Five intrepid birders joined me for an excellent day of birding. We met at
Stewart Park in the icy parking lot and scoped out the gulls. There were no
white-winged gulls, so we headed to East Shore Park where we saw a number
of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, MERGANSERS, COOTS, and Dave
found a RED-THROATED LOON. After that success, we headed to Ladoga where
there were two NORTHERN PINTAILS which were added to our list. We decided
to look for field birds so we headed to Bell Dairy where there were many
SNOW BUNTINGS and HORNED LARKS. Dave found a beautifully plumaged LAPLAND
LONGSPUR for us. Before heading up the lake, we stopped at the King Ferry
Bakery for coffee, etc.

Long Point was the next stop where there were many RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS,
AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, MALLARDS, one COMMON LOON on the water, and six
BLUEBIRDS and DARK-EYED JUNCOS flitting around in the trees. We stopped on
the road heading to Aurora and saw a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET among a number
of other passerines in the trees. At the Aurora Boathouse, Wes and Bob
counted 27 HORNED GREBES!

Our last stop on the east side of the lake was Harris Park in Cayuga. We
just set up our scopes to look through the Aythya flocks, when we received
a Rare Bird Alert from Jay saying the GYRFALCON was back at Hoster Road.
Well, I asked Leigh if she had ever seen one. She said '"No" so we all
hopped back in the car and Bob took to the road. Dave said Gyrfalcons only
sit for 30 minutes at a time. We arrived at Hoster Road in 20 minutes. We
watched the bird for ten minutes and it flew. How Dave knew it would fly,
is beyond me!

We next went to Van Cleef Lake in Seneca Falls to look at gulls. We found
four LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, one juvenile ICELAND GULL, and one adult
plumaged GLAUCOUS GULL. The last place we stopped was the Seneca Airport
where we saw two SNOWY OWLS - one light one and one dark one. Beautiful
birds.

I am glad the weather didn't interfere with the trip. No accidents. Only
the parking lots were icy. It sprinkled for a couple hours, but it was only
a bother to the optics. People saw some new year birds AND Leigh had 2
Lifers - Lapland Longspur and Gyrfalcon. Thanks to everyone for coming. The
trip was a SUCCESS!

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