Print

Print


Thanks to all who responded.

Jackie's response contains details that convince me the birds we  
observed at Thomas Hill last Sunday were, indeed, Least Terns.

The tight flight formation and actions are consistent with what we  
saw.  The large number eliminates a major hesitancy we had with the i.d.

Although similar in flight formation to that of many shorebirds (and  
we considered some species), the flock we saw just didn't fly quite  
like shorebirds and shapes (beaks--not well seen, and wings) couldn't  
be resolved with any shorebirds we could think of.  They were too  
small/wrong shape for any gull species (Ivory admittedly not  
considered).

Thank you, Jackie for relating your experience with these delightful  
birds.  I like your idea that perhaps this is the same group you saw  
in May, returning with young!

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
[log in to unmask]

On Sep 27, 2006, at 2:19 PM, Jackie Chain wrote:

> Edge,
>
> Dr Richard Coles saw 2 dozen Least Terns at Riverlands on Sunday,  
> May 21 and reached me on my cell phone, then had to leave.  I  
> arrived about 45 minutes later and saw numerous Black Terns doing  
> their fluttery flight, just as you described it, far across near  
> the Illinois side.  They would fly down toward the dam, mill  
> around, a second group staging from the spit area, up and down to  
> the water.fishing as well, sometimes landing on the spit.  I  
> despaired, but I had my scope up scanning and all at once there the  
> Least were flying one direction fast in a tight group, not mixing  
> with the Blacks, flashing white when they banked.  They flew down  
> and back 2 or 3 times in their tight pack, then took off upriver  
> and did not return to my view in the next 15 or 20 minutes that I  
> remained.  It was quite a sight, and I wished they had stayed  
> around and nested.  Perhaps yours had done so somewhere west or  
> north and returned with the chicks via Thomas Hill.
>
> Jackie Chain
> St Louis County.
>
> Edge <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> As Susan, Mariel, Joyce and I were crossing the east causeway on Rt.
> T near the campground at Thomas Hill Reservoir Sunday, our attention
> was drawn to a swirling flock of birds fairly low over the water to
> the north.
>
> About 50 birds
> Flashed All White when turned--could get no markings
> When flock crossed to south side, sun was behind them and gave us
> only silhouettes
> Tails variously described by us as slight notched vee or shallowly
> concave
> Overall conformation reminded me strongly of Purple Martins
> Flight was similar to martins, too--not fluttery like Black Terns
> Size, relative to the ring-bills, was much smaller--Black Terns came
> to mind, but did not fit for several reasons.
>
> So--we all felt that Least Terns seemed the most likely, BUT, 50 in a
> flock was beyond our experience.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Edge Wade
> Columbia, MO
> [log in to unmask]
>
> __________________________________________________
> ###########################################################
> * Audubon Society of Missouri's *
> * Wild Bird Discussion Forum *
> *---------------------------------------------------------*
> * To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here: *
> * https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
> *---------------------------------------------------------*
> * To access the list archives, click here: *
> * http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html *
> * *
> * To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web *
> * Site: http://mobirds.org *
> ###########################################################
>


__________________________________________________
###########################################################
*              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
*                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:                *
* https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To access the list archives, click here:                *
* http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html          *
*                                                         *
* To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
* Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
###########################################################