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 included: 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 -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/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/ --