I did not, and would love to have one if you are willing to share!
Pls pm any reply since attachments are verboten on this list.
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Chao
Sent:Sun, 28 May 2017 17:34:33 -0400
Subject:[cayugabirds-l] Bock-Harvey and Stevenson, Sun 5/28 (and
weather note for Mon 5/29)
First, here’s a note about tomorrow’s weather and scheduling.
The forecast calls for likely thunderstorms on Monday morning,
peaking just when we are planning our two group walks for the Finger
Lakes Land Trust Spring Bird Quest (SBQ). I will definitely show up
at the start times for both walks, but I think curtailment or
cancellation on the spot are distinctly possible. Please plan
accordingly, especially if you have a long drive.
(If we do lose both walks, then I will hope to do an impromptu
make-up session later in the day. Please check email around midday
if you’re interested.)
In any case, weather and everything else were ideal for today’s
SBQ walks at the Bock-Harvey Forest Preserve and the Stevenson Forest
Preserve. Again we had very strong turnout -- 25 people at
Bock-Harvey, 19 people at Stevenson. I would guess that these were
the first visits to either preserve for almost everyone. And again
our sightings somehow defied any expectation that too many birders
might spoil the birding. (Ken Kemphues, Diane Morton, and Suan Yong
helped enormously in co-leading both walks, as they did yesterday.)
Our first highlight at Bock-Harvey was a female YELLOW WARBLER by
the road, pushing herself into her nearly-completed nest to
custom-shape it. There were many other birds here as usual,
including a singing CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and a pair of EASTERN
WOOD-PEWEES occasionally coming very close together to perch before
the next sally. We got to know the varied and somewhat atypical
songs of the three AMERICAN REDSTARTS in this first patch of woods,
with some sight confirmation for most of us. Here I also heard a
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO and saw the weekend’s only YELLOW-BELLIED
SAPSUCKER before everyone arrived.
Over on the yellow-blazed trail in the old-growth woods, only a
small subset of us had fleeting sightings of WOOD THRUSHES, OVENBIRD,
and more redstarts. But I believe that everyone eyewitnessed a most
striking and dramatic moment, as two male SCARLET TANAGERS silently
sized up a raccoon, deeply asnooze with belly and chin resting on a
branch, arms dangling, about 20 feet off the ground. Some other
birders saw a female tanager here too, but I missed her.
I think only one of us saw one male HOODED WARBLER, despite a slow,
quiet, vigilant walk through areas where I’d seen them recently.
But as we tried to wait out one Hooded Warbler (who continues to end
every other song in an unusual explosive squeak), we got the surprise
of the morning – a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO making short flights and
taking long pauses in a sunny patch in the otherwise shadowy woods.
Several of our group even got scope views of the bird’s red orbital
ring, thanks to Ken’s quick positioning.
Then we walked along the edge of the meadow up to the Locust
Lean-To. Here we saw a male BALTIMORE ORIOLE perched within a body
length or two of an EASTERN KINGBIRD. Suan also got many of our
participants onto another male Scarlet Tanager here.
It was harder to see birds at Stevenson, as expected, but we did all
get long scope views of an ALDER FLYCATCHER singing in the meadow
overlook area. Many of us (not I) got good views of a VEERY along
the initial straightaway. We heard one HOODED WARBLER across the
stream, plus a couple of BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS and
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS high in the hemlocks. I was glad also to pick
up the weekend’s only BLUE-HEADED VIREO so far. (I think that my
weekend species tally now stands at 78 species.)
But I think that we’d all agree that the greatest thrills came
from the butterflies in the parking lot – ten Eastern Tiger
Swallowtails jostling to collect mineral-rich moisture from a
50-square-inch patch of some mysterious mud, heedless of our close
presence for many minutes, plus an exquisite and cooperative female
So whatever thunderbolts and torrents we might have to dodge
tomorrow, I’ll gladly take what we got today. Thanks to all for
two great outings!
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