13 February 2015

Cayuga Bird Club

This past Saturday the forecast was snowy, so it was with no great surprise that only the Cayuga Bird Club guide and myself showed up for the morning outing.  Luckily, the weather held for most of the day and we had a wonderful day of birding. We found an Iceland Gull mixed in with the Herring and Ring-billed Gulls at East Shore Park.  At Myer's Park and Salt Point we had over 30 Tundra Swans. Next we traveled to search for longspurs but came up empty. We did manage to find one long Snow Bunting mixed in a Horned Lark flock.

At Union Springs we found Gadwall and American Widgeon to add to our day.  We continued north finding more swans and ducks.  Most of the north end of Cayuga Lake was frozen but by the dam we did see some open water with Common Mergansers and more swans.

We decided to see if we had any luck finding a Snowy Owl at the Fingerlakes Airport but came up empty.  The snow was deep and not a bird was seen.  We found a nice raft of Ring-necked Ducks near Sheldrake.  As we traveled back south we found a perching Bald Eagle by the lakeshore.  It gave us wonderful looks and obliged for photos.

We stopped for lunch at Glenwood Pines where we had a great breakfast burger.  They were also serving a PB&J burger but we weren't brave enough to give it a go.  Next time!  The birds were plentiful enough to make the day fun and the company was wonderful as Suan provided me with lots of entertaining history of the Cayuga Lake Basin.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Lost Bird Project
The final stop was where it all started - the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where we tried one last time for a Redpoll but found only the usual suspects of Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Finch, American Goldfinch, and Mourning Doves. 

For the year list I was able to add Iceland Gull and American Widgeon.  An additional weekend visit to East Shore Park also added Hooded Merganser.  My total is up to 92 for the year.  Andy broke 100 with an American Woodcock in Tennessee.  I hope I'm not doomed to playing catch-up all year.  

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