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.

- - Dave Nutter

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