[mou] Park Point update

Eckert K R eckertkr at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 20:40:55 EDT 2007

A Barrow's Goldeneye and Arctic Tern (among other birds of note) were 
found this afternoon at Park Point in Duluth.

The goldeneye was a male in "eclipse" plumage, or possibly in 
transition to winter/breeding plumage, and identified primarily by its 
smaller/stubbier bill and more vertical or less sloping forehead 
profile. These features were especially evident since there was direct 
comparison with a male Common Goldeneye (in similar plumage) nearby. 
The location was on the bay side of Park Point near the rowing club 
building at about 38th Street, and just S of them in the bay were 
several Surf Scoters and one female-plumaged Black Scoter. 
(White-winged Scoters were also seen elsewhere along the Point today.)

The Arctic Tern was a sub-adult individual, possibly a juvenile, seen 
well in flight over L Superior out from the Recreration Area. This 
individual was primarily identified by a combination of a broad and 
contrasting area of white on the upper wing surface on the secondaries, 
which extended somewhat on to the secondary coverts and inner 
primaries, and by the absence of any sign of a carpal bar.

Other observers at Park Point today reported Red-throated Loon and 
Sabine's Gull (both on the lake out from the Recreation Area) and a 
Whimbrel (on the beach at the far S end of Park Point). However, to my 
knowledge, no jaegers were reported by anyone today, despite strong 20+ 
mph NE winds. The high temperature today, by the way, was only around 
50, only 40 degrees cooler than the 90 degrees I saw reported in Red 
Wing! The forecast for Sunday is for morning fog, warmer temperatures, 
and light S winds shifting to W in the afternoon.

One additional comment on the large falcon seen at Park Point yesterday 
and last weekend. In my view, its ID as a Gyrfalcon (a gray-morph 
juvenile male) is only tentative at this time, since it appears to have 
some characteristics of a Prairie Falcon. It may even prove to be an 
intergrade between Gyrfalcon and Prairie Falcon; note that falconers 
and other raptor researchers have been known to cross-breed large 
falcons in captivity.

- Kim Eckert

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