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Recreation

  • Thayer’s Gull, a rare and uncommon visitor
    The Thayer’s Gull breeds on Queen Elizabeth Islands and northern Nunavut including north Baffin Island west of Greenland in the high Arctic. They winter along the coast from northwest British Columbia on down to southern California and wander to our area.
  • American Golden-Plover is a frequent visitor
    The accompanying photograph is of an American Golden-Plover in juvenile plumage and this bird is a fairly common migrant through Kentucky west of the Cumberland Plateau. The earliest spring date that they have been seen is March 3 and the latest spring date is May 27. The earliest they have been seen in autumn was actually in the summer on June 27 with the latest autumn sighting being November 22.
  • American Wigeon, a migratory visitor
    The American Wigeon is fairly common during migration, however, it is uncommon in winter and very rare in the summer in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
  • Common Loon not always common in Kentucky
    The Common Loon is fairly common in Kentucky during migration, a rare to uncommon winter resident and extremely rare in summer. The accompanying photograph was taken on Trailwood Lake in northeastern Shelby County one November of a non-breeding adult in transitional plumage.
  • Wilson’s Phalarope, a rare shoreline visitor
    The Wilson’s Phalarope is rarely seen in spring and autumn west of the Cumberland Plateau although it has been seen in eastern Kentucky. They are seen along shorelines and mudflats of flooded fields and along lakes and rivers and have been seen as early as March 30 and as late as May 28 in the spring and as early as July 3 and as late as Sept. 28 in autumn.
  • Western Grebe was hunted for its feathers
  • Caspian Tern is a frequent visitor
    The Caspian Tern is a fairly common migratory bird through Kentucky except during the summer when it is rare. However June sightings in the Ohio River and the lake areas of western Kentucky seems to indicate that this species occasionally remains throughout the summer. Early spring sightings are March 30 and late autumn is Nov. 19.
  • Brown Pelicans seen near Kentucky dam
    The Brown Pelican is an Endangered Species and one of two pelican species in the United States.
  • Herring Gull: Not your average sea gull
    The Herring Gull is 25 inches long with a wingspan that is 58 inches wide and weighs 2.5 pounds and is a fairly common winter resident around the Falls of the Ohio in Jefferson County, as well as the lake region of western Kentucky. I also saw one that was in a rather large flock of migrating Ring-billed Gulls in Shelby County in March of 2014. They generally appear in our commonwealth by early October and are gone by mid-May.
  • Pectoral Sandpiper can linger in Kentucky
    The Pectoral Sandpiper is common in Kentucky during migration and occasionally lingers into early winter but is extremely rare in mid-winter and summer. However, they occur most often west of the Cumberland Plateau and sometimes pass through as early as March 4 and as late as Dec. 30. They are one of many shorebirds that migrate from the Arctic to the Antarctic and then back again.