Between 11:35 and noon on Monday, Jay McGowan, Brad Walker, some curious
passersby, and I watched the YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO at various points around
the dock by the Stewart Park pavilion building.  First Jay and Brad pointed
out the bird to me in the tall willow tree right next to the dock.  The
bird was difficult to find at rest, but once I knew generally where to
look, I could pick it out by the broad reddish patch formed by its dropped,
fanned wings.

The bird flew down next to the little tree at the base of the dock, and
then to the dense vegetation right along the shore.  Here it became much
more difficult to find.  It emerged for a couple of minutes and processed a
woolly bear on the ground, but then retreated into the dense plants and
disappeared.  I stayed for 10 minutes after Jay and Brad left, but couldn’t
find the cuckoo again.

Thanks to Tim, Ethan, Brad, and Jay for your help with this fine bird!
(Thanks also to Jay for finding a BRANT on the red lighthouse jetty.)

The Cornell Community Gardens on Freese Road continue to offer very good
birding.  Today I found my first VESPER SPARROW of the season, which flew
up from the northwesternmost plot, flashing white outer tail feathers, and
alighted high in a tree across the road.  I also found a LINCOLN’S SPARROW
yesterday, and several WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS on both days.

Mark Chao


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