We took a trip up the lake this PM to try and see the bird.  We went to 
the East side of the lake first - actually went down the private drive 
that Dave told us about ( called for permission first).   It was late 
afternoon and the glare and shimmer was very bad.  Could see birds on 
the buoy (the one that Dave described) but couldn't tell for sure what 
they were.  So, we went to the west side south of Wulffy's, near the 
south end of Lower Lake Road.  There is a pull-off where fisherman stop 
and fish.  Much further from this side, but in the PM light we could see 
and distinguish the bird.  Thank goodness for the yellow bill and the 
white belly, otherwise, we would not have been able to say, "we saw it".

Dick Burlew


On 9/22/2016 12:02 PM, Dave Nutter wrote:
> The GPS coordinates I cited, 42.88887,-76.72518, are of a green 
> channel marker on the Google Maps aerial photo in the right direction 
> from Talcott's place (aka Townline Rd) in the NW corner of Springport 
> and in the right direction from Wolffy's near the south end of Lower 
> Lake Rd near the SE corner of Seneca Falls. I don't know how old the 
> aerial photo was or whether those markers ever get moved, so I can't 
> argue about whose coordinates are better. This location is somewhat 
> closer than Suan's coordinates to the Talcott viewing spot, which is 
> the closest land. My impression was that Wolffy's was considerably 
> farther (almost twice as far on the map using my coordinates). There 
> was also heat shimmer until late in the day when I viewed from the 
> west, which had not been a factor from the east, where the light had 
> been good until past noon.
>
> Early this morning I watched from Cayuga Lake State Park, which is a 
> bit farther north on Lower Lake Rd. Even though it is even farther 
> from marker 49, and sun glare is a big issue in the morning, I gambled 
> that I could see more of the lake in case the bird went hunting. 
> Viewing from the elevated level of the road at sunrise I had heat 
> shimmer but I could recognize the backlit Booby on channel marker 49 
> because its shape and size were familiar to me, especially compared to 
> the Great Black-backed Gull who shared the platform. About 7:24 a boat 
> passed very close carrying two standing guys fishing. Shortly after 
> the gull flushed, so did the Booby, which to my great fortune flew 
> northwest toward me low over the water. Eventually some trees which 
> had blocked the sun for me also blocked the view of the flying bird, 
> and I had to move, but at 7:33 I had an excellent profile scope view 
> of it still/again flying NW. Then its low flight took it behind the 
> small patch of shoreline cattails for me, and I had to move again. I 
> scanned more, and at 7:40 I discovered it sitting on the water far to 
> the NNE amid considerable shimmer. The all-brown head, neck & body, 
> the long level back, the slope of about 30° from the "hip" down to the 
> water at the tail, and the long gleamingly whitish bill were 
> distinctive (neither cormorant nor coot). After about 10 minutes of 
> just looking around, the Booby began preening, then bathing, which 
> involved alternately and awkwardly raising each long, narrow, sharply 
> bent wing into the air while the body rolled sideways revealing its 
> white belly and wing linings. Next it took flight again, going SE and 
> shaking water off a couple times, though not as dramatically as an 
> Osprey does. This flight the Booby's bill was angled a bit down like a 
> Concorde jet, so I had hopes it was hunting and might dive but no such 
> luck. Again my view was temporarily blocked, this time by the parked 
> police boat. Then I didn't know which side of the broad sun glare it 
> was on. By a few minutes after 8, I determined that it was back on 
> green channel marker 49, which no longer had people nearby. I knew 
> that if the bird had fed, it might not fly again all day, so even 
> though I never saw it dive, I declared victory and went home.
> --Dave Nutter
> PS Pasted at the bottom is my original message from the 20th about getting 
> permission. I hope that this version is legible from various re-posting and 
> archiving sources.
>
>> On Sep 22, 2016, at 9:55 AM, Suan Hsi Yong <suan.y...@gmail.com 
>> <mailto:suan.y...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>> On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 8:31 AM, Peter <psara...@rochester.rr.com 
>> <mailto:psara...@rochester.rr.com>> wrote:
>>
>>     Folks - a question about the Booby. Is it more easily seen from
>>     Lower Lake Rd. near Seneca Falls (west side of lake) or from the
>>     village of Cayuga (east side of lake).
>>
>>     Or perhaps it depends on the bird's mood? (smile)
>>
>> Depends on the sun.
>> The GPS coordinates I got when I was about 50 feet from buoy 49 was 
>> 42.886767N 76.727776W.
>> As you can see from Google Maps, it's almost exactly halfway across 
>> the lake, a little closer to the east shore.
>> That bird knew how to choose a buoy farthest from land :-D.
>>
>> Suan
>>
>
> I had been out of town, so late this morning was my first chance to 
> look for the refound Brown Booby. I was successful. It was on the 
> green channel marker located at 42.88887,-76.72518. I first went to 
> the location many have described as "Townline Road" but some have had 
> trouble locating because there are Townline Roads along many township 
> borders. To be more informative, this refers to the 
> Aurelius-Springport Townline Road next to the railroad crossing of 
> NYS-90 north of Union Springs.
>
> HOWEVER, going west from NYS-90 this is not a road. As I was pointedly 
> informed by the owner, Steve Talcott, it is a PRIVATE DRIVEWAY (in 
> fact there is a small sign to that effect near NYS-90). He does not 
> appreciate his land being taken for granted as if it were a public 
> park. He would appreciate being politely asked for permission to bird 
> from there. His number is 315-730-3571. Although the Booby was not 
> being particularly exciting or obvious I showed it to him and 
> explained how special it is. He granted permission by phone for a 
> group of birders from Cornell, and welcomed them, and when I left I 
> believe we were on good terms. Please don't screw it up.
>
> I stayed for over 3 hours hoping to see it fly and hunt. It didn't. 
> The light got worse. I took a break to get food from the Nice-n-Easy, 
> and drive to Lower Lake Road. The bird was still on the platform of 
> the channel marker and remained there for another 3 1/2 hours 
> including sunset. Lazy thing. I guess it did all its feeding and most 
> of its preening earlier in the morning. It did stand up and stretch a 
> few times, so I know it has proper wings. And it defecated several 
> times, so presumably it has been eating. So far I have no reason to 
> believe it is unhealthy. It just surprised me by how sedentary it was. 
> Perhaps that's how it evaded detection for almost 3 weeks.
> --Dave Nutter
>
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