The prolonged cold weather and northwest winds have put a damper on migration 
and leaf-out. 

But those conditions which make flying insects harder to find have herded the 
swallows down to Cayuga Lake and the easier to watch marina at Allan H Treman 
State Marine Park. There are no boats in the way, and the water is so high that 
the swallows can’t fly under most of the docks. Day before yesterday at the 
marina I saw all 6 of our regular species of swallows plus Chimney Swift. 

The Hawthorn Orchard may be “dead” but I have seen a few warblers and other 
treats in some Hawthorns in the parks here, including the row near the 
Children’s Garden in Cass Park and a stand north of the boat ramp near the 
state park office. 

And yesterday I figured  how to deal with the weather, which started out near 
freezing with a growing northwest wind. I spent the morning on the Black 
Diamond Trail walking on the old railroad grade from Cass Park as far as 
Glenwood Heights Rd, the 3.5 mile section I call BDT1. The sun rising in the 
northeast warmed that slope first at the base of West Hill. My warbler list 

Louisiana Waterthrush, singing in a gorge just past the hospital
Nashville Warbler, in the first sunlit flock just past Hangar 
Common Yellowthroat, singing in the swamp behind Union Field
American Redstart, also in Union Swamp plus other spots
Northern Parula, 3 heard and great looks at 2 of them
Blackburnian Warbler, male FOY also in the first sunlit flock
Yellow Warbler, singing at BDT start, plus in some flocks
Chestnut-sided Warbler, in first sunlit flock plus later locals
Black-throated Blue Warbler, FOY in 2nd flock near Williams Glen
Palm Warbler, several places along BDT
“Myrtle” Yellow-rumped Warblers, many along BDT
Black-throated Green Warbler, female FOY in 2nd flock
Canada Warbler, FOY on ground on uphill side = eye level

The second flock soon after sunrise was just north of the waterfall of Williams 
Glen Creek. My intro was an Eastern Phoebe which I met in the next gully south 
as I approached. Then I heard and saw my FOY Red-eyed Vireo, who soon joined a 
gang of birds north of the falls. On a tall treetop on the north side of that 
gorge, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak sang. He later came down to ground level to 
chase off another male. Maybe the female there was impressed. Several Myrtle 
Warblers were busy, and were joined by the Chestnut-sided from earlier, while a 
Black-throated Green quietly worked on a small Hemlock. At least one Palm 
Warbler was there, and my FOY male Black-throated Blue made a brief appearance, 
as did a Northern Parula. A Least Flycatcher was perched quietly nearly at 
ground level, and a Warbling Vireo wandered through. A male Baltimore Oriole 
sang persistently for attention. Meanwhile a Downy Woodpecker joined the flock 
and a male Red-bellied Woodpecker clung to the nearest power pole and preened. 
A pair of Tufted Titmice and a Black-capped Chickadee were present, as well as 
Northern Cardinals. When a deep red male Scarlet Tanager flew to a treetop I 
just had to laugh. All the commotion attracted a female Brown-headed Cowbird to 
survey the scene. Then a shadow made me turn around. It was a Great Blue Heron 
flying over the flooded Hog Hole.  

The Canada Warbler was a short distance farther along the trail. It was with a 
Palm Warbler under a spray of leafing-out Beech shoots where NYSEG has cleared 
large trees away from their power lines. Nearby, a House Wren walked on some 
dead brush. It was silent, which seemed odd.

The whole trip couldn’t be that fantastic, but I had a good time. Having seen 
enough other warblers, I could enjoy the beauty of the many Myrtle Warblers. 
There was a pair of Eastern Towhees hiding in a thicket, the vacated Bison 
pasture had a pair of Eastern Kingbirds and at least 1 Killdeer (the other 
parent and any offspring were hidden), and there were singing Wood Thrushes 
along the way. I stopped so often it hardly seemed worth bringing the bike 
except it let me mostly coast back home. 

- - Dave Nutter

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