I happened to be heading to Freeville when the RBA came in so I appreciated the 
chance to change course and try for the Tern.  It wasn't anywhere to be found. 
I checked Dryden Lake without success also, but there were two breeding plumage 
Horned Grebes very close to shore that were a treat to watch.
Gary

On Apr 5, 2014, at 11:00 PM, "Dave Nutter" 
<nutter.d...@me.com<mailto:nutter.d...@me.com>> wrote:

On my SFO trip to Dryden Lake this morning Jason Huck found 2 winter plumage 
BONAPARTE'S GULLS on the edge of the ice which still covers the middle half of 
the lake. Later I told Susan Danskin about them, and she went in search of 
them. She did not find the gulls, but at the pond along NYS-38 closer to the 
Village of Dryden ("the one with dead trees where there's never any birds") she 
found a breeding plumage COMMON TERN as well as a pair of RED-BREASTED 
MERGANSERS, and an OSPREY. Unbeknownst to us Nita Irby had seen possibly the 
same COMMON TERN this morning at Dryden Lake about an hour before my group 
arrived. Since this species had not been previously reported for the Cayuga 
Lake Basin this year, Susan asked me if she should send out a rare bird alert. 
I replied that the species not really rare, just first and a bit early, but the 
scale to use is the amount of adrenaline it provokes. Susan is pretty 
even-keeled; she did not send out an RBA. I, on the other hand, succumbed to 
temptation and returned to Desolate Pond in Dryden, where I was so pleased to 
see those birds that I wished other birders could have such an uncommonly good 
look at an uncommon Common Tern flying around over a fairly small body of water 
and posing for scope views on the branch of a fallen dead tree. So, 
rationalizing that one criterion for an RBA is that others are apt to refind 
the bird (there it still was, an hour after Susan's call, so why wouldn't it 
wait for other birders?) I sent out an RBA. The tern promptly took flight and 
flew out of view to the northwest.

--Dave Nutter

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