Today I joined Marc Devokaitis and Paul Rodewald for a section of Cayuga
Lake's DEC Waterfowl Survey. We started at Taughannock SP North Point and
went up to Vineyard Rd Ext (just south of Dean's Cove) up the west side of
Cayuga Lake stopping at several small roads as well as CR 141 , Sheldrake
Pt and Wyers Pt and Rd. We were greeted with excellent weather, and
waterfowl numbers seemed high compared to previous years. Here are some
1 RED-THROATED LOON visible from Taughannock SP North Point to start the
day, as well as two HORNED GREBES.
Large numbers of REDHEAD in assorted rafts and flocks all along the route,
as well as good numbers of SCAUP, and RING-NECKED DUCKS, and a ton of
COMMON GOLDENEYE, some displaying as well as the ever-present CANADA GEESE,
MALLARDS, and a decent showing of AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS.
RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were out in force, seen from nearly every stop.
Only a few COMMON MERGANSERS, and a handful of HOODED MERGANSERS seen
throughout the day.
4 COMMON LOONS were all together on one of the small roads between
Frontenac and CR 141.
CR 141 to Sheldrake was quite productive
many aythya, several HORNED GREBE (one pair actively displaying), TUNDRA
SWANS, and MUTE SWANS, as well as
22 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS (the most I had ever seen, adult males, 1st winters
and females all present. we tried in vain to turn any of them into a black
or surf scoter) this flock of scoters extended from just south of Sheldrake
point's southern spit north to Sheldrake Point itself. I only reported them
from the CR 141 hotspot, though viewing and parking are likely equally
good, if not better at Sheldrake.
Wyers Point and road added 3 new species for the day
our only PIED-BILLED GREBE of the day
and the only 3 CANVASBACKS
Other highlights included a handful of SNOW BUNTINGS along the southern
portion of CR 141 leading to the lakeside from RT 89, an AMERICAN KESTRAL
perched somewhere south of Sheldrake (location is lost in the fog of
ducks), a flyover BALD EAGLE adult, and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER on
Kingtown Beach road (which I do not recommend driving down without some
serious AWD capability and good tires). and I turned up one GADWALL at Elm
Beach Rd with a flock of MALLARDS.
An excellent day for being out lakeside and counting the ducks! Thanks
Good Birding,


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