Saturday, October 25, 2008
Montana Bird Records Committee
On Thursday Dad and I drove to Great Falls for the annual meeting of the Montana Bird Records Committee. Much of our voting takes place via email during the year but we get together once a year to go over records where there is some discussion on the report or discuss other committee business. We generally get together to bird at Giant Springs State Park before the meeting begins and we usually have been able to observe a rare bird for Montana every year. Last year it was a Blue-headed Vireo. This year we began the morning with little bird activity and began the meeting with our streak broken. After our morning session we broke for lunch. Dad and I had brought our lunch so we stayed at the meeting room to eat while a few others headed out for lunch. Shortly after that, Dan Casey, president of our group came in to grab his camera - a pair of adult Black Scoters had been found by John Nordrum, a local birder who had also attended the proceedings that morning (John had submitted a rare bird report for two Atlantic Black Brant he had observed and photographed the day before at nearby Freezout Wildlife Management Area. We accepted the report in which was probably our fastest turn-around time on a bird report).
Dad and I dropped our lunch and headed down the road to see the scoters and they were still there. Below is a photo digiscoped by Dan Casey. By the time we got there the birds had moved further into the water and my photos, although certainly of Black Scoters, are not as good as those obtained by Dan. Black Scoters are the rarest of the scoters in Montana with fewer than 20 records. Adult males are even more rare and I believe this is the second record of an adult male (the first was at Fort Peck during a Christmas Bird Count a number of years ago). The streak was still alive.
Photo by Dan Casey.