Monday, September 10, 2018

Sunday Summary: September 3-September 9, 2018

This week was very sad from a birding standpoint for me. I was only able to get out two days and submit checklists. With all of the rain that we have been getting and the change in schedule with school, there just wasn't much time.

I was still able to add three species to my Riley County and life lists. The Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), and Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) were all new birds for me. I have never really gotten out to a wetland area during the fall migration before, but am hoping to be able to get out more this week to hopefully add even more diversity to my list. My new list totals are now; Riley County, 97, Life list, 186. Only three away from my goal of 100 species for Riley County before winter.

My most observed species was the American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) with 46 individuals. I also observed what seemed to be a migrating flock of this species over the Kansas State University campus this week, but was not able to report it.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) wading in the river, through a sunflower
The picture of the week this week is of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) through some sunflowers. This bird was hanging out near the boat ramp at Fancy Creek State Park as I was leaving Tuesday. It stood still and allowed me to capture a few great images before slowly turning and walking off to where I could no longer get a clear shot.

My highlight of the week was finding the Caspian Tern and Black Terns. I spotted the Caspian Tern while observing the feeding behaviors of the Ring-billed Gulls (). The Tern just happened to fly in front of the Gull that I was observing, catching my attention with its bright orange bill and black cap. The Black Tern was flying around in the area, but I struggled for a long time to figure out what it actually was. They were not displaying their breeding colors, so most of my manuals were not the most helpful. Luckily the Sibley Guide has many different plumage variations for each species and I was able to determine from there that they were either juveniles, non-breeding adults, or some combination of both.

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