Hello all,    

The following is my checklist from yesterday afternoon. Good luck if you try for the Dowitcher!!

Enjoy Birds,

Jim Mead
                                                                                                                                                                         Whitney Creek/Hospital Creek WMA, Addison, Vermont, US
Oct 3, 2015 3:23 PM - 5:32 PM
Protocol: Stationary

Comments:     I was on the west side of Whitney Creek looking across the creek to the east shoreline, which is where I found the shorebirds. To find this location: There is a fairly large parking area (park there) on the south side of Rte. 125, directly across from the beginning of the Whitney Creek Trail(with the orange gate). Cross the road to get on the north side, then walk to the right (west) and look on the left side of the road before you reach the beginning of the open water, for a recently trampled down foot path. Take that path and follow it through the woods. It will come out at the edge of Whitney Creek. Go slowly when you get close to the edge as the ducks will spook quite easily. When you get close to the edge, bear left until you go past an old Wood Duck nesting box that is on top of a wooden post and has a metal ring around the post, just below the nesting box. There is an opening on the edge of the Creek, between the trees and that is where I was set up. The afternoon sun was behind me and the viewing was quite good. The distance was just a bit too far to get detailed looks at individual feathers.

14 species

Wood Duck  36
American Black Duck  1
Mallard  19
Blue-winged Teal  5
Northern Pintail  5
Green-winged Teal  26
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  3
Semipalmated Plover  2
Killdeer  3
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Pectoral Sandpiper  4

Long-billed Dowitcher  1     The first thing I needed to determine was whether this bird was an adult or a juvenile. I could see no buffy or rusty colored edges or fringes on any of the upper scapulars or tertials, which ruled out juvenile. It was an adult in basic plumage. There was no obvious barring along the flanks, however there was spotting on the underside along both sides of the undertail. The overall coloration of the upper parts was darkish gray, slightly brownish. The upper scapulars showed darkish centers but I could not get great looks at the individual feathers. The tertials were clean on the inside of their edges. The lower parts or underside was white. I spotted this bird at 3:42 p.m. I wanted to see it fly so that I could get a good look at the tail. I had to watch it for 1 hr. and 41 minutes before it finally flew. That is when I saw a long and narrow white rump that extended up toward the back. The tail was very dark showing little white coloration. It touched down closer than where it had been and I got a good look at the tail bars. The black bars were at least twice as wide as the narrow white bars. That was the field mark that I had been patiently waiting to see because I think it is a reliable way to tell Dowitchers apart. Had the barring been more even (black same width as white), I would have ID'd it as a Short-billed Dowitcher.

Pileated Woodpecker  1

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