I was at Stewart Park the same time Dave was across the inlet. I saw two 
Nighthawks over the golf course that flew south. My suspicion was they picked 
up from Renwick Woods to continue their journey, but reading Dave's post makes 
me think they spent some time feeding the flats as my sighting was slightly 
past Dave's in time. They may have already been up and flying around when I 
spotted them.

On Aug 21, 2014, at 9:55 PM, "Dave Nutter" 
<nutter.d...@me.com<mailto:nutter.d...@me.com>> wrote:

This evening between 7 and 7:21pm from the Cayuga Waterfront Trail in Cass Park 
I saw at least 3 and possibly as many as 6 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS. The first which I 
saw, only a few minutes after I began my quest, was distant to my east over the 
flats of Ithaca. Surprisingly, it was flying directly north with steady 
wingbeats, which is nominally typical of gulls in the evening, but in the scope 
I could tell it not only had extremely narrow pointed wings (narrower than a 
Ring-billed Gull), but it was brown (not immature gull- or Black Tern-colored), 
it took extremely high and deep wingbeats (unlike gulls or even terns), and it 
occasionally rolled a bit to one side or the other (which gulls and terns don't 
do in my experience). I lost track of it when it had gone so far to my left 
that I had to change my stance. Obviously it was not migrating, which is the 
usual circumstance I have seen nighthawks flying straight and steady. I figured 
it must be headed toward the lake or over nearby woods to feed. A few minutes 
later through binoculars I glimpsed another more distant bird to the east with 
long, narrow, pointed wings in irregular flight, but I was unable to find it 
through my scope. This happened again a bit later to the northeast. Several 
minutes I saw 2 birds to my northeast, but closer, over the Farmers' Market, 
and I managed to get one in my scope for a more satisfying view of the long 
notched tail and the white band across the primaries, plus some of the typical 
extremely erratic foraging flight as it worked its way south past me. When I 
stepped back from the scope I saw that it's companion still traveled nearby, 
with the same size, shape, and flight. The last Common Nighthawk I saw, also in 
the scope less than 3 minutes later, followed a similar southbound path passing 
somewhat to my east. Even if the first directly-northbound bird completely 
changed its direction when it found company or food, and if the two poorly seen 
birds both went north then turned around, I still saw at least 3 Common 
Nighthawks this evening, because I don't think either of the southbound pair is 
likely to have snuck north again that quickly.

Another unusual sighting for Cass Park was a SCARLET TANAGER atop a willow 
along the Inlet. It was a male in green and black non-breeding plumage.

This evening I only found one OSPREY by Cass Park, perched in a tree along the 
Farmers' Market, but there were 2 Ospreys perched in a dead tree along Jetty 
Woods, presumably birds from the nest platform north of Treman Marina. I 
counted over a hundred DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS perched in the trees of Jetty 
Woods, and I saw at least 20 CASPIAN TERNS this evening, half of them 
southbound in groups of 3 and 7, the remainder resting on and near the base of 
the red lighthouse.

--Dave Nutter

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