I remember the winter of 1994 when Lake Erie froze over abruptly in Jan/Feb, 
resulting in the incredible mid-winter grebe fallout across the region. There 
was very little open water between here and Lake Erie and “people were finding 
grebes in their backyards.” With temps averaging 7 to 8 degrees below normal 
for Jan and Feb that year, I recall Cayuga Lake was frozen northward past Myers 
Pt perhaps half way to the Milliken Station power plant, which expelled warm 
water into the lake. The open water in the middle of the Cayuga collected 
grebes lucky enough to find it.  Ned Brinkley and I counted Red-necked Grebes 
from the limited access points in the middle of the east side of the lake and 
came up with circa 100.

As cold as it has seemed recently, this winter is on track to be substantially 
warmer than that of 1993-1994, which was a cold spell that may have been 
related to the June 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption.

Bill E



From: Linda Post Van Buskirk 
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:08 AM
To: Asher Hockett ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] lake ice & waterfowl

I’m watching the ice in Aurora—and more is accumulating along the shore north 
of the village than one usually sees.  The wind, though, will keep anything 
from freezing.  What I imagine is that if the wind suddenly dropped, the 
surface (with all the cooling from evaporation) could skim over pretty quickly. 
 The wind always breaks it up.  I watched a youtube video (Ingraham) on the 
lake.  Some good pictures, including from 1912.

 

Sometime in the early thirties, some friends of my inlaws either skied or less 
probably walked across the lake.  It was a near thing:  one of them dropped a 
jackknife, and it fell through the ice—it was that thin.  They made it to the 
other side and called for someone to pick them up.  

 

When I go into Auburn this afternoon, I’ll be interested to see how much ice 
there is on the north end of the lake.  Maybe not so much, with the brutal 
winds.  

 

In the old days, there was much cross-ice commerce on Owasco Lake, which pretty 
much always froze.

 

 

 

From: bounce-112238041-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-112238041-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Asher Hockett
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:48 AM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] lake ice & waterfowl

 

This from Wikipedia:

A tradition at Wells College in Aurora holds that if the lake completely 
freezes over, classes are canceled (though for only one day).[6] According to 
Wells College records, this last happened in 1979. However, other sources 
suggest that the only time the entire lake froze over solid end to end in the 
20th century was in 1912.,[

 

On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 9:47 PM, Dave Nutter <nutter.d...@me.com> wrote:

I don't know what possessed me to suggest the lake might freeze over when 
there's a gap of some 30 miles. Still, the ice I saw yesterday was not merely 
over 3 or 5 feet of water, it may have been 30 to 50 feet deep. Today around 
mid-day I happened to drive NYS-89, after the west wind had been blowing 
several hours. The ice edge had eroded back from about #967 to about #911, and 
later I saw that the cluster of pilings was once again in open water, unlike 
yesterday. I expected some destruction, but maybe it won't be completely to the 
shallows, and with the next cold, as soon as there's calm, the ice may extend 
even farther. 

--Dave Nutter
On Jan 27, 2014, at 10:05 AM, Donna Scott <dls...@me.com> wrote:

  Not a chance the whole lake will freeze over, Dave. 

  No ice at all up here where it is 460 feet deep. 1 1/2 weeks ago water near 
shore was 39 degrees. 

  It freezes only at the shallow ends and areas adjacent, usually. 

  A little raft of Redheads, Ring Necks, swimming, diving here. Accompanied by 
some Mallards. 

  Birding from my kitchen window on this wild, windy day seems good. 

  Sent from my iPhone

  Donna Scott


  On Jan 26, 2014, at 11:02 PM, Dave Nutter <nutter.d...@me.com> wrote:

    I don't know what possessed me to walk to the lake again today, having 
walked both to East Shore Park and past Treman to the lake yesterday. Anyway, 
the ice has grown considerably, extending about 3/4 of a mile from the land at 
Treman's lakeshore, so today's walk was longer than I expected. I did get fine 
views of ducks from between houses at about #967 Taughannock Blvd, including 
White-winged Scoters close to shore, plus all the Mergansers, all the (usual) 
Aythya, and Common Goldeneyes. The few Long-tailed Ducks I saw were diving next 
to the ice edge in the middle of the lake. I also saw Canada Geese, the usual 3 
gull species, and an immature Bald Eagle on the ice. I wasn't able to scan the 
whole lake and saw no grebes, loons, or coots. The only Anas I saw was a single 
male Mallard flying over Inlet Island. With serious cold expected to return and 
continue for awhile, and the ice shelf already so big, I wonder how far it will 
grow, or if this could even be a rare year that the lake freezes over.  

--Dave Nutter--

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asher

-Never play it the same way once. 

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