I had a great afternoon trip up the west side of Cayuga Lake today with Rick 
Bonney and Judy Burrill.  We started at Hogs Hole at 12:45, and as others 
reported were not able to locate the Western Grebe. We did see the 2 
RED-THROATED LOONS together -- an adult and a juvenile, solving a "two bird 
theory" mystery from the Christmas Bird Count. Judy spotted the male WOOD DUCK 
walking on the gravel beach right below Rt. 89.

Next stop was Poplar Beach, where a HORNED GREBE was very close in (with a 
Common Loon), and 4 LONG-TAILED DUCKS out in the middle of the lake, near an 
ISLAND of several thousand SNOW GEESE. The light was spectacular and I could 
make out quite a lot of details on the geese through the scope. I counted about 
10 Blue Geese and another dark goose turned out to be a Canada-type, but was 
smaller than the surrounding Snows - most likely a  CACKLING GOOSE. (a separate 
raft of large Canada Geese was nearby). While we were there, an adult LESSER 
BLACK-BACKED GULL flew by close to shore, heading north to it's regular hangout 
at Dean's Cove.

Along Lower Shore Rd. to Cayuga Lake State Park, spent a lot of time looking 
for Eurasian Wigeon (not successful). Did find 4 close and very obvious 
CACKLING GEESE in the large Canada flock, pretty good numbers of AMERICAN 
MERGANSERS, and an impressive count of 640 COMMON MERGANSER. (No Redhead or 
other aythea seen on the lake today).

We then headed up to the Chiropractic College to look for the SNOWY OWL. Our 
first scans of the soccer field and adjacent areas came up empty, as did an 
attempt to scan the fields to the west from Bayard Rd. Then as we came back 
through the campus, there was the OWL perched on a treetop at the west edge of 
the soccer field. After allowing great scope views and a few digiscopes, the 
owl flew directly towards us and then banked higher and flew by to the north, 
looking back over it's shoulder at us. It seemed to keep going, fairly high 
over the campus, and looked like it was heading all the way to the lakeshore.

On the way home we stopped along Wycoff Rd. in Ovid and got a clear but distant 
look at a single SHORT-EARED OWL to the west of Rock River Rd. at about 5:15 
PM. A good afternoon, indeed.


Ken Rosenberg
Conservation Science Program
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
607-342-4594 (cell)


Cayugabirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

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