At midday on Thursday, I saw two ORCHARD ORIOLES together near the
boathouse and Fuertes Sanctuary (swan pen) in Stewart Park.  A female
offered long views as she foraged low in the willow downstream from the
boathouse, in branches drooping right over Cascadilla Creek.  A subadult
male joined her briefly here, but mostly sang from the trees at the corner
of the big lawn.  This was my first good look at these birds, despite
several attempts and recurrent reports by others since mid-May.  I’m glad I
tried again, and especially glad that I widened my search to that willow.
(From here I also heard a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO singing in the Newman golf
course woods.)

Yesterday I decided to go look for bitterns and rails at Montezuma NWR.  I
didn’t find any, but instead I was abundantly entertained by BLACK TERNS
and families of water birds.  I even learned something kind of
mind-boggling (or maybe relearned what I knew long ago but forgot) –
AMERICAN COOT chicks have bald pink crowns, bright red bills, and wispy yet
flamboyant orange neck-ruffs, while COMMON GALLINULE chicks are similarly
homely but colorful and charming -- bare-pated with a little more yellow on
the bill.

And I got an even better consolation prize on the way up, as a BLACK-BILLED
CUCKOO paused in the open just as I was driving by.

Here are my eBird checklists with some photos:

Lake Road drive-by cuckoo:

Montezuma NWR Wildlife Drive:

Stewart Park:

Mark Chao


Cayugabirds-L List Info:


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