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Checklist S27991898

 
Location
Smith Point--Candy Abshier WMA (UTC 048)(GCBO Hawk Watch loc.), Chambers County, Texas, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Thu Sep 28, 1995
Protocol:
Historical
Party Size:
1
Distance:
0.0 mile(s)
Area: 0.0 ac
Observers:
John Whittle
Comments:
N/A
Species
35 species (+3 other taxa) total
1
1
53
3
2
1
Common/Forster's Tern
8
2
6
1
12
6
3
2
1
55
59
70
Glossy/White-faced Ibis
15
1
37
3
1

imm; Candy Abshier Wildlife Management Area, Smith Point, Chambers County, Texas. (Hawk Count Site) - 10:10-10:15am; 10:58 am Length of sighting: 3-4 minutes and 15 seconds Habitat: Open field adjacent to East Bay (Galveston Bay) near the point at Smith Point. Oak mottes in the vicinity. Weather: Clear, 5 miles visibility, 82.F, wind E 10 mph. Light Conditions: Excellent Distance: 100 ft up to about one mile Optical equipment: 7x35 mm binoculars, 15-60x zoom telescope Voice/call notes: None heard The bird was first noticed near the top of a kettle of about five Turkey Vultures north of the Hawk Count site. After about 2 minutes, it left the kettle, descending, and crossed over the top of the Hawk Count Platform at about 100 ft north to south. It the circled briefly over the water before descending in a steep spiral to take a medium sized fish (probably a mullet) from the water on the first attempt. It then flew towards the trees on the shore between the Hawk count field and Plummer Camp Road, flushing a Great Blue heron, which departed noisily. About 45 minutes later, the same Great Blue Heron flew noisily, and the Eagle was briefly seen above the tree line with a large crab in its talons. - Superficially, the bird initially resembled a Black Vulture with its broad wings and flat soaring wing profile. However, as it circled in the thermal, it frequently spread its almost diamond-shaped tail. (I know one is supposed to call that shape "wedge-shaped", but that does not do it for me!). As it crossed overhead, the bird was seen to be a very large raptor, with long, broad wings, with conspicuous "fingers" at the wingtips. As the bird circled, it was observed that the back and upper wing coverts were a tawny brown, contrasting with the blacker flight feathers. From underneath, the bird was almost all dark brown except for white, mottled with brown on the underwing secondary coverts. The head was dark brown. Tail: As far as could be determined, the tail (upper and lower surfaces) were essentially all dark brown. Bill: The bill was seen to be massive, with a lighter cere. Legs: The legs and talons were a "dirty" yellowish color ELIMINATION OF SIMILAR SPECIES: The size and shape identified the bird as an Eagle. The absence of a white band on the upper tail, and the spanwise white underwing markings essentially eliminate golden Eagle. This was further confirmed by observing the efficiency with which it was able to acquire a seafood meal. - ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The very limited amount of white on the bird strongly suggests an immature "first plumage" bird, one which hatched in 1995. The bird was also seen by Terry Turney, Wildlife Biologist with the J. D. Murphree WMA, Port Arthur, Texas.

1
13
1
1
6
2
9
17
5
23
swallow sp.
18
2
10
12
25
 

Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?

Yes