Yesterday I did some birding at Sapsucker Woods, including a midday raptor 
watch from Mount Sapsucker, where I scoped a distant Golden Eagle to the east 
circling up then gliding away to the northeast. 

At the airport I found Eastern Meadowlarks foraging on the lawn beyond the 
northwest end of the runway. I first heard “Spring-0’-the-Year” songs from the 
Warren Road side, but ultimately saw the most - 5 total - from the Snyder Road 
side. There were also fine looks at the male & female American Kestrel using 
low posts near the runway. 

>From Burdick Hill Road I saw another Eastern Meadowlark foraging where hay had 
>been mown. More surprising was that the pond was full of Ring-necked Ducks: I 
>counted 188, while there were likely a few more hidden behind tree trunks & 
>brush. A pair of Canada Geese were walking away, perhaps feeling overwhelmed.  
>But walking toward the pond were 2 male Wild Turkeys, who then changed course 
>and became hidden by a copse of trees. A minute later I looked back and saw 
>the same thing happen. Either the same Turkeys circled around, or 2 more males 
>followed the same path. When I got to the west end of the fields it made more 
>sense. Near the edge of the woods and an apparent stream there was a gathering 
>of 30 Wild Turkeys, mostly female, but at least 4 males, one of whom was 
>displaying. Maybe this is a regular late afternoon event, that the males made 
>sure to attend. 

This morning on my walk to Allan H Treman State Marine Park I encountered 
several more personal year firsts: swimming north with the Fall Creek outflow 
on the east side of the White Lighthouse Jetty was a single male Blue-winged 
Teal all alone out in the open. Eventually he appeared to be resting northeast 
of the Red Lighthouse. Maybe he just showed up, but it’s possible that I 
overlooked him during any number of diligent scope scans of the shores of 
Stewart Park and Treman during the past couple weeks. 

On the grass beside the gravel path along the lakeshore at Treman there were a 
dozen Song Sparrows visible at one time. Then, near the northwest corner of 
that gravel path, one sparrow was different: a Swamp Sparrow. 

The lake seemed mostly devoid of ducks but I made an extra scan of the 
southwest part of the lake and was surprised to have a flying bird come into 
view but dip down to the surface repeatedly: my first Tree Swallow finding food 
resting on the water. Later I saw what may have been the same bird perched to 
preen on a snag near the shore. Does pausing indicate that it had enough food 
or that the pickings were so slim as to not be worth flying for? It soon flew 
off, but moments later I saw more typical careening swallow flight by at least 
5 birds, all of whom were Tree Swallows. 

When I got back home I found a Fox Sparrow foraging in the weeds alongside the 
deer fence at the edge of the yard. 

None of these species are new for the year for the Cayuga Lake Basin list, but 
many were firsts for me, prompting those special Spring smiles. 

- - Dave Nutter

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