Thanks Mark for your inspiring and very enjoyable guidance on these walks. 
Looking forward to next year already. 


Sent from my iPhone

> On May 29, 2017, at 1:13 PM, Mark Chao <> wrote:
> With only moderate rain and no lightning at all, the conditions on Monday 
> morning allowed us to complete our scheduled Finger Lakes Land Trust Spring 
> Bird Quest (SBQ) walks after all.  It got pretty cold and wet, I admit, but 
> maybe an optimist could consider it half-warm and half-dry.  We did get our 
> share of rewarding moments too.
> Four optimistic and hardy participants joined me at the Goetchius Wetland 
> Preserve at 6:30 AM.  We had several distant views of male BOBOLINKS in the 
> field by the parking lot, with one close look that left me wanting more but 
> also somehow feeling satisfied at the same time.  We also had an excellent 
> close look at a pair of SAVANNAH SPARROWS.  Feathers matted by the rain, 
> these birds issued sharp chips, evidently out of alarm at our proximity to 
> their nest.   
> Down the road by the main wetland, Tom Hoebbel found the weekend’s only 
> PURPLE FINCH, an intensely dark-red male, in a bare shrub at the edge of the 
> pond.  To my equal surprise, we heard a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH singing far out 
> in the wetland, maybe all the way out in the trees on the opposite end.  And 
> as expected, we saw and heard both WILLOW FLYCATCHER and ALDER FLYCATCHER 
> from essentially the same vantage point along the road. 
> At the Baldwin Tract of the Roy H. Park Preserve, our group size now up to 
> 10, our good luck with bird sightings seemed to run out.  But we did hear 
> many expected birds, most notably several MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, plus the 
> weekend’s only WINTER WREN and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, both singing 
> virtuosically and tirelessly at the confluence of streams below the lean-to 
> shelter.  We heard a few forced high notes in some spruces – a partial 
> BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER song, I think.  I also heard one PRAIRIE WARBLER singing 
> once, but I think that maybe the others in the group missed it.
> It was also a fine day for newts.  We saw two adult Red-spotted Newts 
> crossing Flatiron Road near Goetchius, and one bright Red Eft at Park.
> In the end, my SBQ bird species count reached 86 – not bad given today’s 
> suboptimal conditions – and just as gratifying, the participant tally nearly 
> touched 100 if you count repeat visitors each time.  The species tally will 
> probably yield at least a couple thousand dollars in support of the Land 
> Trust’s work on protecting habitats for birds, for all wildlife, and for us.
> Thanks to all participants for your great company and support this weekend.  
> What a privilege and pleasure it is to spend time in such great places, amid 
> so many wonderful birds, with all of you!
> Mark Chao
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