Notes From The Field/ # 321

The Oxbow (Jackpot Pond)

I took a chance today and headed over to the Oxbow after work today and see if I could spot the Neotropic Cormorant that has been seen there for the last 24 hours. And with a recent sighting of noon today I thought my chances were just about as good as the next persons.

I arrived at about 5:30 despite rush hour traffic and made my way back towards the last spot it was sighted. I came upon Allan Claybon who was looking for the bird as well. We talked for a few minutes before I drove on towards the lake overlook. Nothing but 2 DC Cormorants. Before I left Allan he did tell me that he saw some more DC Cormorants from the top of the flood wall just outside of the casino. So I made my way over and set up my scope.

The only Cormorants I saw were these 3 that were perched on this log. However just behind these birds were a line of dead trees and 2 more cormorants, and one of them really looks like my target bird.

However from this angle i wasn’t getting the clear view I wanted to make a positive ID. So I jumped back into the bird-mobile and returned to the Oxbow. Pulling off to the side of the road I hiked along a soy bean field and a line of trees that separated me from the lake. I was able to get a picture of what i thought was the bird, however when I looked closely at it, I decided it wasn’t the target bird.

About ready to give up I started to drive home when I noticed a group of Cormorants roosting in some trees along the back of Jackpot Pond. And that’s where I saw the bird and took the first picture. Have the Neotropic Cormorant next to a DC Cormorant was ideal when you can have side by side comparison. The picture doesn’t do the bird justice when field marks are the key in differentiating between the 2 bird species. I needed a new bird for the year and now I do.

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