In late morning, I heard about four Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks that had been found in Bucks County by Rudy Keller. Since I had previously missed seeing the ones found in Westmoreland and Lancaster Counties in 1993, I was ready to head down there to look for them. But soon after that, I got another call about a probable Fork-tailed Flycatcher that was found near Morrisville in Bucks County by Bill Keim!
Billy Weber just happened to be birding at Arlene Koch's house when I got the call, so he and Arlene hopped in the car and the three of us headed down there while the bird's identification was changing from Fork-tailed to Scissor-tailed and eventually back again. When we got there, we saw that the bird had a much shorter tail than what is shown in most of the guides and, at first glance, could have possibly been passed over as an Eastern Kingbird by an inexperienced observer. This was a great find, especially since the bird was found in unusual habitat, trees right along the Delaware River.
After watching and photographing the flycatcher for about an hour or more, we left and headed for the pond where Rudy Keller had seen the Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in the late morning. We arrived at the pond, just west of the town of Pleasantville, in the early evening and found Harold Lebo and Drew Webber there. The only ducks on the pond were a pair of Mallards, but Arlene said that Rudy told her that they had been hiding in the surrounding vegetation when they weren't in the pond. So, after about 20 minutes of checking every spot we could from the road, Harold went over to the farmhouse and asked the lady there if we could walk out the path to check the near side of the pond. She kindly gave us permission and also told him that she had noticed them there a few days before. We walked out the path and there, in the near right corner of the pond (when looking from the road), were the Whistling-Ducks in just high enough vegetation that they could not be seen at all from the road. We watched them, took photos, and left them right where they were with about an hour of daylight left.
To say the least, I was thrilled with getting two state birds (and
great-looking ones at that) in just several hours!