the point where, like during the summer, the migrations are about over and the winter visitors are here for the duration. Partly because of the variety of habitat we also get a good variety of birds. At Paddle Creek we had harrier, waxwing, shoveler, widgeon, and gadwall. At Musick’s Campground on South Holston Lake we had coot, loon, and gulls. These eight make a pretty nice list of birds for one day.

I thought we had a semi-palmated plover. From the back it looks very killdeer-ish and its head was turned as if looking to the side. I could see a stubby bill instead of long bill, although the angle may have foreshortened the bill, and I thought I noticed a lighter-colored, almost pinkish bill instead of a black one. We consulted Rick Knight’s authoritative guide, with its seasonal sightings, only to discover the last, latest sighting on record was ten days ago. Maybe it was just a killdeer after all.

Oh, well, tis the fun and fate of bird watching. We had fun.


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