Arctic Terns at Crowley

Observers: ESAS Field Trip (fide Chris and Rosie Howard
Remote Name:
Date: 08/15/2004
Time: 11:49 PM -0400


On 14 Aug, Jon Dunn led an ESAS field trip to Crowley Reservoir. The highlight of the trip were two adult Arctic Terns Jon id'ed as they flew by on the NW arm of Crowley. It was easy to see some of the notable characteristics in flight as Jon and Kristie Nelson so aptly described them: Rather long transluscent wings appearing silvery at times as the light shown through them accentuating the narrow black trailing edges of the underside of the primaries. The birds had short heads with very little body extending in front of the wings. In contrast, the backs of their bodies behind the wings were long, trailing a long forked tail. Short orange-red bill. Lilting, buoyant flight, with frequent plunges. Both had black caps and were pale gray underneath. There were excellent comparative views of juvenile Baird's sandpipers with Westerns, and a handful of Leasts. Amazing were hundred(s) of White-faced Ibis. A few Willets, many Eared Grebes, some with flegelings on their backs, many nesting Western Grebes, 1 nesting Clark's Grebe. Many Gadwall with young. Thousands of waterfowl. Also in great numbers were American White Pelicans and Canada Geese.