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Date:         Mon, 15 Dec 2003 16:33:33 -0800
Reply-To:     Doris Cohrs <doris_cohrs@YAHOO.COM>
Sender:       Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Doris Cohrs <doris_cohrs@YAHOO.COM>
Subject:      Gull-billed Tern Altamaha WMA
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Scott Somershoe and I were at the observation tower on Butler Is., east of US17, Altamaha WMA this afternoon about 2:30. We observed a tern flying by and it definitely gave the impression of a gull-billed. The bill was entirely black, head almost completely white. There seemed to be a faint line through the eye. The mark was less obvious than the gray eye-patch illustrated by Sibley for the adult non-breeding plumage. The bird had a fairly slow, deliberate wingbeat. On its second pass by the tower it swooped down and picked up a frog and flew away with it.

Realizing that this species is not ordinarily seen along the coast at this time of the year, both Scott and I "hit the books" to reassure ourselves.

We also saw a few usual suspects: Green-winged Teal, Wood Duck, Gadwall, an immature Bald Eagle. From the Champney Island observation tower we saw Greater Yellowlegs, Little Blue Herons, and grackles appearing to walk on water as they "grazed" in the thick algae and other floating vegetation on the surface of the shallow ponds.

Doris Cohrs McIntosh County

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