First, kudos to Orhan Birol for his recent post of a pair of C.Ravens on
Shelter Island....which reminded me to follow up on a Raven sighting I had
a while back near the water tower on Pulaski St., in Riverhead. On
Wednesday afternoon, I did not see the bird (or, with my fingers crossed, a
pair) although I think I did see some nesting material. I say "think", due
to the unusual amount of small wires all around the tank itself. When
querying  the T/of/R Water District Office Staff re: their knowledge of any
bird activity on their tower, I did find out the reason for the many wires.
! While answering "none" re: the Ravens, and to my 2nd question re: the
possibility of their maintenance workers knowing, I learned that the town
leases the exterior of their tower to an electronics firm, who by contract
are the only ones allowed to climb the tower in order to service their
hardware - hence, the large # of  attached wires ! Obviously, I will
certainly remember to check on the  wire/nest in the near future...but now
for the surprises !

This spring has been mostly a "non-birding" affair for me because of an
operation, followed by ~ 6 weeks of not being able to drive, while having
to wear a boot on my right foot. This past Tuesday was the end of my
personal purgatory when my foot fit in a regular shoe, and I was allowed to
legally take to the streets once again - oh how sweet it was !

Accordingly, on the next day, as I circled the bottom of the tower looking
upward in quest of a viable nest, I suddenly realized a Chimney Swift had
flown through my binocular field, becoming my first of this species for the
season ! Upon regaining the bird, I was thrilled by the speed and
"out-of-sync" quality of it's flight...close to 60 days, with only about a
total of an hour birding, will do this to you !  A moment later, as juiced
up as I was, I experienced the 2nd, and even more exciting surprise of the
day, which really got me jumping ! Flying low across the road in hot
pursuit of a similar sized, light plumaged bird, was an adult male Scarlet
Tanager ! While being completely mesmerized by this quick, unusual
encounter, I just did not pick up any more detail on the bird that was
chased ! I also can't remember ever having seen a SCTA in such an
aggressive  activity, and in a mixed industrial/residential area - not your
usual singing, perched bird, basked in sunshine, with blossoming, native
Dogwoods close by ! This too, was a FOY for me !


While my primary objective was put on hold, I did have 2 serendipitous
moments, one more striking than the other ! While looking up


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