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September 2011


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Rare Bird Alert <[log in to unmask]>
"John P. Ellis" <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 11 Sep 2011 19:08:33 -0600
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"John P. Ellis" <[log in to unmask]>
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K     On Thursday evening I was watching warblers and vireos and catbirds
from the deck of my cabin in Douglas County when either a female or juvenile
Summer Tanager showed up. I wasn't sure how long it had been there when I
turned to it as I had been looking through binoculars in another direction.
It was sitting and eating buckthorn berries about 25-30 feet away (I'm
trying to control the buckthorn, but maybe I shouldn't.) It was yellow with
greenish tinges, darker gray-green with yellowish tinges on the wings, dark
eye, dark legs and a large dark bill (long both in terms of length and
thickness.) It was catbird size but more bulk in the body.
      I also had a Mourning Warbler, C. Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler,
Ovenbird, Nashville, and Tennessee, Warbling Vireo (still singing), Red-Eyed
Vireo (still singing) and a Philadelphia Vireo. Marsh Wrens were still
vocalizing as were Soras and Virginia Rails. A few Nighthawks went over and
later on Saturday many Franklins Gulls were feeding as they migrated by. I
saw my Least Bittern twice and Green Herons were still around. Only one or
two juv. Hummingbirds left and the Orioles were no-shows. A Cedar Waxwing
was still feeding a voracious juvenile.
      In Douglas I had one Lesser Yellowleg, legions of Killdeer and one
interesting shorebird in a water-filled gravel pit that I couldn't ID
because it was strange (and I had left my scope at home.) The bird was
small, showed a lot of white on the belly and up the side, had a brown head
which showed reddish, and the wings were substantially darker, showing
darker grey at the distance I was. The bill was dark and about the length of
the head, perhaps a little shorter. Legs seemed dark but bad looks. It was
on a sand island in a water-filled quarry and walked slowly and deliberately
from about 8-9 feet from waters edge (height above water about 2-3 feet) and
occasionally to the water's edge but never into the water. Foraging
movements were deliberate also. The bird would lean to horizontal (from
slightly above horizontal) and then lean over and pick at whatever had
interested it. It was the only shorebird I saw besides the YLeg and
Killdeer. It was 1/4 the size of the Killdeer (or 1/2 the length of a Canada
Goose foot). Maybe a Baird's but it seemed smaller. Any thoughts???
     John Ellis-St. Paul

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