Yesterday I visited two Finger Lakes Land Trust sites near the Danby/Ithaca town line. The non-warbler passerines took an unexpected turn on center stage, delivering charismatic, genre-bending, intimate, and utterly endearing performances for me, a rapt human audience of one.
* WINTER WREN singing his incomparably energetic and complex song from a surprisingly high perch right at the entrance to the Kingsbury Woods Conservation Area. This was a coveted first for this year’s Spring Bird Quest. * Downstream from the Kingsbury Woods parking area, a SWAINSON’S THRUSH making like a Louisiana Waterthrush or an American Dipper, standing out on rocks in the middle of Lick Brook and even wading out into the swift current, over at least 30 minutes. Though I know that Swainson’s Thrushes out west favor riparian habitats, I have never seen Swainson’s Thrushes doing anything quite like this before. Nor have I been able to find any literature on such behavior, even in the Birds of the World species account. (I saw four other Swainson’s Thrushes yesterday, all behaving typically near the ground in the shadowy forest – three in Kingsbury Woods, and one dazzlingly close at the Sweedler Preserve at Lick Brook.) * Fledgling COMMON RAVENS along the Lick Brook gorge at the Sweedler Preserve. I saw two hulking adolescents together right next to the trail, looking almost like adults but with little remaining patches of gray natal down and vestiges of yellow baby-gapes still at the corners of their mouths. I heard and saw them begging, and heard at least one more raven nearby (probably more), but I didn’t witness any feeding. Photos of all these birds, plus other recent highlights, are here at the Spring Bird Quest update page: https://www.fllt.org/spring-bird-quest-updates/. Thank you again to all of you who have been encouraging me and especially donating to the Land Trust this month, on your own or in connection with this SBQ. Mark Chao -- 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/ --