The bleak season has begun at my place because the Flood Control Channel has 
finally frozen solid. Yesterday there was just a thin layer of slush on top in 
the morning moving slowly, but a few Canada Geese swam right through it, and 
later it broke up and cleared away in the warmer afternoon. I may not see many 
waterfowl flying, swimming, diving, displaying & mating as long as for awhile, 
although today there are still a few gulls flying around. The Rock pigeons 
still are resting on the high-tension wires over the ice, and maybe they will 
continue to display atop the pylon which I can see better from my house. 

I’m keeping my deck and its railing cleared of snow so that birds can access 
the sunflower seeds I put out, and every morning I hang a tube feeder of 
sunflower seeds. So far I’ve been visited by a flock of 5 American Goldfinches 
and a flock of 16 Mourning Doves, both high counts at the feeder for this young 
year, plus I’ve seen 2 other species (White-throated Sparrow and Downy 
Woodpecker) at or headed toward my neighbors’ clearly better feeding operation. 

My writing was interrupted in the middle of the above paragraph by a surprise 
new yard species. The first small flock of Canada Geese I saw this morning at 
0845, which I wasn’t sure would happen at all due to the frozen water and some 
snow on the grass, included the Ross’s Goose which has been seen since at least 
5 January on the ice at Stewart Park and in the lake off Allan Treman State 
Marine Park. This morning the Ross’s Goose had been reported among Canada Geese 
resting on the frozen Cayuga Inlet between Cass Park and Newman Golf Course. As 
it flew past my windows just above eye-level in bright sun, I saw that this 
white goose with black wing-tips not only was small, it also had a very short, 
very thick neck and a very small, stubby, all-pink triangular bill. I expect it 
is grazing on the lawns along the the water between the State Street bridge and 
the Fish Ladder east of NYS-13A (Floral Avenue/Five Mile Drive), and I don’t 
know, maybe there is even some open water for the geese along there.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 8, 2022, at 8:00 AM, Donna Lee Scott <> wrote:
> Many of us have been concerned about what seems to be low bird numbers in 
> past weeks. 
> But yesterday & today I have ~ 48 Mourning Doves eating bird food in my back 
> yard!
> Also 2 regular Carolina Wrens, along with other usual suspects at feeding 
> areas. 
> & I picked up a third Crow out back. 
> Donna Scott
> Lansing
> Sent from my iPhone
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