I ventured up the lake after 1 pm to try and find the Snow Buntings and Horned Larks Bob reported yesterday.  I first saw the manure on the field from Jerry Smith Road, but the birds were very distant, closer to Davis Road.  I drove down Jerry Smith and turned south onto Davis.  They were very close to Davis Road. They would swirl up and go back and forth on the field sometimes landing in the corn stubble or in the grass strip closer to Davis Road.  A couple friends drove up and were looking for them too. We stayed for probably a half hour and the Snow Buntings and Horned Larks were then crossing the road to the field behind us. They were landing on the road in front and behind our vehicles. Sometimes quite close.  There were definitely hundreds of Snow Buntings.  Horned Larks were mixed in and constantly moving.  We found we had to be really still as the birds that were close to us in the road would take off if we moved!   A very enjoyable time seeing them so close and the large flocks swirling back and forth.  I haven't seen that in years.

I went on a bit further to look at the ag fields on Nut Ridge Road (Bell Station).  As I turned onto Nut Ridge I saw a very distant flock flying, 20-30 that appeared to be Horned Larks. Quickly I saw some Snow Geese and so stopped.   They were grazing on one of the grassy strips and covered it pretty much from one end to the south end of the field.  They were not far off Nut Ridge, and I had really nice views just with my binocs.  I never got out of the car because I thought they would take off.  There were dark adults and one I saw I believe was a white juvenile.  I stayed put for a bit watching them, and then drove slowly further down towards the lake and turned around in one of the drives that enter the field.  I pulled over to continue watching them and look for other field birds.  Several times I saw flocks of mostly Horned Larks flying around the field.  A few single birds landed on the shoulder of Nut Ridge Road.  Once as a group came closer, I was able to see several Snow Buntings mixed in.  Later a group of maybe 100 flew up and they crossed Nut Ridge and kept flying north.   As I drove back up Nut Ridge, a car coming towards me stopped.  It was Mrs. Stevens who lives down there.  She was thrilled to see and hear the Snow Geese.  As we talked the geese suddenly got loud and flew up and then came back down in the field, but at the south end.  I estimate there was over a 1,000 Snow Geese.  A small group of Snow Geese (20-25) had wandered up towards Lake Ridge road, very close to Nut Ridge, walking along and grazing!

I saw 9 Dark-eyed Juncos and four Cardinals together along the shoulder of Nut Ridge.  I saw 4 Tree Sparrows on the shoulder of Lake Ridge Road.  A Turkey Vulture was sitting in the road right near Nut Ridge feeding on a carcass.  I thought I would chuck it (the road kill) out of the road so the TV wouldn't get hit.  As I approached I saw it was a skunk.  Never mind.  The TV flew off and did not return.  As I later drove 34B, I saw about 15 Snow Buntings fly into a field from the telephone wires.  Horned Larks flew up from the secondary roads as I drove around.   A nice afternoon.

Good birding,


Cayugabirds-L List Info:

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2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

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