Diane, Ken, and I drove around the lake today looking for new arrivals. The 
rain held off until we were almost home. We did have a few good birds! (Aren’t 
they all?)

The south end of the lake was surprisingly empty of most water birds. There 
were only a few gulls and geese off Stewart Park. The Swan Pen was quiet. We 
heard no peeps from Renwick Woods (no phoebe, winter wren). Likewise, there 
were only a few gulls off Myers Park. 

>From the bluff south of Aurora we scoped some 28 White-winged Scoters and over 
>a dozen Horned Grebes (no Eared or Red-necked). Here we had our first new bird 
>of the day - a trio of newly-arrived TREE SWALLOWS. At the Wells College 
>boathouse we got closer looks at the grebes and watched one pair in a brief 
>mating dance (the first I had ever seen from this bird). 

We stopped at Frontenac Park in Union Springs to scope the lake, hoping for 
Bonaparte’s Gulls and Blue-wing Teal (none). Our first OSPREY flew over as we 
drove north from Union Springs (the second was on a nest along Rts 5 & 20). The 
north end of the lake around Mud Lock was likewise almost devoid of water 
birds. A small flock of Ruddy Ducks remained.

The Wildlife Drive remained closed (open this weekend?), but the pond at the 
Visitor’s Center still hosted numerous Green-winged Teal and the continuing 
Eurasian GW Teal (good, close looks). 

Tschache Pool held numerous ducks, mainly GW Teal, Pintail, Gadwall, and 
Shovelers. The big surprise there was the large number of Great Blue Herons. We 
counted at least 25 in the pool and another 25+ on nests in the rookery to the 
west of the tower. eBird had a problem when we tried to enter “50 Great Blue 
Herons"!

Knox-Marcellus still holds a lot of water and many ducks, again mainly GW Teal, 
Pintail, Gadwall and Shovelers. The best bird there was a flyover GREATER 
YELLOWLEGS, calling only once (“tew-tew-tew”). I know that this “flyover, 
calling, yet unseen” yellowlegs sounds a bit sketchy (I had the same experience 
the other day at Myers). But we considered long and hard the alternatives, and 
nothing else really matched. There were GW Teal giving occasional “peep” calls, 
but none in the proper 3-note sequence with the pitch falling off slightly 
through the sequence. I’d still like to SEE one of those guys this year!

We went as far north as Carncross Road & Marten’s Tract, hoping again for 
shorebirds or Blue-winged Teal (none). We did, however, hear our FOY SWAMP 
SPARROW singing a slow song from the distant cattails and the single bugling 
call of a Sand Hill Crane.

On a tip from Dave Kennedy we drove Lake Road south from Cayuga Lake State Park 
and eventually found the three foraging BLUE-WINGED TEAL just short of 
Woolfy’s. Again, the lake was almost empty of ducks, and the teal stood out 
beautifully!

Bob McGuire


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