[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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