I had a rather interesting afternoon/evening at the north end of the lake 
today. Thinking I’d take advantage of the weather and see what was around to 
record, I headed for Montezuma after lunch. First of all, most of the OSPREY 
nests/platforms along the east side were still unoccupied. The two exceptions 
were the tower off Beacon Marine (Village of Cayuga) and one of the power line 
towers on Rts 5 & 20 just west of the refuge.

My first real stop was the Visitor’s Center pool. While scoping the edges for 
snipe (none), I noticed a pair of smallish shorebirds that flew in and circled 
the pool several time as though they intended to land. Twice they came quite 
close to the deck, and I was able to see the dark throat that was sharply 
delineated from the light belly. The form was Calidris-like (not Tringa). They 
never did land and flew off to the west. FOY (for me) PECTORAL SANDPIPERs!

My next stop was along East Road, overlooking Knox-Marsellus Marsh. There 
continued to be large numbers of Green-Winged Teal and Northern Pintails. 
Shortly after I arrived a group of nine SANDHILL CRANES flew in, calling, and 
settled into the marsh at the base of the hill.

At the far east end of the Mucklands, viewed from Rt 31, there was a pair of 
GREATER YELLOWLEGS feeding with the expected Ring-billed Gulls, Pintails, 
Mallards, Black Ducks, and Green-winged Teal.

>From there I checked a number of spots in the Savannah area: RR Road, Muckrace 
>Flats, Morgan Road, Carncross Rd, Marten’s Tract, and the MAC, hoping for new 
>arrivals like Swamp Sparrow or Virginia Rail. What I did find was a trio of 
>MARSH WRENS on Carncross Rd. Though hidden in the reeds, they continued to 
>sing for at least ten minutes.

 My final new year-bird was a WILSON’S SNIPE that flushed from the end of the 
path leading east from the parking lot at Marten’s Tract.



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