On Tuesday morning, I visited the Finger Lakes Land Trust’s Goetchius Wetland Preserve. I found a satisfying subset of the species that others found this past weekend (no Sedge Wren), plus one unexpected new visitor. Here are some highlights.
* PEREGRINE FALCON overhead, speeding northbound into the wind. An exciting surprise, and maybe unprecedented for the Spring Bird Quest! My brief view and one bad photo do not show dangling jesses, but the bird’s feet appeared to be balled up on something. If anyone was taking a captive falcon out for sport around Slaterville Springs this morning, would you please let me know? * VIRGINIA RAIL grunting spontaneously in the middle of the southernmost cattail patch accessible by foot from the parking area. (Others found up to seven Virginia Rails, three American Bitterns, and a Sora here on Saturday and Sunday.) * Two WILSON’S SNIPE issuing rich chirps at rest from the cattails, then rising up and wheeling spectacularly together in the blue sky * SOLITARY SANDPIPER in the original southern portion of the preserve, in a close mud patch surrounded mostly by open water * BROWN THRASHER teed up and singing a loud, varied, and wonderfully musical song in a hedgerow in the newest part of the preserve (acquired in January 2019) on the east side of Flatiron Road, with EASTERN BLUEBIRD, YELLOW WARBLER, and PURPLE FINCH singing nearby * BOBOLINK, EASTERN MEADOWLARK, SAVANNAH SPARROW, and FIELD SPARROW all singing (though not often, except the Field Sparrows) in the northern section The Land Trust has painstakingly pieced the preserve together over the years. It made the first two acquisitions in 1995, a total of 36 acres. Since then, via three more acquisitions, the Land Trust has acquired the wetlands and open fields to the north (2007 and 2011) and the new wet meadows and hedgerows to the east (January 2019). Two more pending acquisitions will bring the preserve to more than triple its original size! Mark Chao PS. The gray-morph EASTERN SCREECH-OWL has been regularly present in its cavity along Siena Drive in northeast Ithaca, including yesterday and today. -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --