Today on the Ravine Trail in the National Forest there were three 
separate groups of Ovenbirds moving together & making continual chip 
calls: two groups of three birds and one of four. They were surprisingly 
bold and would land quite near (w/i 6') of my dog and me, still making 
chip notes.  I'm guessing they were groups of fledglings since in June 
the Ovenbirds there were a lot more cautious.  Did not hear or see any 
BT Greens, which also usually breed there - there were many males on 
territory in spring - but maybe they have dispersed already.

We had Carolina Wrens year 'round at our house in Ovid (Seneca Basin) 
since we bought it in May 1990, until Feb 2015 when the prolonged cold 
spell wiped out not only ours but probably over 90% of the ones that had 
settled in S. Seneca County in the last 25 years.  However they are 
prolific little birds and the territories are slowly refilling.  Earlier 
this month, a male was shepherding fledglings through our yard and they 
all were feasting on spiders and insects in the brush piles we keep for 
that purpose.  The fledglings aren't apparent anymore but he has 
continued to sing here daily, often answered by the female chattering, 
and finally last week I found half of a Carolina Wren eggshell in our 
lane - first sign of nesting here since Sept 2014.

Robins, Phoebes, M. Doves, & GC Flycatcher all fledged broods earlier 
this year. In the past week Catbirds, Cardinals, Titmice, WB Nuthatches, 
and Downy, Hairy & Pileated woodpeckers all have been feeding (or 
avoiding) begging fledglings.  Screetch owls didn't nest in our yard 
this year but we have been hearing bounce calls the past few nights so 
perhaps one or two is prospecting for territory.  The adult bald eagles 
aren't fishing in our cove any more - their nest apparently was on the 
west side of Seneca Lake and they would fly all the way across with the 
fish they caught! - but we are seeing more juvenile eagles now.

Missing nesters this year include B. Orioles (first time ever we haven't 
had at least one pair nesting in the yard); RB Woodpecker (ditto); RT 
Hummingbirds (finally saw FOY three weeks ago but instead of several 
regular visitors all spring & summer, we have what seems to be a single 
unusually shy female/immature coming to the trumpet vine, fuchsia & 
other flowers planted specifically for them); and Wood Thrush (we heard 
some occasionally thru May & June so they may be nesting nearby but not 
here).  Up the road there seem to be no Indigo Buntings when usually 
there are many, and only a single male E. Meadowlark with his harem, 
instead of the usual two or three males.  Chipping Sparrows also seem to 
be down and the Grasshopper Sparrow that was there last year did not 
return.  OTOH, it has been an exceptional year for Barn Swallows there 
with two dozen swooping around now.

Overall we have had no unusual nesting birds and are missing several of 
the regulars for the first time.  Not sure why - there doesn't seem to 
have been any significant habitat change in the area.


On 7/29/2017 5:31 PM, Kevin J. McGowan wrote:
> There hasn't been much local birding information on this list for a 
> while. I admit that I'm as guilty as anyone of not posting my 
> sightings. I get most of my "hot bird info" from my hourly email eBird 
> "needs list" updates for the county. It's an awesome tool, but it's 
> not as friendly as CayugaBirds. (Just as an aside, Steve Kelling 
> created both of these forums!!)
> So, here are some of my recent observations and thoughts.
> There are lots of baby birds out there right now. I'm hearing 
> hatch-year bird calls everywhere I go. Also, young warblers seem to be 
> on the move right now. We've had lots of young Yellow Warblers around 
> the Lab trails this week, and most of there were NOT produced on the 
> local grounds. This was an oddly Yellow-Warbler-free year in Sapsucker 
> Woods. As far as I know, there were NO breeding pairs around the Lab 
> pond this year. So it seems that newly-produced warblers are 
> dispersing. I had some nice encounters with hatch-year Blue-winged and 
> Chestnut-sided warblers today, and I heard young warbler chips and 
> zeeps in lots of places while driving around town.
> My weekly crow census at the Cornell compost facility on Stevenson Rd 
> turned up a single Herring Gull amongst the approximately 500 
> Ring-billed Gulls (only present in the last few weeks). Also, a single 
> SOLITARY SANDPIPER foraging along the drainage ponds. A PEREGRINE 
> FALCON of undetermined age (man, they fly fast!!) came through and 
> flushed just about everything.
> A few shorebirds are being reported at Myers Point, and a respectable 
> report of the transitional male RUFF came in this week from the main 
> drive at Montezuma.  So, get out there and find some birds. And let us 
> know what you find.
> Kevin
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