This morning just before 9am Jay McGowan sent a text rare bird alert about a Black Tern among the swallows off Stewart Park. I arrived a little over an hour later. On my first scope scan of the lake I saw plenty of swallows and cormorants but no black tern. After an unsuccessful binocular scan, I tried another scope scan and found a Black Tern flying low above the lake among the many swallows. It was farther away than East Shore Park and initially in the direction of Portland Point. It was amazingly agile at short fast dives & turns when it went after some hapless airborne insect. After awhile the Black Tern began working its way west, passing in front of the piling cluster but beyond the Red Lighthouse toward the lakeshore at Treman. It went out of view momentarily in the SW corner of the lake, then reappeared flying north, but flying straighter and gradually climbing, and with a second Black Tern. They continued northbound but separated so much that I could only follow one in my scope. I eventually lost it against the sky above the tree line above the Ithaca Yacht Club at 1036am. I looked for the second Black Tern but did not refind it, so my guess is that it also continued north. But, it’s worth scanning the swallows in case the same or another Black Tern joins them.
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