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
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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.
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