November 17, 2017
Jim Arnett and myself did a little birding around Kentucky Lake today
(mostly afternoon) starting at the Duck River Unit TNWR, and ending at
Paris Landing State Park.
We had a total of 26 species of waterfowl, a few of which I only had
before Jim got there.
10 LONG-TAILED DUCKS at the Duck River Unit, 7 beautiful males and 3
females were seen in the mouth of the Duck River around noon. We soon lost
track of them as they moved around the corner. This is only the second
record for Humphrey's County, and the first for more than just a single
3 slightly late BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS were also in this same area on the
mudflats. A single Least Sandpiper and 15 Dunlin are also present, but I
saw those from Tie Landing earlier in the morning.
5 species of Geese plus one hybrid Snow x Greater White-fronted have now
settled in for the winter, easily viewed along Refuge Road.
We killed some time along Refuge Road, waiting for the Golden Eagles to
appear, but no luck on that so far this year. Plenty of Bald Eagles around.
At the Pump Station we had 4 distant RED-BREASTED MERGANSERs, and the
only Ruddy Ducks, Redheads and Canvasbacks for the day.
On the way to Paris Landing we noticed a recent Black Scoter report from
Rocky Point, which got Jim's attention. However, we opted to try for the
Scoters from the West side, which was much closer to where we were headed.
At Trailer Road we had really bad looks at a distant PACIFIC LOON that
was continually diving in the direction of Big Sandy.
At Port Road Overlook, still no Scoters, but much better looks at an
adult RED-THROATED LOON seen among a sizable raft of Common Loons.
The regular 8 FORSTER'S TERNS and a near adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
were at Eagle Creek. Good mudflats here, but no shorebirds.
At Paris Landing State Park the diving ducks were assembling about 4 p.m.
as expected, with good numbers of GREATER SCAUP and COMMON GOLDENEYE
around, as well as 9 more LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 6 females and 3 males, for a
Kentucky Lake day total of 19!!!! Which is considerably higher than
Somershoe and Sloan's previous TN Fall high count of only 4 birds. A single
Winter high count of 31 birds on Radnor Lake in February 1929 is apparently
the only one that exceeds the current one.
Also at Paris Landing, 3 SURF SCOTERS, and 5 female type BLACK SCOTERS
were seen with the sizable raft of diving ducks. (We tried really hard for
any Scoter with white in the wings, but it didn't happen)
Here is the days waterfowl list:
Greater White-fronted Goose 800
Snow x Greater White-fronted Goose 1
Snow Goose 35
Ross's Goose 12
Cackling Goose 52
Canada Goose 120
Wood Duck 122
American Wigeon 225
American Black Duck 1
Northern Shoveler 9
Ring-necked Duck 225
Greater Scaup 22
Lesser Scaup 85
Surf Scoter 3
Black Scoter 5
Long-tailed Duck 19
Common Goldeneye 45
Hooded Merganser 5
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Ruddy Duck 2
Ruben Stoll, Centerville TN