[TN-Bird] Red Phalrope - TN 1,000+ Golden-Plovers -MS

  • From: olcoot1@xxxxxxx
  • To: missbird@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2007 23:28:40 -0400

Oct. 27, 2007
Mississippi River, Mud island
Ensley Bottoms
Shelby Co. TN
Tunica Co. MS

Almost everything floating down the river this AM was inanimate, foam, logs, 
and trash with just a few ducks including 2?Lesser Scaup, 2 Ring-neck, 4 Ruddy, 
and 3 Mallards. Lots of Tree Swallows, a few Barn and Rough-winged were keeping 
me busy, when a strange bird flew into my scope view, I picked it up and it was 
confusing until it sat down on the water and started feeding. I had noted 
extensive white wing stripes and after it landed the pale gray back and 
prominent phalarope mark IDed it as a RED!! It would feed and then pick up and 
fly to another spot in all the trash and float down the river. I lost it and 
decided to go to the south parking lot and try to see it as it came down. It 
took some time but it came into view and continued down and out of sight. About 
15 minutes later it flew right past me giving good looks and it continued 
north, I guess to again ride the river south while feeding.........

At TVA Lake, there were 13 Ring-billed Gulls, DC Cormorants, 7 Pied-billed 
Grebes, Coots, Mallards, Lesser Scaup, and 3 Redhead Ducks. The Pits had 12 
Dunlin, 9 Pectoral, 4 Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Spotted, Killdeer, hundreds of Least 
Sandpipers including?snowflake, now in its second month, and 2 Wilson's Snipe. 
A kettle of Turkey Vultures held 2 adult Broad-wings and 2 Red-tailed Hawks.

Down in Tunica Co, raptors were everywhere and a Merlin caught my attention 
speeding along over the deck and jumping into a field full of shorebirds. In 
the clouds of Wind Birds, I picked up on?one flock of 100+ plovers?? these 
finally settled down and turned out to be a surprise. They were American 
Golden-Plovers, a species we usually get, in the fall,?in low numbers either 
single digit or low teens. I had to drive two miles on a muddy road and almost 
got stuck but there were plovers covering this field and I found more on the 
other side of a ditch. These birds were again put into the air, this time?by a 
Peregrine. I counted 6 or 7 groups of plovers in the air and still counted 262 
in one field and another field held 428. Here was over 1,000 plovers!!! A took 
a lot of photos of the birds as they flew from field to field and strolled on 
the ground feeding. I've never heard of such a large fall group here in the 
south......Also in the field, 7+ White-rumped, 200+ Least with a 
 fly over Greater Yellowlegs and Wilson's Snipe. Marsh and Sedge Wrens were 
found in the rice stubble.

Jeff R. Wilson
Ol'Coot / TLBA
Bartlett TN.?
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