Good questions. I think it will become clearer as more/better photos come in.  

Along those lines, how is it that the Snowy Owls find their way, year after 
year, to the area of the Seneca Falls Airport? The assumption is that all of 
these are hatch year birds (with no memory of having done it before).

Bob
On Jan 15, 2018, at 3:26 PM, Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes <c...@cornell.edu> 
wrote:

> Thanks also for these details, Bob.
> 
> Some questions I have are: is there any reason to suggest this was the 
> identical individual Gyrfalcon as the one seen last year? Or, is there a 
> possibility that this is a new/different bird? If the latter, how did this 
> one come to settle near or at the same quarry as the Gyrfalcon from last year?
> 
> Thanks
> 
> Sincerely,
> Chris
> 
> 
> On Jan 15, 2018, at 3:05 PM, bob mcguire <bmcgu...@clarityconnect.com> wrote:
> 
> Here is my report on yesterday’s trip around the lake. Of particular note: 3 
> Snowy Owls, Gryfalcon, Wood Duck, Glaucous Gull.
> 
> Bob McGuire
> 
> 
> Cayuga Bird Club Field Trip 14 January 2108
> 
> Seven well-bundled up folks joined Ken and me for a day-long jaunt around the 
> lake. This trip was postponed from the previous weekend due to the cold and 
> wind. The conditions today were not much better, starting out around zero but 
> no wind. 
> 
> Because the south end of the lake was misted over, we began to bird in 
> earnest at Ladoga where we quickly got on a pair of Trumpeter Swans. 
> Trumpeters are not unusual in the Basin, but they are a rare sight in 
> Tompkins County. Our ABA on the birds brought several more birders out to see 
> them. Then, following up on the sound of distant Cardinal, we are drawn to 
> nearby feeders and were able to add Pine Siskin and Northern Mockingbird to 
> several people’s year lists. From the spit at Myers we were able to look past 
> a couple of hunters to add two Long-tailed Ducks.
> 
> The next stop was Belltown Dairy to try for field birds. We were hugely 
> rewarded with a large flock of Snow Buntings, Horned Larks, and two Lapland 
> Longspurs feeding intermittently in the middle of the road and in the 
> adjacent field. The view of a Longspur on stubby legs, hunkered in the middle 
> of the road some 50 feet away, was the best that I have ever had!
> 
> We picked up Wild Turkey along Route 90 north of King Ferry and the 
> continuing Glaucous Gull from the bluffs just south of Aurora. There we also 
> had our first and rather small flock of Aythya ducks plus four White-winged 
> Scoters and a couple of Horned Grebes. I should note there that we never did 
> come across the large numbers of Aythya (numbering in the thousands) that had 
> been seen the previous week along the east side of the lake.
> 
> In Union Springs, the Factory Pond held the usual collection of Gadwall, 
> Buffleheads, Mallards, and Black Ducks as well as three Green-winged Teal and 
> a single Common Goldeneye. On to the Mill Pond we were able to pick out the 
> single Wood Duck amid the thousands of Canada Geese and assorted Aythya, 
> Mallards, Wigeon, and Gadwall. A quick check of the outlet creek yielded the 
> day’s only Belted Kingfisher and Song Sparrow. At this point we were already 
> well past lunch time and took a short break at the Nice ’n Easy - where we 
> ran into Gary Kohlenberg with great directions to the Seneca Falls Snowy Owl.
> 
> We found the first Snowy in a field just east of the airport runway and a 
> second one perched atop one of the hangers. At that point we were pretty much 
> done for the day and headed south to check on an earlier report of another 
> owl. As we passed the quarry on Hoster Road Diane said something like “That 
> looks the right shape for a falcon”. We stopped and, for the next hour, with 
> help from Kevin McGowan, tried for good scope views of a large, dark bird 
> with a consistently dark face that was perched in the tall trees above the 
> quarry and, maddeningly, obscured by branches. Photos were taken and the 
> field marks were discussed, to the ultimate conclusion that there was, again 
> this year, a Gyrfalcon in the area.
> 
> After that we really did head for home, with a quick stop along Ridge Road 
> for the third Snowy Owl of the day. The trip went a little longer than 
> planned, but the weather really wasn’t a deterrent. I’d have to say that it 
> was a successful trip!
> 
> 
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> 
> --
> Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes
> Field Applications Engineer
> Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, New York 14850
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