Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Historical Posts - 1/2009

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THE NEAR GEORGIA REPORT*
PRE-BLOG HISTORICAL POSTS
JANUARY 2009
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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:59:32 -0500
Reply-To: Mark McShane
Sender: Georgia Birders Online
From: Mark McShane
Subject: Near Georgia Report* - Alabama Hooded Oriole(s) !!!

Hi All,

Better link!
http://www.birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/ALBD.html

Good Birding All!

Mark

Mark McShane
Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County), Georgia

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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 09:24:00 -0500
Reply-To: Mark McShane
Sender: Georgia Birders Online
From: Mark McShane
Subject: Near Georgia Report* - Alabama Hooded Oriole(s) !!!

Hi All,

A Hooded Oriole is being seen in Barnwell Alabama! Hooded Oriole is not on the current Georgia checklist!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/albirds/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/albirds/message/9084

Steve McConnell is current Secretary of the The Alabama Bird Records Committee (ABRC)!

Good Birding All!

Mark

Mark McShane
Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County), Georgia

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 09:30:28 -0500
Reply-To: Mark McShane
Sender: Georgia Birders Online
From: Mark McShane
Subject: Near Georgia Report - White-faced Ibis at St. Marks NWR

Hi All,

A very rare non-breeding (?) Florida resident, a White-faced Ibis was reported yesterday afternoon from St. Marks NWR on the FloridaBirds-L listserv at:

http://lists.ufl.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0901d&L=floridabirds-l&T=0&P=2637
http://lists.ufl.edu/archives/floridabirds-l.html

NWR website: http://www.fws.gov/saintmarks/

The NWR site is roughly 50 miles south from the Georgia-Florida border south of Thomasville on Hwy 319.

Good Birding All!

Mark

Mark McShane
Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County), Georgia

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Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 10:31:12 -0500
Reply-To: Mark McShane
Sender: Georgia Birders Online
From: Mark McShane
Subject: Masked Duck - Lake City Florida #3 - YES

Hi All,

I finished work yesterday and so somehow figured I had just enough time to squeeze in an attempt on the Masked Duck in Lake City Florida!!!

Extra pressure was on to find the bird as 30 minutes before I arrived at Alligator Lake I got a call from Darlene Moore about the Iceland Gull just seen by the Theodorou’s at Buford Dam at Lake Lanier. Knowing that I would have to miss the gull I surely didn’t want to miss the duck (images of an irreconcilable birder, sometimes a difficult thing to handle, were coming to mind).

I arrived at about 3:30pm at the boat ramp parking at the Alligator Lake Recreation Area, a couple of other small groups of birders arrived at about the same moment and we started walking. We walked out on the Montgomery trail north from the boat ramp and then west (it’s eventually a walk on a single dike, so you can’t go wrong) and then south and eventually stopped at the first handkerchief tied just off of the lower left side of the path! The bird had been seen earlier in the day from the handkerchief! We hadn’t seen the duck anywhere yet and didn’t see it around the marker area, so we wandered on down the dike checking all of the areas out to the left.

We had been checking the areas pretty close to the dike and in the canal there where there is more emergent vegetation, reeds, and rushes that the bird likes, and scanning out further with binoculars and scopes a bit.

Still not seeing the bird I decided to go back to the original marker area, camp there, and do a lot of scanning. I pretty quickly found the bird very nestled down out on the edge of a small area of open water. The bird was about 100-150 yards out! We all had great looks at the bird and what a great bird to see in very northern Florida!!!

The good news is that the vegetation on the lake there is not very thick and out further the brown stubbly stuff is short and fairly sparse. Even then though we couldn’t have found the bird scanning with binoculars since it was bedded down. So go to the handkerchief and scan as needed as a start!

Two other groups arrived while we were looking at the duck and we got them on the bird as well!

From the north end of the boat ramp Google Earth says it is 1.28 miles out the Montgomery trail to the exact spot of the handkerchief and where we scoped the bird. GPS coordinates of the handkerchief where we saw the bird:

N 30 10.342
W 82 37.841

My previous GABO posts on the bird reference all of the available information on the bird, plus where photos can be seen:
http://www.birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/GABO.html#1232763499
http://www.birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/GABO.html#1232819350

Website for the RA is:
http://www.columbiacountyfla.com/ParksandRecreation.asp

They actually closed at 5:30pm yesterday, so just barely we didn’t get locked in! If anyone needs any help planning a trip just shoot me an email I would be glad to help.

Now to relocate that Iceland Gull (half an irreconcilable birder is worse than none)!

Good Birding All!

Mark

Mark McShane
Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County), Georgia

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Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 12:49:06 -0500
Reply-To: Mark McShane
Sender: Georgia Birders Online
From: Mark McShane
Subject: Masked Duck - Lake City Florida #2

Hi All,

It has been reported that the Masked Duck has been missed due to the habit of the species to hang out in "thick leafy green herbaceous vegetation, they like the thick stuff, several birders missed it even though they were close to the bird, and ps there are ruddy ducks on the lake so new birders need to remember to look for the double line, etc." Thanks to Austrina1 for the information!

If you go for this bird then it would be best maybe to study up on the bird, and it's habits, etc., before you go, to arrive very early, to prepare to have a lot of patience, and really to spend a lot of quality time searching for the bird if you don't find it easily!

Good Birding All!

Mark

Mark McShane
Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County), Georgia

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Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 21:18:16 -0500
Reply-To: Mark McShane
Sender: Georgia Birders Online
From: Mark McShane
Subject: Masked Duck - Lake City Florida

Hi All,

Just wanted to alert everyone to another really great bird just beyond our borders! There has been a single Masked Duck at the Alligator Lake Recreation Area in Lake City Florida since it was first found there on the 15th. The bird was missed yesterday but relocated today and has been seen every other day since the 15th! It has been reported as a female, but it has a pale greenish bill, so maybe a male?!

Masked Duck is casual in Florida and is currently a Code 3 ABA bird, having one in Lake City in northern Florida practically just across the border is a real treat for us! The Annotated Checklist of Georgia Birds (2003) states that there is only one Georgia record for the species.

Photos of this bird can be seen at:
http://www.valdosta.edu/~bergstrm/maskduck.html

If you go for the bird it would be best to read all of the Masked Duck posts from the January 2009, week 3 and week 4 sections from the FloridaBirds-L listserv at:

http://lists.ufl.edu/archives/floridabirds-l.html

The bird was discovered in week 3. It helps to sort the posts using the little Sort By Posting Date button (second from the left at the top).

I think that this bird might be as good a bird as, or even a better bird than, the Spring Hill TN Snowy Owl (which is ABA Code 2) for the southeastern region!

GPS coordinates for Alligator Lake RA are:
N 30 10.002
W 82 36.898

Good Regional Birding All!

Mark

Mark McShane
Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County), Georgia

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