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Posts posted by Metaquatic

  1. Welcome to Whatbird!


    In general, there is no Grackle sized, black bird with white under tail that is native to Virginia.  Some possibilities in order of my opinion of what you saw;

    1.  Grackles are iridescent and what you really saw was glossy light reflection rather than light feathers.

    2. The bird had a leucistic (white) spot. Leucism is an abnormal plumage condition caused by a genetic mutation.

    3.  The bird could be someone's exotic pet that has escaped, like a Pied Currawong native to Australia

    4.  The chances are slim that you have Magpie that far east but stranger things have happened. 

    Try to get a pic if it comes back.

  2. Nice picture.  It makes it easy to pick apart the subtle differences between Least, Alders, Acadian, Willow etc.  But even then the bird may be juvenile or the light might be a little off.  I still think the only sure way to tell them apart is by their call.  The Acadian gives a simple "Peesweet".  This time of the year they are pretty vocal.  You could go back and listen for and ID.

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  3. Hey Joe,  I tried to listen to your marsh bird but the link to Vimeo said I had "unauthorized access."  Sadly, I hear that a lot in the field.

    I looked up Fort Forrester Park in eBird and there is a multitude of waterfoul being reported.  Grebes and Loons make all kinds of strange sounds.  One family of birds not being reported is Rail.  This is not too unusual as they often are in thick reeds and hard to see.  If you are looking out over a large area of Cat Tails/reeds you might be hearing Rails.  Most common for you would be Clapper Rail, Sora, King Rail, and Virginia Rail.  Google those birds and listen to their sounds.  Look for them mornings and evenings on mud flats when the tide is out.  My best guess would be Clapper Rail.  Be the first to report them at Kittery Point!

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