Just an addition to Dave Nutter’s wonderful, complete description of the parks 
west of Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca:

Re NYSEG’s work to provide safe, roomy, wooden nest platforms for Ospreys all 
over this region, we have their Forester, Paul Paradine, to thank.
Paul is quite knowledgeable about birds, biology, and trees & plants & with his 
NYSEG crew has donated much time to helping Ospreys & other birds. He himself 
does volunteer work at the Cass Park Children’s Garden & other smaller gardens.

Originally from Ontario, he also happens to be the husband of Robyn Bailey who 
manages bird nest programs for CLO.

Paul also has been a huge help to the management of projects at Salt Point by 
Cayuga Lake & Salmon Creek in Lansing.
 SPt is owned by NYS DEC, but is managed by Town of Lansing thru work of their 
Parks & Rec Dept. & Friends of Salt Point, Inc, a volunteer non-profit group 
that sets policy & organizes projects there, based on the Salt Point Master 
Plan. Years ago, Bob McGuire, Karen Edelstein & others wrote this plan.

Paul does not get enough credit for all the help he has given to birds & other 
Thank you, Paul!

Donna Scott
Director, Friends of Salt Point, Inc.
Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 29, 2021, at 11:38 AM, Dave Nutter <nutter.d...@me.com> wrote:

 I don’t think this rare bird report went out to the wider listserve.

On the morning of October 27th Jay McGowan found 2 CATTLE EGRETS in Cass Park 
in Ithaca.  They were with the couple hundred RING-BILLED GULLS who typically 
rest in the soccer fields at the north end of Cass Park, but after the heavy 
rains of the previous day they were foraging in the flooded lawns around the 
edges of the large pools of water in those soccer fields. All these birds were 
frequently making short flights to change which field they used.  Later in the 
day at least 1 CATTLE EGRET was resting on the docks in Treman Marina.

This morning, October 29th, Jay reports that at least 1 CATTLE EGRET is again 
in northern Cass Park’s wet soccer fields and on the Treman Marina docks where 
the gulls (mainly Ring-billed but also some Herring & a few Great Black-backed) 
typically rest.

By the way, I’ve noticed some understandable confusion as to boundaries of 
these 2 adjacent and popular parks.

ALLAN H. TREMAN STATE MARINE PARK (AHTSMP) is east and north of the Hangar 
Theater, bounded by NYS-89 on the west, Cayuga Lake on the north, and Cayuga 
Inlet on the east. The south border is very close to the south side of the boat 
ramp, its associated parking lot, and the entrance road from NYS-89 just south 
of the Hangar Theater. AHTSMP encompasses the boat ramp, the huge marina, a 
couple of weedy fields west and northwest of the marina (each with an Osprey 
nesting platform atop a pole), a bit of woods north of the marina, and an 
extensive and diverse wetland in the northwest part of the park. This wetland, 
known locally as Hog’s Hole or the Hog Hole, is named after a guy called Hoggy 
who lived in the area before the park was created.

This State Park also includes a large fenced enclosure for loose dogs, a 
compromise after years of scofflaw dog-owners breaking the City of Ithaca leash 
ordinance and the State Park regulations by persistently letting their dogs run 
around the park off-leash, frequently harassing other park patrons who walk 
there. The dog pen is the most extensive mowed lawn in AHTSMP, which has no 
playing fields.

There are some formal paths in AHTSMP which were created a couple years ago. 
Most are paved but some are gravel. Current policy is not to clear snow from 
any of them. They connect to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail in Cass Park which 
does clear snow from the CWT.

In a very unusual arrangement with the City of Ithaca, this State Park does not 
charge any entrance fee, although it does charge fees for using or parking at 
the boat ramp, and of course there is a fee for keeping a boat at the docks in 
the marina. A perk of the boat housing fee is having restrooms and showers 
which are locked to keep commoners out. However, the restrooms next to the park 
office building north of the boat ramp are usually unlocked and available to 
the general public. The parking lots are used for storing boats in winter but 
there is still space for park users to park.

I believe the reason that this park extends so much farther into Cayuga Lake 
than does Stewart Park is that much of the land in AHTSMP was created by 
dumping dirt dug up in the 1960s by significant widening & straightening of 
Cayuga Inlet which created the Flood Control Channel which is used by rowing 
crews, and which cut off Inlet Island. In the early 1980s, spoils from dredging 
of that channel were added which raised the fields above the wetlands and 
allowed creation of the knoll.

(Allan H Treman State Marine Park is not to be confused with Robert Treman 
State Park, named after Allan’s father, located a few miles south, and 
encompassing a spectacular gorge with waterfalls, trails, and swimming).

CASS PARK, located immediately south of AHTSMP, is owned and managed by the 
City of Ithaca, which also charges no fees and allows the general public to use 
it, similar to Stewart Park and numerous smaller parks around the City. Cass 
Park, unlike Allan Treman, includes playing fields, lots of them. It also 
includes a covered skating rink that looks like a giant sowbug for ice skating 
in winter and roller skating in summer. It has a swimming pool for use during a 
couple of summer months when college students are on break and can be hired as 
lifeguards. Cass Park has tennis courts (also suitable for pickle ball). The 
playing fields on the west side of NYS-89, called Union Fields, are equipped 
with sets of bright lights on tall wooden poles, powered by a noisy smelly 
generator. Ospreys built a nest atop one of these sets of lights a few years 
back, and NYSEG transferred the new nest onto a higher platform to prevent a 
fire from the hot lights. Cass Park has a couple of playgrounds for small kids, 
a picnic pavilion and a barbecue pit. On a cove of Cayuga Inlet, Cass Park has 
3 small docks where Dragonboats reside and paddlecraft may also be launched. 
There are a couple of restroom buildings in the park, but they are only 
unlocked during the warmer months. The rink building, during business hours, 
may be the best bet for a legal public lavatory. Drinking fountains near 
playing fields may be disconnected.

Much of Cass Park is encircled by a 2-mile loop of the paved pedestrian & bike 
path called the Cayuga Waterfront Trail. (This trail also crosses on the NYS-96 
bridge to the east side of the Flood Control Channel then goes north along the 
east side of Cayuga Inlet to the Farmers’ Market, weaves inland along 
Cascadilla Creek and then east of Newman Golf Course to Stewart Park.) The CWT 
extends to the northern border of Cass Park. I believe the row of Yews 
alongside it belong to Treman. The wooden racks for canoes and kayaks are in 
Cass Park, even though they are close to Treman’s boat ramp. Cass Park extends 
south in a wedge to the dead end of Park Road, a remnant of NYS-89 before the 
big curving NYS-89 bridge with the tile pictures of waterfalls was built.

Near the south end of Cass Park is an area managed by a private organization, 
called the Ithaca Children’s Garden. It is fenced to keep deer out, but people 
are welcome. Adults have had a wonderful time planting things here, including 
vegetables which you may sample, beautiful flowers, and things that are better 
seen than described. There are organized (& deliberately disorganized) programs 
for kids. One of Ithaca’s wonders resides here: a concrete sculpture of a 
Snapping Turtle (named Gaia) about 50’ from snout to tail tip and crouching 
several feet high. An artifact of its construction is a hole in its throat much 
like a tracheostomy, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows have nested there 
several years.

To the west of Cass Park is the BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL, a gravel pedestrian and 
bike trail which follows an old railroad grade at a shallow 2% gradient 
northwest for 8 1/2 miles to the top of Taughannock Falls State Park. It 
doesn’t feel like work to bike north, but one can largely coast coming back to 
Ithaca. The Black Diamond Trail is a linear park managed by State Parks. It is 
also accessible at small parking areas where it crosses 8 roads. This is a 
wonderful way to view gorges & waterfalls of various sizes (including 
Taughannock’s secret spiral upper falls), and it’s good from birding, too.

- - Dave Nutter
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