Saturday morning (30 March) I biked to East Shore Park in an unsuccessful quest 
for the Common Loons and Red-necked Grebe that Tim Lenz had reported. There 
were many small boats of anglers on the lake, perhaps accounting for some of 
the local bird scarcity, and the warm air over the still-cold water reduced 
visibility. Far to the north were a few unresolvable blobs. So I continued on E 
Shore Dr to the base of the hill, where there’s a nice stretch of unobstructed 
guardrail to sit on. Two of those blobs became breeding plumage Common Loons 
hanging out together, another was a lonesome male Red-breasted Merganser, and a 
group of 5 former specks turned into Horned Grebes, again more in breeding 
plumage than not. My previous Horned Grebe sighting on the 25th was of 12 in 
winter plumage plus a possible transition bird which was harder to see at dusk. 

Having traveled so far, it seemed a shame to turn back, to I continued to 
Burdick Hill Rd where I saw at least 3 Eastern Meadowlarks in view at once, and 
heard their songs from 2 directions. On the way up the hill I heard my first 
Eastern Phoebe of Spring singing somewhere in the woods above 1261 E Shore Dr. 
It wasn’t near an obvious stream, so my guess is that the house has some nice 
ledges for nesting. It was a joy to hear, not just because of the bird, and the 
new season, but just to be able to hear it, particularly over the traffic 

Having climbed to Burdick Hill Rd, why not continue to Sapsucker Woods? That’s 
birding logic. At the Fuller Wetlands another Eastern Phoebe was singing, this 
time in plain sight, and it obligingly flew briefly into Dryden so I could add 
it to that list. This was not my first sighting of the species for the year 
though. There were a couple of Eastern Phoebes which attempted to overwinter, 
one in Allan H Treman State Marine Park, and one near Six-mile Creek and the 
West End’s former “Jungle”. I had seen each in December, and again in January, 
when I photographed them on the 8th & 19th respectively. That last date was 
just before the big storm with deep snow & bitter cold. Stuart Krasnoff saw the 
Treman bird on the 16th as well, but I don’t think anyone found either of them 
after that. So it’s also a joy now to find Eastern Phoebes with better 
prospects for survival.

Also on the north side of the Lab was one female-type Purple Finch at the 
feeders, and a flock of 7 Icterids, five of which I got a scope view to ID as 
Rusty Blackbirds. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 30, 2019, at 2:06 PM, Donna Lee Scott <> wrote:
> I heard "my" Phoebe today, as well as one by Sarah B's house. 
>  Also saw 22 elegant Red-breasted Mergansers with some of the males 
> displaying, 1 male Common Merg, a Horned Grebe in breeding plumage, & a 
> couple Golden Eye, out on the lake. 
> C. Loons calling !
> Donna Scott
> Lansing/Cayuga L. 
> On Mar 30, 2019, at 9:33 AM, Robyn Bailey <> wrote:
>> I awoke to the sound of “my” Eastern Phoebe calling. Every year one nests on 
>> my house. I recall last year it was April 1 when I first heard the phoebe at 
>> home. 
>> Robyn Bailey 


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