2-8-20 Trip Report: Egans Creek

There was a good turnout last Saturday on a very nice sunny day. Unfortunately, the Marsh sparrows were not cooperative at a high tide that was not high enough to force the birds to bushes on shore. However, we did have good looks at Northern Harriers and Hooded Mergansers. On the Greenway we had a variety of herons, ibis, wood storks and egrets. Only fleeting glimpses were afforded of Orange-crowned Warblers and White-throated Sparrows. Several of you spotted a perched flycatcher that eluded me until it flew. The descriptions seemed to fit an Eastern Wood Pewee due to its size and upper gray on the chest and wing bars. However, there has never been a sighting of this species in the U.S. in winter.Observers did not think it was a Phoebe because it showed yellow on the belly. On a hind sight analysis I thought maybe it could be an Ash-throated Flycatcher that I recently observed near the Everglades. I decided to check the area again yesterday but only observed a pair of Phoebes that showed yellow on their belly which is typical for its winter plumage. They also pumped their tails. A possible explanation is that the Phoebe shows a very indistinct wing markings compared to the well defined wing bars of an ATF.

We have two field trips planned for March. The first one is Saturday March 7, 2020 at Crooked River State Park near St. Mary’s, Georgia. Details will be sent a week before this trip. The other March trip is Ralph Simmons State Forest on Saturday, March 28, 2020. Please hold those dates for locations with different habitat than the areas we typically bird.

Good birding,
Bill George