Re: [cayugabirds-l] Armitage rd drainage

2022-05-01 Thread Dave Nutter
The way I learned it, a swamp is a forest wetland, which describes this place 
well.
- - Dave Nutter

> On Apr 30, 2022, at 9:43 AM, Kate T. Finn  wrote:
> 
> The language we use is important.  I would suggest we consider replacing the 
> word "swamp" with "wetland", which is also a protected habitat in some cases.
> 
> More information may be available via NY-DEC Fish and Wildlife as a place to 
> start.
> 
> Kate T Finn
> Ithaca
> 
>> On Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 7:07 AM  wrote:
>> I was over on Armitage rd. the other day where the nestboxes are set up for 
>> Prothonotary warblers and noticed the one that had fallen over the winter 
>> was reinstalled (west side of the river). Unfortunately however this private 
>> property has had some ditching/drainage work done which is draining that 
>> swamp into the Clyde River. The ditch was flowing steadily and I fear the 
>> swampy woods there will be drained in no time, eliminating the habitat there 
>> for the Prothonotary warblers as well as Northern waterthrush, Wood duck and 
>> a host of other species. While these birds nest at other locations in the 
>> Montezuma complex it is saddening that this place may no longer provide 
>> wonderful opportunities to see these birds. I will try to find out more 
>> information regarding the plan for the swamp but at this point it doesn't 
>> look good. 
>> 
>> Kyle Gage
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[cayugabirds-l] Upland Sandpipers?

2022-04-27 Thread Dave Nutter
I was talking to Reuben Stoltzfus today. He often calls when he suspects he has 
found a new species for the Cayuga Lake Basin for the year, and he is often the 
first to find an Upland Sandpiper at their traditional site, the Lott Farm 
(access by permission). It’s located at the south edge of Seneca Falls, east of 
NYS-414 and north of Martin Road near the Finger Lakes Regional Airport. We’re 
a couple weeks overdue for Upland Sandpiper, and he hadn’t reported, and I know 
he’s busy, so I asked if he had been looking. Yes, he has been looking but not 
finding any. Last year he only saw 1, and eBird only has 2021 reports from 
there of a singe bird from April 18-26. It’s looking like maybe that last 
remaining reliable location in the Basin for breeding Upland Sandpipers may 
have died out. Keep your eyes and ears open, both there and at any large 
grassland area. We may only have them as migrants, if at all, from now on. 
Meanwhile, although I haven’t been there, I assume the Lott Farm is still good 
for lots (!) of other grassland species.  

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Ramblings and Peregrines

2022-04-21 Thread Dave Nutter
Yesterday I biked from my home near Cass Park in Ithaca to Taughannock Falls 
State Park. I used the Black Diamond Trail  which is conveniently direct and 
safe from motor traffic, and goes through a variety of habitats past nice views 
and many lovely waterfalls of various sizes. It climbs from lake level to the 
top of Taughannock gorge ever so gently for 8 1/2 miles, yet the return trip 
can be made largely by coasting. All the distractions along the BDT slow me 
down, so for most of the trip I played leapfrog with a couple of steady 
walkers, as I kept pausing for real or imagined birds, until they finally 
pulled far ahead when at least 3 Eastern Towhees repeatedly called at me while 
staying hidden in dense nearby vegetation (Later I finally saw one more by luck 
than skill.) The other drawback to biking the BDT is the noise of the fine 
gravel under my tires which obscures bird sounds and drives me nuts. If it 
wasn’t for the energy-efficiency of biking, including the coasting return trip, 
I’d walk instead. 

My goal was to see a nesting Peregrine Falcon. I was warned, correctly, that it 
would be hard to see and not much to look at, but I wanted to bear witness to 
the species’ return. When I started birding as a kid, Peregrines were already 
gone from eastern North America, and I was my twenties visiting  the Pacific 
coast when I first saw a Peregrine. It was the inspiring work of folks at the 
Cornell Lab or Ornithology, along with scores of volunteers in the field, which 
gave these spectacular birds another chance to live in our part of the world. 
The birds could finally return after the banning of some of the poisons whose 
incredibly widespread use had so harmed Peregrines, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Brown 
Pelicans, and many other creatures. Then ecosystems had decades to flush 
themselves and heal while the birds slowly repopulated. 

Yesterday I succeeded in seeing the fastest of predators lying humbly, vague 
and anonymous in the distance, on a rock ledge waiting for her eggs to hatch. I 
knew more or less where to look, but it took me awhile. The best clue was the 
presumed male Peregrine perched & preening on a dead tree that overhung the 
gorge. Where he was on guard duty, the nest site must be nearby. I spent awhile 
staring at a bird-like-object on the wrong shelf before I found the actual bird 
staring back. 

I decided to try to photograph what I saw, but my set-up is a bit fussy. I can 
look through the scope, or I can photograph through the scope but it takes a 
few seconds of steadiness to switch, and it’s hard to tell exactly what my 
picture will show or did show. The view was tricky, too, over a fence and 
through a narrow grove of evergreen Hemlocks, other tree trunks, and understory 
trees, then across the substantial gorge. I spent several minutes moving my 
scope, seeking a better vantage. Then I had to ensure my tripod was steady, 
because of wind above and duff below, and because extending the tripod enough 
to see over the fence allowed it to vibrate more. During that time I was unable 
to photograph what I saw: the female raising herself a bit and reaching down 
with her bill to adjust and turn the eggs. My next picture has her lying down 
again, with her head not showing the white pattern on the face so well. But 
after a couple minutes she was pretty much in the original and recognizable 
position. 

Figuring she was settled for awhile, I decided to photograph the male. Maybe he 
had finished preening and looked more like a bird than like a lot of feathers 
sticking, out as he did when I first saw him. His perch had been just a bit too 
far away from her ledge to fit them both in one scope-view photo, so I was 
about to aim the scope on him when I saw that his dead tree was empty, and he 
was fluttering to a landing on the nest ledge, at the end of the shelf which 
was, conveniently, closest to his dead tree and also, respectfully, as far as 
possible from the female. Did any signal request his presence or ask her 
permission? I don’t know. Soon after the male arrived, the female stood up 
(photo) and walked to the edge (photo) before spreading her wings and dropping 
off the cliff, into flight, and out of view. The male then walked along the 
ledge to the nest area, leaned down to arrange the eggs a bit with his bill. I 
think I saw at least 3 of them, light brown like some chicken eggs, but more 
round. Then he settled himself on top of them to take a turn at incubation 
(photo), whether for minutes or hours I don’t know. 

This was all new to me. Maybe it wasn’t much, but it seemed like plenty. I 
hiked back to my bike for the long gentle ride home. Photos, such as they be, 
are here:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S107585659


- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Red-throated Loon @ East Shore Park, Ithaca

2022-04-18 Thread Dave Nutter
After several visits to East Shore Park, this morning I finally saw the 
continuing non-breeding plumage Red-throated Loon at East Shore Park, offshore 
to the north. So many times I only saw the even-longer-continuing non-breeding 
plumage Common Loons, which at a distance in heat shimmer can look similar, 
that I doubted the Red-throated was still around, and I would have doubted its 
very existence despite the numerous reports if not for Jay McGowan’s confirming 
photo on 11 April. The Red-throated is very pale and evenly gray on the crown 
and down the back of the neck, with none of the Common’s jagged pattern, and of 
course the Red-throated lacks the Common’s steep forehead. Amazingly, I took 
what for me is a pretty good photo.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S107380293

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] CHSP

2022-04-14 Thread Dave Nutter
I read and enjoy people’s reports of all sorts on CayugaBirds-L, including 
first arrivals. With eBird, I also like the standardization, the notifications, 
the ease of looking up dates & locations, and for rare birds the required 
inclusion of comments, the ease of inclusion of photos, and the professional 
vetting. While eBird comments can be personal notes about the place or the 
experience, IMO for rare birds the comments must include a description of 
observed field marks which both point to the ID of the rare species (which by 
definition is not expected to be there at that time) and rule out other species 
which are expected to be there at that time or are equally unlikely to be 
there. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Apr 14, 2022, at 1:59 PM, John Gregoire  
> wrote:
> 
> Our FOY this AM among increasing numbers of CHSP. SW CLB SW of Mecklenburg at 
> 1800 ft.
> Dave Nutter,are you not wanting FOY reports via the listserv? Sorry but we do 
> not do Ebird.
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Chipping Sparrows

2022-04-14 Thread Dave Nutter
First Chipping Sparrow for me was 13 April, both in my yard by the south end of 
Cass Park in Ithaca and the same day at Allan H Treman State Marine Park, which 
is a bit later than many folks but still exciting for me - very handsome little 
bird. 

First record for the Cayuga Lake Basin this year currently is 31 March, 
photographed by Dave Kennedy in his yard in Seneca Falls, also reported to 
eBird. Earlier reports were not adequately distinguished by description or 
photo from similar but more likely sparrows, such as American Tree Sparrow, but 
rarely Chipping Sparrow does show up in winter and often at feeders when it 
does. 

Thank you for using eBird, which makes monitoring first arrivals easier for me, 
and where reports of rare birds (those which are out of range or out of season) 
get reviewed by an expert, such as Jay McGowan. It’s always good to include a 
photo of any surprisingly early bird if you can, even a not-too-pretty photo 
from a hand-held phone, which can help pin down the ID, and to note the  things 
about the bird which said to you what species it was, especially if eBird says 
it is rare.  Reports to eBird, even if they are not THE first local arrival, go 
into the database which gives a bigger and richer picture for researchers. 
Also, I find that eBird is a great way for me to keep track of my own 
observations & lists, so I recommend eBird generally.

Also I enjoy all the reports on CayugaBirds-L of arrivals. Some species seem to 
arrive only a few at a time, other species arrive on south winds in a big wave 
at many places the same morning. Some species seem to push up against the 
Cayuga Lake Basin in places like Shindagin Hollow before spilling over. And 
some species I suspect circle around, arriving via the Ohio Valley and the Lake 
Ontario Plain, or maybe the Mohawk Valley, rather than crossing the 
Appalachians. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Apr 13, 2022, at 1:38 PM, Kate T. Finn  wrote:
> 
> We had a chipping sparrow downtown on April 7.  I ebirded it, for those who 
> monitor first arrivals.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Kate
> 
> 
>> On Wed, Apr 13, 2022, 12:15 PM Sigrid Connors  wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> 
>> My FOY Chipping Sparrow arrived yesterday too. We live in Northwest Groton.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Sigrid Larsen Connors
>> 
>> 
>>> On Wed, Apr 13, 2022 at 11:57 AM John Gregoire 
>>>  wrote:
>>> Arrived here yesterday. Tree Sparrows also shrill with us but expect the 
>>> turnover to be soon.
>>> John
>>> Kestrel Haven Wildlife Sanctuary in the SW corner of the CLB.
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Red-tailed hawks sharing prey?

2022-03-22 Thread Dave Nutter
Sounds like courtship to me. Or maybe it’s “maintaining a pair bond”. Or you 
could call it very practical help. A male demonstrates that he is a worthy 
provider by giving the female food, which is a big part of his job if she 
chooses him as a partner. For their best reproductive success, he brings food 
for the young, he brings food for her when she is brooding, he brings food when 
she is incubating, and maybe even when she is producing eggs. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 22, 2022, at 3:35 PM, Christopher Sperry  wrote:
> 
> Anyone have thoughts about want I just witnessed in my back yard in Ithaca: 2 
> Red-tailed hawks vocalizing loudly from different trees – one with a mouse or 
> chipmunk, flying to different perches until the one with the prey offered it 
> to the 2nd hawk (no opposition).  Was this likely an example of dominance, or 
> pairing behavior, or something else?
>  
> Chris Sperry
>  
>  
>  
> From: bounce-126420389-89368...@list.cornell.edu 
>  on behalf of Peter Saracino 
> 
> Date: Monday, March 21, 2022 at 6:11 PM
> To: eatonbirdingsoci...@groups.io , Cayuga 
> birds 
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Lesser yellowlegs
> 
> This message originated from outside the Ithaca College email system.
>  
> 2 lesser yellowlegs at corners of Rt. 89 and 31mucklands
> Pete Sar
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Fwd: [cayugabirds-l] Montezuma updates

2022-03-15 Thread Dave Nutter
As Alyssa said, at 9am today (15 March) the Snow Geese were relatively few in 
number and located in the west corner of the flooded mucklands opposite the 
intersection of 31 & 89 (where there is enough shoulder to park several cars 
alongside the road). I was told that earlier in the morning there were a lot 
more Snow Geese over a much wider area, but that hunters had dispersed them. 
Before I left, I saw a guy with a gun, a canoe, and a loud dog on one of the 
strips of land to the north between the flooded fields. I returned at 11am, 
when the hunters were gone, and so were the geese from the west corner, but 
clouds of Snow Geese were forming farther east over the flooded mucklands north 
of 31, the first few touching down about 11:10am. The flooded field they chose 
was mainly in Seneca County, considerably east of the large pull off where the 
“Potatoes” building used to be, with a strip of vegetation blocking the view 
from there. (There are very few places a car can be pulled off the road near 
this flooded field, but I found and used one, pulling off so my car would not 
interfere with traffic.) The Snow Geese continued to swirl down, accumulating 
many thousands, until about 1:55pm all the Snow Geese took flight - I don’t 
know why - and resettled mainly northwest of the main pull-off, mostly in Wayne 
County. More were still arriving when I left about 2:30. But it was not til 
later that the Greater White-fronted Goose and the Tundra Bean-Goose were found 
among them. Oh, well. The problem with rare birds is that by definition there 
is a huge number of birds which are not the rare bird. At least Snow Geese are 
fun to watch if I’m not trying to pick out a Ross’s Goose, and I wrote down the 
codes for 8 different collars on them, which I will report at 
www.reportband.gov

Regarding traffic on 31, it is true that there are some tractor-trailers, and 
that many drivers break the speed limit here as they do everywhere. However, it 
is not a limited access highway, so it is legal to be a pedestrian along the 
side of the road. The paved shoulder outside of the white lines, which is too 
narrow for parking a car, is supposed to be for pedestrians, Drivers can see a 
person on that shoulder a long way off, and drivers should not cross that white 
line. I parked in one of the gaps in the guardrail, not where my car would 
interfere with traffic or block that shoulder, but I walked on the paved 
shoulder, which is legal. Whether anyone else thinks that’s safe is their own 
judgement call, but if you as a pedestrian on that paved shoulder get hit by a 
driver, and you are in no shape to tell the police what happened, and the 
driver blames you, and the police decline to ticket, even though drivers 
legally must always try not to hit pedestrians, I think your heirs may have a 
good chance of success suing. 

Another non-bird note: although the bathrooms in the Visitor Center building 
are not available when it is closed, the bathrooms are available in the 
separate building near the Viewing Tower and the start of the Wildlife Drive 
and the Seneca Trail. 

Back to birds & birding: today the lower eastern part of Carncross Road between 
the marsh and the flooded field was blocked off with a sign saying it was 
closed due to flooding. There were lots of ducks in the flooded field. 

At Martens Tract there was still some deep snow/slush on part of the driveway 
to the parking lot, but it may have melted since this morning. The fields 
nearby hosted 2 pairs of Sandhill Cranes who were mostly quiet but occasionally 
very noisy - a joyous surprise to me.

- - Dave Nutter

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Johnson, Alyssa" 
> Date: March 15, 2022 at 12:56:44 PM EDT
> To: Undisclosed recipients:;
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Montezuma updates
> Reply-To: "Johnson, Alyssa" 
> 
> Good morning all,
>  
> I’ve been away from Montezuma since last Friday, so I haven’t been able to 
> keep up personally with where the Snow Geese and other waterfowl have been 
> hanging out over the weekend. I did a quick drive around to some of the hot 
> spots, and I’ll detail my observations below:
> 
> -“Route 31 Muck”: this is where all the action has been the last week! 
> REMINDER: This is private land. The little pull off areas are on private 
> land. Please be respectful if you visit, and stay in the pull off area, do 
> not go walking out into the fields even if there is a “road”. I’ve seen 
> people doing this to get better pictures, but it isn’t necessary as the birds 
> have been pretty cooperative. Also, this is considered trespassing. Also, 
> please do not stop on Route 31/walk along the road, especially where there 
> are guard rails! This is a 55mph zone, and tractor trailers and other large 
> vehicles travel this route, and will not be able to stop or swerve if there 
> are cars along the side of the road (or even IN t

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Tundra Bean-Goose photos

2022-03-15 Thread Dave Nutter
Thanks for the tips about Macaulay, searching by contributors and accessing 
photos which have not been confirmed. 
Turns out the URL was masked on my screen, it just said “ebird.org”, but I see 
how to reveal it fully, and in future I will use that, if my memory is up to 
the task. Learning all the time... maybe.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 15, 2022, at 9:08 PM, Jay McGowan  wrote:
> 
> Right, the most elegant way would be to provide the full URL when referencing 
> a checklist in a post, so no searching or copying-and-pasting needed. So:
> https://ebird.org/atlasny/checklist/S104578240
> Or the Macaulay Library search by county and species (with Show Unconfirmed 
> checked to include unreviewed media):
> https://search.macaulaylibrary.org/catalog?taxonCode=tunbeg1=Grid=Seneca,%20New%20York,%20United%20States%20(US)=US-NY-099=all=T=Tundra%20Bean-Goose%20-%20Anser%20serrirostris
> 
>> On Tue, Mar 15, 2022 at 9:04 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:
>> Sorry to not have provided more information about how to see Joe Wing’s 
>> photos.
>> 
>> I used the info Gary gave me, that Joe had nice photos from the Mucklands, 
>> then looked it up on eBird rare bird alerts for Wayne County since it’s less 
>> than 7 days old. Since Joe’s sighting has been confirmed, you can also use 
>> the eBird “explore” page to get the species map for Tundra Bean-Goose, zoom 
>> in to see the recent red pins, click on the upper pin for Wayne County in 
>> the Mucklands, then click the date beside Joe’s name. It’s checklist 
>> S104578240. Maybe there’s a more elegant way, but those are the ways I found 
>> it.
>> 
>> - - Dave Nutter
>> 
>>> On Mar 15, 2022, at 8:48 PM, Jay McGowan  wrote:
>>> 
>>> A suggestion—if you reference an eBird checklist, especially as having nice 
>>> photos, provide the URL. Kind of a tease otherwise!
>>> 
>>> On Tue, Mar 15, 2022 at 8:47 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>>> Joe Wing also included some excellent photos in his eBird report from the 
>>>> Wayne County part of the Mucklands on 10 March - very sharp, detailed, 
>>>> well-lit, and only slightly obstructed. A joy to see. Thanks, Gary 
>>>> Kohlenberg, for pointing this out, I’d somehow overlooked them.
>>>> 
>>>> - - Dave Nutter
>>>> 
>>>>> On Mar 15, 2022, at 6:39 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Thank-you to *everybody* for your patience, persistence, & communication 
>>>>> regarding finding, refinding, and documenting this super-rare European 
>>>>> bird, the Tundra Bean-Goose. As I said before, this is only the second 
>>>>> NYS record, while the first record was only last March, and probably the 
>>>>> same bird, also on northbound migration in the eastern part of the state. 
>>>>> There are a lot of birders with cameras, but photography has been very 
>>>>> challenging, and few reports even include unique photos, let alone 
>>>>> detailed, focused, or complete views of the bird. I think Sandy Podulka 
>>>>> has finally submitted some photos to eBird which give us all - and 
>>>>> history - a satisfying view. If anyone else has photos or video which 
>>>>> even document some single field mark or behavior well for this bird, 
>>>>> please do not hesitate to add them to your eBird reports. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> - - Dave Nutter
>>>>> 
>>>>> Begin forwarded message:
>>>>> 
>>>>>> From: ebird-al...@birds.cornell.edu
>>>>>> Date: March 15, 2022 at 1:35:33 AM EDT
>>>>>> To: nutter.d...@mac.com
>>>>>> Subject: [eBird Alert] Seneca County Rare Bird Alert 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> *** Species Summary:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> - Tundra Bean-Goose (1 report)
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> -
>>>>>> Thank you for subscribing to the  Seneca County Rare Bird Alert. 
>>>>>>  The report below shows observations of rare birds in Seneca County.  
>>>>>> View or unsubscribe to this alert at 
>>>>>> https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35526
>>>>>> NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> eBird encourages our users to bird safely, responsibly, and mindfully. 
>>>>>> Please follow the recommendations of your local health authorities and 
>>>>>> respect any active travel restrictio

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Tundra Bean-Goose photos

2022-03-15 Thread Dave Nutter
Sorry to not have provided more information about how to see Joe Wing’s photos.

I used the info Gary gave me, that Joe had nice photos from the Mucklands, then 
looked it up on eBird rare bird alerts for Wayne County since it’s less than 7 
days old. Since Joe’s sighting has been confirmed, you can also use the eBird 
“explore” page to get the species map for Tundra Bean-Goose, zoom in to see the 
recent red pins, click on the upper pin for Wayne County in the Mucklands, then 
click the date beside Joe’s name. It’s checklist S104578240. Maybe there’s a 
more elegant way, but those are the ways I found it.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 15, 2022, at 8:48 PM, Jay McGowan  wrote:
> 
> A suggestion—if you reference an eBird checklist, especially as having nice 
> photos, provide the URL. Kind of a tease otherwise!
> 
> On Tue, Mar 15, 2022 at 8:47 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:
>> Joe Wing also included some excellent photos in his eBird report from the 
>> Wayne County part of the Mucklands on 10 March - very sharp, detailed, 
>> well-lit, and only slightly obstructed. A joy to see. Thanks, Gary 
>> Kohlenberg, for pointing this out, I’d somehow overlooked them.
>> 
>> - - Dave Nutter
>> 
>>> On Mar 15, 2022, at 6:39 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Thank-you to *everybody* for your patience, persistence, & communication 
>>> regarding finding, refinding, and documenting this super-rare European 
>>> bird, the Tundra Bean-Goose. As I said before, this is only the second NYS 
>>> record, while the first record was only last March, and probably the same 
>>> bird, also on northbound migration in the eastern part of the state. There 
>>> are a lot of birders with cameras, but photography has been very 
>>> challenging, and few reports even include unique photos, let alone 
>>> detailed, focused, or complete views of the bird. I think Sandy Podulka has 
>>> finally submitted some photos to eBird which give us all - and history - a 
>>> satisfying view. If anyone else has photos or video which even document 
>>> some single field mark or behavior well for this bird, please do not 
>>> hesitate to add them to your eBird reports. 
>>> 
>>> - - Dave Nutter
>>> 
>>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> 
>>>> From: ebird-al...@birds.cornell.edu
>>>> Date: March 15, 2022 at 1:35:33 AM EDT
>>>> To: nutter.d...@mac.com
>>>> Subject: [eBird Alert] Seneca County Rare Bird Alert 
>>>> 
>>>> *** Species Summary:
>>>> 
>>>> - Tundra Bean-Goose (1 report)
>>>> 
>>>> -
>>>> Thank you for subscribing to the  Seneca County Rare Bird Alert.  
>>>> The report below shows observations of rare birds in Seneca County.  View 
>>>> or unsubscribe to this alert at https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35526
>>>> NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated.
>>>> 
>>>> eBird encourages our users to bird safely, responsibly, and mindfully. 
>>>> Please follow the recommendations of your local health authorities and 
>>>> respect any active travel restrictions in your area. For more information 
>>>> visit: https://ebird.org/news/please-bird-mindfully
>>>> 
>>>> Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser serrirostris) (1)
>>>> - Reported Mar 14, 2022 16:16 by Sandy Podulka
>>>> - Savannah Mucklands (Seneca Co.), Seneca, New York
>>>> - Map: 
>>>> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=43.0208882,-76.7310748=43.0208882,-76.7310748
>>>> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S104855238
>>>> - Media: 6 Photos
>>>> - Comments: "Continuing, originally found on Seneca Lake, then seen here, 
>>>> and then re-found by Tim Lenz today. Thanks to Scott Peterson for 
>>>> patiently showing me and others the bird."
>>>> 
>>>> ***
>>>> 
>>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to eBird's Seneca 
>>>> County Rare Bird Alert
>>>> 
>>>> Manage your eBird alert subscriptions:
>>>> https://ebird.org/alerts
>>>> 
>>>> eBird Alerts provide recent reports of regionally or seasonally rare 
>>>> species (Rarities Alerts) or species you have not yet observed (Needs 
>>>> Alerts) in your region of interest; both Accepted and Unreviewed 
>>>> observations are included. Some reports may be from private property or 
>>>> inaccessible to the general public. It is the 

Re:[cayugabirds-l] Tundra Bean-Goose photos

2022-03-15 Thread Dave Nutter
Joe Wing also included some excellent photos in his eBird report from the Wayne 
County part of the Mucklands on 10 March - very sharp, detailed, well-lit, and 
only slightly obstructed. A joy to see. Thanks, Gary Kohlenberg, for pointing 
this out, I’d somehow overlooked them.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 15, 2022, at 6:39 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> Thank-you to *everybody* for your patience, persistence, & communication 
> regarding finding, refinding, and documenting this super-rare European bird, 
> the Tundra Bean-Goose. As I said before, this is only the second NYS record, 
> while the first record was only last March, and probably the same bird, also 
> on northbound migration in the eastern part of the state. There are a lot of 
> birders with cameras, but photography has been very challenging, and few 
> reports even include unique photos, let alone detailed, focused, or complete 
> views of the bird. I think Sandy Podulka has finally submitted some photos to 
> eBird which give us all - and history - a satisfying view. If anyone else has 
> photos or video which even document some single field mark or behavior well 
> for this bird, please do not hesitate to add them to your eBird reports. 
> 
> - - Dave Nutter
> 
> Begin forwarded message:
> 
>> From: ebird-al...@birds.cornell.edu
>> Date: March 15, 2022 at 1:35:33 AM EDT
>> To: nutter.d...@mac.com
>> Subject: [eBird Alert] Seneca County Rare Bird Alert 
>> 
>> *** Species Summary:
>> 
>> - Tundra Bean-Goose (1 report)
>> 
>> -
>> Thank you for subscribing to the  Seneca County Rare Bird Alert.  
>> The report below shows observations of rare birds in Seneca County.  View or 
>> unsubscribe to this alert at https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35526
>> NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated.
>> 
>> eBird encourages our users to bird safely, responsibly, and mindfully. 
>> Please follow the recommendations of your local health authorities and 
>> respect any active travel restrictions in your area. For more information 
>> visit: https://ebird.org/news/please-bird-mindfully
>> 
>> Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser serrirostris) (1)
>> - Reported Mar 14, 2022 16:16 by Sandy Podulka
>> - Savannah Mucklands (Seneca Co.), Seneca, New York
>> - Map: 
>> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=43.0208882,-76.7310748=43.0208882,-76.7310748
>> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S104855238
>> - Media: 6 Photos
>> - Comments: "Continuing, originally found on Seneca Lake, then seen here, 
>> and then re-found by Tim Lenz today. Thanks to Scott Peterson for patiently 
>> showing me and others the bird."
>> 
>> ***
>> 
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to eBird's Seneca 
>> County Rare Bird Alert
>> 
>> Manage your eBird alert subscriptions:
>> https://ebird.org/alerts
>> 
>> eBird Alerts provide recent reports of regionally or seasonally rare species 
>> (Rarities Alerts) or species you have not yet observed (Needs Alerts) in 
>> your region of interest; both Accepted and Unreviewed observations are 
>> included. Some reports may be from private property or inaccessible to the 
>> general public. It is the responsibility of every eBirder to be aware of and 
>> respectful of access restrictions. For more information, see our Terms of 
>> Use: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/terms-of-use/

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[cayugabirds-l] Tundra Bean-Goose photos

2022-03-15 Thread Dave Nutter
Thank-you to *everybody* for your patience, persistence, & communication 
regarding finding, refinding, and documenting this super-rare European bird, 
the Tundra Bean-Goose. As I said before, this is only the second NYS record, 
while the first record was only last March, and probably the same bird, also on 
northbound migration in the eastern part of the state. There are a lot of 
birders with cameras, but photography has been very challenging, and few 
reports even include unique photos, let alone detailed, focused, or complete 
views of the bird. I think Sandy Podulka has finally submitted some photos to 
eBird which give us all - and history - a satisfying view. If anyone else has 
photos or video which even document some single field mark or behavior well for 
this bird, please do not hesitate to add them to your eBird reports. 

- - Dave Nutter

Begin forwarded message:

> From: ebird-al...@birds.cornell.edu
> Date: March 15, 2022 at 1:35:33 AM EDT
> To: nutter.d...@mac.com
> Subject: [eBird Alert] Seneca County Rare Bird Alert 
> 
> *** Species Summary:
> 
> - Tundra Bean-Goose (1 report)
> 
> -
> Thank you for subscribing to the  Seneca County Rare Bird Alert.  The 
> report below shows observations of rare birds in Seneca County.  View or 
> unsubscribe to this alert at https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35526
> NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated.
> 
> eBird encourages our users to bird safely, responsibly, and mindfully. Please 
> follow the recommendations of your local health authorities and respect any 
> active travel restrictions in your area. For more information visit: 
> https://ebird.org/news/please-bird-mindfully
> 
> Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser serrirostris) (1)
> - Reported Mar 14, 2022 16:16 by Sandy Podulka
> - Savannah Mucklands (Seneca Co.), Seneca, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=43.0208882,-76.7310748=43.0208882,-76.7310748
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S104855238
> - Media: 6 Photos
> - Comments: "Continuing, originally found on Seneca Lake, then seen here, and 
> then re-found by Tim Lenz today. Thanks to Scott Peterson for patiently 
> showing me and others the bird."
> 
> ***
> 
> You received this message because you are subscribed to eBird's Seneca County 
> Rare Bird Alert
> 
> Manage your eBird alert subscriptions:
> https://ebird.org/alerts
> 
> eBird Alerts provide recent reports of regionally or seasonally rare species 
> (Rarities Alerts) or species you have not yet observed (Needs Alerts) in your 
> region of interest; both Accepted and Unreviewed observations are included. 
> Some reports may be from private property or inaccessible to the general 
> public. It is the responsibility of every eBirder to be aware of and 
> respectful of access restrictions. For more information, see our Terms of 
> Use: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/terms-of-use/

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Song Sparrow and Tree Sparrow

2022-03-12 Thread Dave Nutter
Yes, you may well have different birds than usual at your feeders today. With 
the heavy snow covering many wild food sources and even covering some feeding 
stations on the ground, birds are making a special effort to find food by going 
to feeding stations they don’t normally visit. 

Meanwhile, in the past few days & weeks many birds have migrated into the area, 
such as Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles (who may flock together in 
winter and during migration) and Song Sparrows (more than just those returning 
to local territories, also lots who will head farther north). And lots of 
winter visitors are still in the area, such as Dark-eyed Juncos (who regularly 
visit feeders), and American Tree Sparrows (who rarely visit my feeder, but I’m 
sure go to other people’s feeders). The American Tree Sparrows may stay until 
early April, about the time that many Chipping Sparrows return (This makes the 
ID challenge between them more fun: can you see them together?)

The sparrows usually feed on the ground, but today a Song Sparrow learned to 
use my hanging tube of sunflower seeds and also started coming up to my deck 
which I strew with sunflower seeds, even though in the past the Song Sparrows 
have stayed on the ground below the deck eating fallen seeds there. 

I’ve been seeing flocks of blackbirds (Red-winged Blackbirds &/or Common 
Grackles) flying past for several days, but today a mixed flock stopped and 
visited the feeders at my next door neighbor’s and at my place. They were new 
feeder birds for the year. 

Meanwhile I was having trouble keeping the seeds accessible. The snow would 
cover it faster than the birds would venture forth after I put it out. Mourning 
Doves regularly visit and eat seeds on the railing of my deck, but today the 
first one alit on the railing and stood staring at the inch-deep snow, then 
walked forward along the railing not seeing any food. The second Mourning Dove 
alit behind the first but could see the seeds through the first dove’s 
footprints, so it walked behind, eating the entire time. A third Mourning Dove 
alit behind the second, and because there were so many footprints, it didn’t 
have to walk but just stayed there eating.  

After the Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles figured out this was a food 
source, they trampled the snow on the railing pretty well. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 12, 2022, at 9:24 AM, Poppy Singer  
> wrote:
> 
> Is it possible that both a Song Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow are at my feeder 
> now? I'm not an expert at sparrows, but I think so. 
> Also, a Grackle, like Donna mentioned. 
> Plus the regulars.
> 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Tundra Bean-Goose, Seneca County

2022-03-10 Thread Dave Nutter
This is a first for the Cayuga Lake Basin, and according to eBird the first NYS 
record was a single bird one year ago near Saratoga Springs, again migrating 
north. My bet is it’s one bird and the same one as last year. I’d be happy to 
be proven wrong with more birds or sightings, and better views.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 10, 2022, at 7:27 PM, Meredith Leonard  
> wrote:
> 
> What are the chances there are two or more? Also, has it/have they been seen 
> here other years?
> 
> On Mar 10, 2022, at 7:04 PM, Jay McGowan  wrote:
> 
> The bean goose was refound this afternoon in the huge Snow Goose flock in the 
> Savannah Mucklands this afternoon, although it was in the far back and out of 
> sight for quite some time. It was finally refound but then soon after took 
> off, seemingly to the north, at 5:50pm. Hard to say what the prospects are 
> for tomorrow, but I didn't get the sense it was heading back to Seneca Lake. 
> Checking the Mucklands would certainly be a good strategy, but hard to say if 
> the bean will return.
> 
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2022, 5:22 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:
> Very cool find! 
> Perhaps this is the same bird who was found last March near Saratoga Springs. 
> Seneca Lake and its drainage are outside the Cayuga Lake Basin, but lands not 
> far to the north of Seneca Lake, including some ag fields along Serven Road 
> are inside the basin. Please check for it there if you are in the area. A 
> view on land may be more satisfying, and it would be great to confirm it 
> within the Basin!. 
> 
> - - Dave Nutter
> 
>> On Mar 10, 2022, at 8:17 AM, Jay McGowan  wrote:
>> 
>> Tim Lenz found a TUNDRA BEAN-GOOSE in a flock of Snow Geese off Seneca Lake 
>> SP in Seneca County last night. The bird was still present for very distant 
>> views early this morning, then flew north around 7:16am.
>> 
>> Original checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S104518907
>> --
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Tundra Bean-Goose, Seneca County

2022-03-10 Thread Dave Nutter
Very cool find! 
Perhaps this is the same bird who was found last March near Saratoga Springs. 
Seneca Lake and its drainage are outside the Cayuga Lake Basin, but lands not 
far to the north of Seneca Lake, including some ag fields along Serven Road are 
inside the basin. Please check for it there if you are in the area. A view on 
land may be more satisfying, and it would be great to confirm it within the 
Basin!. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 10, 2022, at 8:17 AM, Jay McGowan  wrote:
> 
> Tim Lenz found a TUNDRA BEAN-GOOSE in a flock of Snow Geese off Seneca Lake 
> SP in Seneca County last night. The bird was still present for very distant 
> views early this morning, then flew north around 7:16am.
> 
> Original checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S104518907
> --
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[cayugabirds-l] New 2022 first Basin record for Red-headed Woodpecker

2022-03-01 Thread Dave Nutter
During the Great Backyard Bird Count an eBird report was submitted for a 
Red-headed Woodpecker visiting a feeder on West Hill in the Town of Ithaca. 
It’s a rare species, and fortunately the observer included a brief but adequate 
identifying description. Jay McGowan also personally verified the report on 
Sunday, as did I yesterday. This is an area which has had Red-headed 
Woodpeckers reported in past years from the southern part of Poole Rd, and from 
Elm St Extension east of the Coy Glen Gorge, so I think there must be some 
attractive habitat. I heard a “wheer“ call yesterday from woods on the N side 
of Elm St Extension in that area. I also heard rattle calls when the bird was 
at or near the feeder. 

The feeder is at the corner of Elm St Extension (a narrow road with rather fast 
traffic), and Valley View Rd (a one block long residential street). If you 
decide to drive there, I would recommend staying in your car with it stopped on 
the end of Valley View Rd near the intersection with Elm St Extension. I think 
there’s room for a single car on Valley View not to block traffic, the feeders 
are visible from there without staring at anyone’s house, and I think a stopped 
car with no one getting out would not disturb the bird. The owner of the house 
with the feeders is aware that people might stop by and is okay with that 
providing it doesn’t disturb the bird. 

For those of you who consider the carbon footprint of birding, I’m not sure 
whether driving to this location would be better than cruising out to 
Trumansburg or stopping there on the way to someplace else when those birds 
return, because Elm Street is a long steep ascent from downtown Ithaca. It is a 
pleasant walk though. 

As I said, Red-headed Woodpecker is rare in our area, but it is even more rare 
in winter. The other interesting bit of info provided on the original eBird 
report was that the Red-headed Woodpecker has been regularly seen at this 
feeder since 20 December. Most winter reports that I’ve seen have been unique 
or sporadic, but I believe this would be only the second documentation of 
Red-headed Woodpecker overwintering at one location in the basin. The first was 
several years ago in Cornell’s Parker Woods in Cayuga Heights next to North 
Campus. That bird had cached acorns into bark crevices. Presumably this bird 
has some additional food source than this suet feeder as well. 

The observer keeps a notebook and recorded seeing the Red-headed Woodpecker as 
early as 2 January this year (which would have made it a Count Week bird), so I 
have revised the 2022 Cayuga Lake Basin First Records list. 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Osprey on Myer's Hill platform

2022-02-24 Thread Dave Nutter
A bird of prey on an Osprey Platform is not necessarily an Osprey. This past 
Tuesday (22 Feb) I took photos of the platform at Union Field in Ithaca’s Cass 
Park occupied by a Red-tailed Hawk. 

Please, whenever you are surprised by the presence of a bird which might be out 
of its usual season or out of its usual range, take a moment to note what it 
was about that bird - what identifying field marks - which said to you that it 
was the species which is not expected to be there rather than any other similar 
species which is more likely to be in the area. That is basic information to 
include in any rare bird report. Plus I find that going through this exercise 
with every “year bird” I encounter helps me remember the special traits of the 
species and wakes up the part of my brain which recognizes them (picture the 
ganglia yawning and stretching and getting ready for spring birding). 

Thanks! It really helps me out when I’m trying to figure out what are the first 
arrivals of each species in the Cayuga Lake Basin. Unfortunately I must ignore 
many eBird reports because they neglect to describe what they saw. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Feb 22, 2022, at 9:26 PM, Candace E. Cornell  wrote:
> 
> Robyn,
> 
> Thanks for the additional info. The March 5 arrival date in 2016 was a fluke. 
> Although their arrival dates are getting a day or two earlier each year, Feb 
> 22 is a full three weeks ahead of when I expect them.
> 
> I didn't see any Ospreys in the Lansing area earlier and will continue to 
> check daily. Please let me know if you have any Osprey sightings. Hello to 
> Paul.
> 
> Many thanks!
> 
> Eyes to the sky!
> Candace
> 
>> On Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 8:32 PM Robyn Bailey  wrote:
>> See Carol’s note below about an Osprey downtown the day before. There was 
>> also an eBird report from Truxton a few days ago.  Myers isn’t the only 
>> early sighting. 
>> Best,
>> Robyn
>> 
>> 
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> 
>>> From: Robyn Bailey 
>>> Date: February 22, 2022 at 3:10:00 PM EST
>>> To: Carol Cedarholm 
>>> Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] Osprey on Myer's Hill platform
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Indeed, it is very early. I looked at the bird club’s earliest first 
>>> arrival date for this species, and it was March 5 (2016) so today would be 
>>> a full 12 days early! 13 days early for yours! That’s almost two weeks 
>>> early.
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> Yikes, I hope they will be able to find enough ice-free water for fishing.
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> Best,
>>> 
>>> Robyn
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> From: Carol Cedarholm  
>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 2:00 PM
>>> To: Robyn Bailey 
>>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Osprey on Myer's Hill platform
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> I saw one yesterday in a tree on the 300 block of 2nd st.  Very early!
>>> 
>>> Carol Cedarholm
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> On Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 12:11 PM Robyn Bailey  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Hi birders,
>>> 
>>> At 9:30am this morning my neighbor Janice Levy reported an Osprey perched 
>>> atop the platform on Myers Road (Lansing). I didn’t see it, but we both 
>>> live near this platform and drive by it every day, so I’m trusting her id.
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> Will be looking out for it on my drive home!
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> Robyn Bailey
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> --
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> 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Swans

2022-01-28 Thread Dave Nutter
Several more Tundra Swans flew in while I watched between noon & 1:40pm from a 
sheltered vantage to the west. In addition to a family of 2 all-white adults & 
5 grayish immatures who stayed close to each other almost between the docks, 
there were eventually 10 more adults on the lake nearby. They all called and 
gestured to one another briefly, but it seemed friendly. 17 was my high count. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 28, 2022, at 12:04 PM, Kevin C Packard  wrote:
> 
> Today there are 11 swans-a-swimming along the west side of the lake north of 
> Hog Hole. It's cold viewing with the NW wind though!
> 
> Cheers,
> 
>  Kevin
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: bounce-126265072-86653...@list.cornell.edu 
>  on behalf of Elaina M. McCartney 
> 
> Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2022 2:05 PM
> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Swans
>  
> Nine swans a-swimming just north of Hog Hole. Yesterday there were five.
> 
> Elaina
> 
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Re:[cayugabirds-l] 2022 First Cayuga Lake Basin Records are up

2022-01-14 Thread Dave Nutter
Thanks for the fast feedback, folks! 

I have now added the missing Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers from the Ithaca 
Christmas Bird Count, which I had inadvertently entered as Yellow-bellied 
Flycatcher.

I have updated the Peregrine Falcon report to 4 January found by Lisa Podulka 
at A H Treman State Marine Park in Ithaca, a report I had not found, although 
I’d heard rumors of a Peregrine during Count Week.

I have added Brown-headed Cowbird from John & Sue Gregoire at Kestrel Haven on 
Fitzgerald Rd in Hector on 1 January. Until today I only knew of Cowbirds on 
Hile School Rd just outside the Basin. Interestingly, 2 other reports of 
Cowbirds were also from that part of the basin.

Regarding the Barred Owl during Count Week, the reports I’ve seen were either 
before 2022 or outside the Basin, so the earliest 2022 Basin record I have is 
from Cascadilla St in Ithaca on 13 January. Any more info is welcome. 

I welcome all reports, questions, and corrections. The criteria are: The bird 
must be wild, free, alive, and within the Cayuga Lake Basin*. I’m looking for 
any independent observations of a species from the earliest date in 2022. That 
means if there is a broad migration front and people find a species several 
places at once, I’ll try to include them all. If a species is rare according to 
eBird (even seasonally rare) I’d like to know what field marks were observed 
that prompted the ID as opposed to a similar but more likely species.  

*The Cayuga Lake Basin includes land which drains into Cayuga Lake. It also 
included some land to the north which drains south away from Lake Ontario but 
toward the Seneca River or Clyde River and associated canals, and some land 
which drains north toward those rivers & canals. The boundaries on the east and 
west in this area are from a map in the 1926 book by Karl Wiegand & Arthur 
Eames, The Flora of the Cayuga Lake Basin, New York: Vascular Plants,  which 
was adopted by Ornithology professor and Lab of O founder Arthur Allen as the 
basic birding territory for study. Included are Howland Island on the east and 
Junius Ponds on the west and all the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Various 
streams are shown on that map which allow the border to be drawn onto modern 
maps as well. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 14, 2022, at 9:22 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> The 2022 first records tables (chronological and taxonomic) are now available 
> on the Cayuga Bird Club website resources page:
> 
> www.cayugabirdclub.org/resources/cayuga-lake-basin-first-records-and-arrival-information
> 
> Thank-you to Paul Anderson for making the tables and putting them on the 
> site, but he is not responsible for the information on the tables. I gleaned 
> the data mainly from eBird reports as well as the Ithaca Christmas Bird 
> Count, but postings on CayugaBirds-L also work well. Please contact me with 
> any questions, corrections, or submissions. 
> 
> I’ll send a more in-depth explanation later.
> 
> - - Dave Nutter

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] 2022 First Cayuga Lake Basin Records are up

2022-01-14 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi Pete. 
Yes, your previous report prompted some discussion. The earliest 2022 report of 
Red-winged Blackbird in the Cayuga Lake Basin of which I’m aware is from Marty 
Schlabach’s place in Covert on the 3rd.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 14, 2022, at 3:13 PM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
> 
> Had anyone had redwings yet?  I had a male a few days ago. 
> Pete Sar
> 
>> On Fri, Jan 14, 2022, 1:41 PM Sigrid Connors  wrote:
>> We had 2 females on the 5th in Groton. 
>> 
>>> On Fri, Jan 14, 2022 at 1:00 PM John Gregoire 
>>>  wrote:
>>> We had cowbirds here on the first.
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Fri, Jan 14, 2022 at 10:25 AM Barbara Chase  wrote:
>>>> I looked out at my feeder a little while ago and saw a brown-headed 
>>>> cowbird which I don’t see on the list yet for this year. Someone else may 
>>>> have seen one and not reported it.
>>>> 
>>>> Barbara Chase, Black Oak Road, Enfield. I did put it in eBird with a photo.
>>>> 
>>>> Barbara
>>>> 
>>>>> On Jan 14, 2022, at 9:22 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> The 2022 first records tables (chronological and taxonomic) are now 
>>>>> available on the Cayuga Bird Club website resources page:
>>>>> 
>>>>> www.cayugabirdclub.org/resources/cayuga-lake-basin-first-records-and-arrival-information
>>>>> 
>>>>> Thank-you to Paul Anderson for making the tables and putting them on the 
>>>>> site, but he is not responsible for the information on the tables. I 
>>>>> gleaned the data mainly from eBird reports as well as the Ithaca 
>>>>> Christmas Bird Count, but postings on CayugaBirds-L also work well. 
>>>>> Please contact me with any questions, corrections, or submissions. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> I’ll send a more in-depth explanation later.
>>>>> 
>>>>> - - Dave Nutter
>>>>> --
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>> Sigrid Larsen Connors
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] 2022 First Cayuga Lake Basin Records are up

2022-01-14 Thread Dave Nutter
Can’t beat that! Thanks, John & Sue! I’ll revise it again. 
- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 14, 2022, at 1:00 PM, John Gregoire  
> wrote:
> 
> We had cowbirds here on the first.
> 
> 
>> On Fri, Jan 14, 2022 at 10:25 AM Barbara Chase  wrote:
>> I looked out at my feeder a little while ago and saw a brown-headed cowbird 
>> which I don’t see on the list yet for this year. Someone else may have seen 
>> one and not reported it.
>> 
>> Barbara Chase, Black Oak Road, Enfield. I did put it in eBird with a photo.
>> 
>> Barbara
>> 
>>> On Jan 14, 2022, at 9:22 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>> 
>>> The 2022 first records tables (chronological and taxonomic) are now 
>>> available on the Cayuga Bird Club website resources page:
>>> 
>>> www.cayugabirdclub.org/resources/cayuga-lake-basin-first-records-and-arrival-information
>>> 
>>> Thank-you to Paul Anderson for making the tables and putting them on the 
>>> site, but he is not responsible for the information on the tables. I 
>>> gleaned the data mainly from eBird reports as well as the Ithaca Christmas 
>>> Bird Count, but postings on CayugaBirds-L also work well. Please contact me 
>>> with any questions, corrections, or submissions. 
>>> 
>>> I’ll send a more in-depth explanation later.
>>> 
>>> - - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] 2022 First Cayuga Lake Basin Records are up

2022-01-14 Thread Dave Nutter
The 2022 first records tables (chronological and taxonomic) are now available 
on the Cayuga Bird Club website resources page:

www.cayugabirdclub.org/resources/cayuga-lake-basin-first-records-and-arrival-information

Thank-you to Paul Anderson for making the tables and putting them on the site, 
but he is not responsible for the information on the tables. I gleaned the data 
mainly from eBird reports as well as the Ithaca Christmas Bird Count, but 
postings on CayugaBirds-L also work well. Please contact me with any questions, 
corrections, or submissions. 

I’ll send a more in-depth explanation later.

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Redwing Blackbird

2022-01-12 Thread Dave Nutter
The earliest Red-winged Blackbird in the Cayuga Lake Basin for 2022 that I’m 
aware of is on 10 January by Tom Schulenberg on Hanshaw Rd in Ithaca. Does 
anyone have any other records on or before that date? 

The 2022 First Basin Records list should be up to date - but always subject to 
addition & revision! - in a day or two and ready to be put on the club website.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 12, 2022, at 8:37 AM, Marty Schlabach  wrote:
> 
> We’ve had a female redwing periodically at our feeders here in Interlaken, 
> last seen yesterday.
> --Marty
>  
>  
> From: bounce-126231459-3494...@list.cornell.edu 
>  On Behalf Of Peter Saracino
> Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 8:29 AM
> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Redwing Blackbird
>  
> There's a male Redwing at my feeders this morning along with the usual 
> suspects (and a lurking Coopers hawk).
> Sar
>  
>  
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Big flock

2022-01-08 Thread Dave Nutter
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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[cayugabirds-l] Great Black-backed Gulls from Maine

2021-12-21 Thread Dave Nutter
I’ve written in the past about a Great Black-backed Gull which was banded on 17 
July 2019 as a flightless juvenile on Appledore Island, ME, about 6 miles off 
the coast of the ME/NH border, and home of the Shoals Marine Lab. This bird 
sports a black plastic band on its left leg which says 4JF in white. I first 
saw it resting on a seasonally exposed gravel bar just north of Inlet Island in 
Ithaca in February 2020. At that time it was clearly a young bird with a 
checkered back. I’ve seen it again in Ithaca numerous times throughout this 
past Spring and Summer. It now looks like an adult except for some small dark 
markings on the tip of its bill. I last saw it on 4 December 2021 along with 27 
other Great Black-backed Gulls on the docks at Treman Marina. To me, it’s 
fascinating when what would have been an anonymous bird becomes a recognizable 
individual with a life story, and in this case it’s connected to another place 
that I and many students have visited. It has spent what may be its final year 
before breeding here in Ithaca, and for several of those months it was the only 
Great Black-backed Gull I saw at the south end of Cayuga Lake. Perhaps this 
coming Spring 4JF will return to Appledore, or maybe somewhere else entirely, 
to breed.

I haven’t written so much about another immature Great Black-backed Gull which 
was the only conspecific with 4JF in a small mixed flock of gulls when I first 
saw them in February 2020. That second bird had white 1HR on the black band on 
its left leg. Like 4JF, 1HR was also banded when too young to fly on Appledore 
Island, but a year earlier on 22 July 2018. I haven’t seen 1HR since.

Back to the present: Also on the Treman Marina docks on 4 December I saw 
another Great Black-backed Gull, an adult, wearing a similar black band with 
white markings, but in this case on its right leg, reading 6AC. This bird was 
also banded on Appledore, but even earlier, on 17 May 2016. It was described as 
having hatched in 2015 or earlier, so we don’t know whether it was also hatched 
there, nor how old it is. 

I’m curious about how 6AC came to be banded, as well as this approximation of 
its age. Decades ago when I visited, Appledore had a colony of both Herring and 
Great Black-backed Gull nests.  It must be pretty straightforward to band a 
chick if you can withstand the wrath of the parents. 

[I write blithely, not having actually approached gull chicks in their nests. 
Nor have I trekked through the colony daily to and from littoral study sites 
while carrying a tall upright stick, not to threaten the gulls but in hopes the 
birds will peck the top of the stick rather than the top of my head. Nor have I 
worn a raincoat, not because of bad weather, but to keep gulls’ well-aimed shit 
from hitting my clothes or person.]

But capturing a huge, strong, smart gull who can fly, and doing so without 
either party getting injured must be a different project. Was a trap or net set 
for a single bird at a time? Or was there a bigger effort to catch multiple 
birds at once? 

Was 6AC captured as an immature bird whose actual age was unclear to the 
banders? I had thought that immatures typically might not bother or even be 
welcome to return to the colony in spring. Or was 6AC an adult who was there to 
breed, but again the banders were not confident in saying how many years it 
took to reach breeding age? 

At any rate, we have at least a third confirmed Appledore connection among the 
Great Black-backed Gulls who visit Ithaca. I don’t know of any relation between 
4JF & 6AC. I saw just 4JF among the crowd as I walked past the marina toward 
the lakeshore and just 6AC as I walked back out, although it’s possible they 
were near each other and took turns sitting down and hiding their legs. I 
wonder about all the other Great Black-backed Gulls who are not banded. How 
many of them are from Appledore? Or what other places to they hail from? 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] A great read for birders to consider by Bryan Pfeiffer

2021-12-11 Thread Dave Nutter
My wife and I want to minimize both our energy use and our fossil fuel use. 
Because of our modest income, we qualified for a subsidy through this exact 
fund to get a hybrid electric water heater last year. It uses an air source 
heat pump, which chills the basement, as well as the standard 
much-less-energy-efficient electric resistance heating as a backup. After we 
got this water heater, a representative of Halco, who bought out the smaller 
local company which installed the water heater, told us that all appliances 
these days are not built to last, and urged us to buy a maintenance package 
with a yearly fee which would have eaten up our monetary savings on energy. 
This morning we are having Halco come look at the water heater, because the air 
source heat pump part, which was surprisingly noisy, has quit working. A 
previous electric water heater, which came with the old house we bought, had 
worked for an additional 20 years before it had any problems. 

We thought we were doing something good for the environment, and maybe we were, 
but some wealthier people who burn a lot of fossil fuel for a more extravagant 
lifestyle and realize their impact but want to clear their conscience, those 
folks are also taking the credit. 

Carbon offsets are neither simple nor clear in the way they work, if they work 
at all. IMO, there’s no substitute for actually reducing personal energy use in 
general and fossil fuel use in particular. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Dec 9, 2021, at 10:34 PM, Hurf Sheldon  wrote:
> 
> This is a very good option for carbon offsetting:
> https://www.fingerlakesclimatefund.org/
> cheers,
> hurf
> 
>> On Thu, Dec 9, 2021 at 11:24 AM Regi Teasley  wrote:
>> Totally agree.  I have always thought that birders are a “sleeping giant” 
>> that can make a big difference.
>> Regi
>> 
>> 
>> “If we surrendered to the earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted, 
>> like trees.” Rainer Maria Rilke
>> 
>> 
>>> On Dec 9, 2021, at 8:50 AM, Donna Lee Scott  wrote:
>>> 
>>>  I like this idea, Bob. 
>>> 
>>> Re SPCA, they do more than any other group to neuter/spay feral cats, & 
>>> also cats of low-income people, with their free feral program & their 
>>> low-cost program for pets of those with limited means. I sometimes trap 
>>> ferals here & take them to SPCA. 
>>> All animals adopted from SPCA go home neutered. 
>>> 
>>> And to repeat what I have recently posted at various online places: 
>>> The Finger Lakes Land Trust really needs donations NOW for the purchase of 
>>> the Bell Station land from NYSEG. 
>>> for more info see www.fllt.org/savebellstation
>>> This explains the way this deal works.
>>> 
>>>  NYS didn’t buy BS from NYSEG; nys just convinced NYSEG & Public Service 
>>> Commission to let FLLT buy Bell Station for later transfer to NYS DEC as a 
>>> Wildlife Mgt. Area, ensuring public access to this wonderful 
>>> lakeshore-woods. 
>>> 
>>> Non-profit FLLT does a masterful job at saving land from development in 
>>> various ways & they always emphasize that what they do creates, improves & 
>>> saves habitat for birds & wildlife!
>>> 
>>> Donna Scott
>>> Lansing
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> 
>>>> On Dec 9, 2021, at 8:31 AM, Stephanie P. Herrick  wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> I like this idea Bob,  for two reasons:
>>>> 
>>>> 1. It benefits two worthy and appropriate local groups
>>>> 2. The very act of making a mindful contribution encourages us to reflect 
>>>> on why we are doing it
>>>> 
>>>> Thanks for suggesting!   Looking forward to others thoughts!   
>>>> 
>>>> - S
>>>> From: bounce-126137445-82496...@list.cornell.edu 
>>>>  on behalf of bob mcguire 
>>>> 
>>>> Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 8:20:11 AM
>>>> To: Dave Nutter 
>>>> Cc: linda orkin ; John Gregoire 
>>>> ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
>>>> 
>>>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] A great read for birders to consider by Bryan 
>>>> Pfeiffer
>>>>  
>>>> Me too (a movement here?).   
>>>> 
>>>> And I have one small idea on how to deal with it. Bird clubs organize 
>>>> field trips, and participation is free. What if each participant was 
>>>> encouraged (not required, just encouraged) to donate - say - $10 to either 
>>>> the Land Trust or the SPCA? The Land Trust because they are a major player 
>>>> in habit

Re: [cayugabirds-l] A great read for birders to consider by Bryan Pfeiffer

2021-12-09 Thread Dave Nutter
Good to hear others’ ideas, thanks!

One of Pfeiffer’s suggestions is that, as must as possible, we walk rather than 
drive on the Christmas Bird Count. I’ve made that my tradition for a number of 
years, literally just walking out my door and out on a big complicated loop for 
the morning, then off “poaching” in the afternoon (again by foot) at one of the 
hotspot parks which others already formally covered on the count. I find that 
starting the year this way keeps me in touch with the birds and people of my 
neighborhood, and of course I can do a far more thorough job birding outside of 
a car. 

Before I adopted my neighborhood as a CBC territory, I shared a rural CBC 
territory with another birder. We took my small car and a spare set of keys. We 
drove to the start of a road, I dropped her off with keys at the start. Then I 
drove a mile, parked, and walked ahead while she birded and caught up to the 
car. She drove to me, we switched and I drove ahead. We leapfrogged, all 
birding on foot, and neither the people nor the car backtracked, so neither 
time nor fuel were not wasted, we didn’t get too cold, and we checked in 
regularly. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Dec 9, 2021, at 9:02 AM, Poppy Singer  wrote:
> 
> I appreciated the author saying that he has shifted his focus to learning 
> more of the local flora and fauna. Along this line, perhaps we could combine 
> bird walks with plant walks?
> 
>> On Thu, Dec 9, 2021 at 8:31 AM Stephanie P. Herrick  wrote:
>> I like this idea Bob,  for two reasons:
>> 
>> 1. It benefits two worthy and appropriate local groups
>> 2. The very act of making a mindful contribution encourages us to reflect on 
>> why we are doing it
>> 
>> Thanks for suggesting!   Looking forward to others thoughts!   
>> 
>> - S
>> From: bounce-126137445-82496...@list.cornell.edu 
>>  on behalf of bob mcguire 
>> 
>> Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 8:20:11 AM
>> To: Dave Nutter 
>> Cc: linda orkin ; John Gregoire 
>> ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
>> 
>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] A great read for birders to consider by Bryan 
>> Pfeiffer
>>  
>> Me too (a movement here?).   
>> 
>> And I have one small idea on how to deal with it. Bird clubs organize field 
>> trips, and participation is free. What if each participant was encouraged 
>> (not required, just encouraged) to donate - say - $10 to either the Land 
>> Trust or the SPCA? The Land Trust because they are a major player in habitat 
>> conservation, and the SPCA because they (and I’d have to check this out) 
>> play a role in reducing the number of feral/outdoor cats. Local 
>> organizations, local impact. 
>> 
>> Could something like this fly?  
>> 
>> Bob McGuire
>> 
>>> On Dec 8, 2021, at 4:11 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Better said than I could have, though such concerns have been brewing for 
>>> me a long time. So, how do we deal with it? As individuals, as 
>>> organizations, as unorganized groups? Thoughts welcome. 
>>> 
>>> - - Dave Nutter
>>> 
>>> On Dec 8, 2021, at 11:02 AM, Linda Orkin  wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Thanks John. 
>>>> 
>>>> Yes I had also read that, with great interest. Lots to think about. I 
>>>> embrace these thoughts fully. 
>>>> 
>>>> Linda Orkin
>>>> Ithaca, NY
>>>> 
>>>>> On Dec 8, 2021, at 10:21 AM, John Gregoire  
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Birdwatching’s Carbon Problem | Bryan Pfeiffer
>>>>> --
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>>&

Re: [cayugabirds-l] A great read for birders to consider by Bryan Pfeiffer

2021-12-08 Thread Dave Nutter
Better said than I could have, though such concerns have been brewing for me a 
long time. So, how do we deal with it? As individuals, as organizations, as 
unorganized groups? Thoughts welcome. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Dec 8, 2021, at 11:02 AM, Linda Orkin  wrote:
> 
> Thanks John. 
> 
> Yes I had also read that, with great interest. Lots to think about. I embrace 
> these thoughts fully. 
> 
> Linda Orkin
> Ithaca, NY
> 
>> On Dec 8, 2021, at 10:21 AM, John Gregoire  
>> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> Birdwatching’s Carbon Problem | Bryan Pfeiffer
>> --
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[cayugabirds-l] More loon migration

2021-11-23 Thread Dave Nutter
It should’ve been sunrise when I looked out this morning, but the gray sky had 
dropped far below the hills, then merged into snowfall, depositing a half inch 
on everything, including the downtown pavement for the first time this year. I 
hung out the bird feeder, brushed off part of the deck railing, and spread some 
sunflower seeds on it for the Mourning Doves, but the food was quickly 
obliterated in white. Then the flurry ceased, the clouds lifted a bit, and I 
was able to scope the Cornell skyline: the flag on the tower at the Barton Hall 
armory drooped for lack of wind. 

Above Inlet Island, the gulls alternated between commuting south and wheeling 
around overhead. Lately I’ve been wondering why suddenly there will be dozens 
of gulls kettling, then just as suddenly, none. I haven’t figured it out. But a 
couple of those high gray specks flew differently, with a more rapid wingbeat 
and a more direct path southward. Binoculars showed them to have straighter 
wings and a long neck: it was the right season and the right time of day for 
Common Loons to migrate, but I didn’t expect them in a snow squall or calm 
wind. 

I looked around and found 2 more southbound loons. Then it got confusing. A 
group of 10 loons were flying north, then turning west and out of my view over 
my house. And then a different group of 13 more arrived southbound: 27 loons as 
of 7:58am. 

But by 8:01 there were 37 loons flying north, which I had to assume could 
include all those I had seen previously. Still it was a new maximum. 

At 8:03 I counted 23 southbound loons. Then 16 more southbound at 8:07. This 
totaled 39, a couple more than my previous maximum.  

But the southbound loons crossed paths with an even larger number of loons who 
were flying north who suddenly circled in a cloud which I estimated at 80 
strong, and they all moved off south. Soon after, 6 more loons flew south. So 
my maximum count was 86 Common Loons, although it could have been 189.

What was going on? During this time the clouds had broken up a bit, and the 
wind settled in from the north (Barton Hall’s flag said so). My guess, based on 
my single observation point and no other nearby weather data, is that all the 
loons I saw had started their migration from the north on the lake with north 
winds there to encourage them. Then they outran their tailwind and met up with 
a stalled air in the Ithaca area associated with low clouds, falling snow, and 
maybe even headwinds. They plowed on awhile up Inlet Valley, but conditions 
worsened, so they headed back north, even as more migrating loons came south, 
also changed their minds, and went north, for the same reasons. But having come 
back north to Ithaca, they found that the weather once more favored migration, 
so they turned around again and went south, 86 strong this time. 

That’s when I stopped looking for loons. I had seen an odd bird flying north. 
Maybe it was a cormorant, because it was all dark and had a long neck, but the 
neck looked extra long & narrow, and the tail looked very long. I wondered if 
it was an Anhinga, so at 8:20 I walked toward Treman Marina, and never saw 
anything more to suggest such a rarity before I had to head home. But over 20 
more Common Loons went south overhead as I started. 

To round out my migration notes, this evening around sunset I was again 
watching gulls from my house, and I saw several high flocks of waterfowl, I 
managed to get the scope on two southbound flocks of Northern Pintail (a new 
yard bird), but did not get the scope on the later northbound flocks which 
could have been the same birds. 

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Loon Watch 19 Nov 2021

2021-11-19 Thread Dave Nutter
This morning I watched for migrating Common Loons. I was more timely and 
successful than the day I started significantly later than Jared & Scott who 
watched from Taughannock Falls SP, and it was certainly better than the day Jay 
reported multiple flocks of 50 over Danby but I neglected to watch at all. 

Today I spent from 6:53 until 8:10 at the north end of the NYS-89 bridge over 
the Flood Control Channel in Ithaca. Wind was from the NW according to the flag 
atop Barton Hall. The temperature started in the mid-30sF according to the 
outdoor thermometer at my house nearby. The sky was partly cloudy with no 
precipitation. Local apparent sunrise was at 7:16. 

The flight may have already been underway when I arrived and started looking, 
and I saw a near-constant passage of groups of loons until 7:18, but mostly 
singles and some significant gaps thereafter. Discounting the 3 northbound 
loons who may have been counted in some previous southbound group, and assuming 
they did not change their minds again and join some later southbound group, I 
think my total was 219 Common Loons. 

As is typical, many loons were high and distant. I found and counted them by 
scanning with binoculars. A few particularly distant birds I double-checked the 
ID with my scope, but this was cumbersome, and I feared missing birds if I 
spent too much time scoping. Most loons passed considerably east of me, 
particularly in the early part of my count. Later, an increasing portion 
traveled over downtown or even almost overhead, but I did not see any passing 
to my west today.  

My notes are below: 
7 S 655. 7 S 656. 7 S, 2 SW, & 1 N 657. 15 S 659. 20 S 701. 24 S 702. 30 S 704. 
7 S, 1 SW, & 2 N 705. 4 S 706. 20 S 709. 17 S 711. 7 S 712. 22 S 714. 5 S 716. 
12 S 718. 1 S 719. 3 S 721. 1 S 725. 1 S 727. 1 S 735. 1 S 757. 1 S 759. 1 S 
800. 2 S 804.

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Loon watch

2021-11-12 Thread Dave Nutter
Sorry about the delayed report, but I was also watching the morning of 10 
November from the NYS-89 bridge over the Flood Control Channel in Ithaca. I got 
a late start, being there from 0742 to 0915, so I probably missed the majority 
of what Jared & Scott saw if their birds passed over Ithaca at all. Between 
0754 and 0838 I saw a maximum of 23 Common Loons, assuming no duplicate 
sightings.  They were generally to my east. 11 were flying south and appeared 
to be migrating. 3 were flying southwest and may also have been migrating but 
up Inlet Valley at a lower altitude. 1 was northbound, clearly not migrating. 1 
was westbound, 3 were flying in clockwise curves, and 4 were flying 
counter-clockwise, so who knows what they were doing, but they were fun to 
watch. 

This is from my notes:
1 S 0754. 5 S & 1 SW 0755. 1 CW 0802. 1 N 0809. 3 S 0816. 1 S 0819. 1 S 0831. 1 
W 0832. 2 CW 0834. 4 CCW 0838. 2 SW 0839.

Yesterday I briefly scoped Cayuga Lake from A H Treman State Marine Park, and I 
saw my first Common Loon of this fall on the southern part of the lake. This 
bird was near the east side somewhere south of Portland Point, and I only saw 
it above the shimmer because it briefly took a low curving flight, but it was 
close enough that I could clearly see its big trailing splayed feet as it 
prepared to hit the water. (I struggled with that verb. I don’t like to use “to 
land” for a bird which not actually ending its flight onto land, but “alight” 
sounds far too dainty for such a heavy projectile as a loon. Maybe I should say 
it “ditched” like an airplane, even though the act was planned, routine, and 
inconsequential.)

- - Dave Nutter

> On Nov 11, 2021, at 7:30 AM, John Gregoire  
> wrote:
> 
> Seneca Lake had a poor showing between 0700 and 0900, only 20 Loons. 
> Conditions were the same as yours and I was truly let down after thinking it 
> would be a great day for migrating Loons.
> 
> Strong south winds are forecast for a while.
> 
> Sue G.
> 
>> On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 11:27 AM Jared Dawson  wrote:
>> This morning Nov 10 at Taughannock Park I did a 2 hour loon count from 6:36 
>> to 8:36. There was a steady 8-10 mph wind out of the NW. I had a total of 
>> 137 loons, mostly high and over the east side of the lake. The bulk of the 
>> sightings took place between 6:45 and 7:30. Scott Sutcliffe joined me for 
>> the first hour which was a great help.
>> Jared Dawson
>> Trumansburg
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Cattle Egrets at Cass Park & Treman Marina;

2021-10-30 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi All, 
This afternoon I took another walk through Cass Park, and along with a couple 
other birders I saw a CATTLE EGRET in the soccer field NW of the skating rink 
(giant Sowbug) and nearest NYS-89. It was eating worms that it found while 
walking in the wet grass. Initially it was rather alone and close to the south 
parking lot and the Cayuga Waterfront Trail. By staying on the pavement, where 
all other people had passed by innocuously, we could watch and photograph the 
egret without scaring it. There was also a flock of Ring-billed Gulls foraging 
in this field, and later they mixed with each other a bit more. 

After the other birders, having met their goal, left and headed south again, I 
walked north to check out the ducks in an extensive floodle in the next field 
to the east. Among the Mallards was an apparent American Black Duck, with a 
chocolate colored body, tan head & neck, olive bill, and violet speculum. But a 
closer inspection revealed it to be a hybrid with a Mallard, because it had the 
male’s telltail (!) curly rump feathers, plus the spread wing revealed very 
narrow white edges to the speculum. 

As I looked up with satisfaction from these observations, I noticed that there 
was an egret standing next to this pool of water. It was in plain view, quite 
conspicuous, resting quietly, and I don’t know when it got there. It was 
white-plumaged, yellow-billed, and black-legged like the rare-but-recently-seen 
Cattle Egret(s) but the legs, body, neck, head, and bill were all 
proportionately much longer, and the bird was clearly much larger than the 
nearby Mallards: it was a GREAT EGRET. Several people driving by noticed it and 
paused to talk about it. I don’t think they were as likely to notice the Cattle 
Egret among Ring-billed Gulls all of similar size, color, & behavior. 

Anyway, plenty of people enjoyed this Great Egret treat. But one fellow IMO 
went a bit too far. He came striding across the soccer field directly at the 
Great Egret while holding his phone in front of his face to photograph it. The 
Mallards began nervously moving away, and whether the guy intended or not, he 
was about to flush the egret. I called out to him, “Please don’t scare it 
away!” He quickly stopped and turned around, and although the egret took 
flight, fortunately it was only to the other side of the floodle where it 
resumed resting and preening. But later the same guy did the same thing in the 
middle of other soccer field, walking, phone-to-eye, right at the Cattle Egret, 
and this time he was too far away for me to call to him. Indeed the entire 
flock of Ring-billed Gulls flew E with the Cattle Egret hindmost. As I 
continued my walk to the NE corner of Cass Park I saw no more gulls in the 
fields, nor did I see the Cattle Egret.

A few more bits of news: 

A correction to my description of the border between Cass Park and Allan H 
Treman State Marine Park: both parks have racks for kayaks at their common 
corner near the boat ramp. Treman’s rack is next to the concrete bulkhead, 
Cass’ rack is next to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail.

I found what I presume was the same Cattle Egret on the very end of one of the 
docks in Treman Marina. It was conveniently next to a Double-crested Cormorant, 
a Great Black-backed Gull, a Herring Gull, and a Ring-billed Gull for size 
comparison. 

After I walked around the paved & gravel paths and was approaching the marina 
again, I saw in the distance an egret on top of one of the white electrical 
service posts at the end of a dock. I believe this was the Great Egret; the 
Cattle Egret had instead rather shyly stood hunkered on the dock. Before I 
could get a good enough look to be sure, an immature Bald Eagle flew low over 
the marina and scared this egret directly away to the SE where I last saw it 
disappear between treetops. I did not see the Great Egret in or near Cass Park 
along my walk homeward. Maybe it went into Jetty Woods? However, when I got 
closer to the marina I saw that the Cattle Egret was standing as before on one 
of the docks. 

I hope both the Great Egret & Cattle Egret stick around tomorrow. 
Good birding!

- - Dave Nutter

> On Oct 29, 2021, at 11:38 AM, Dave Nutter  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 EGRE

Re: [cayugabirds-l] parks by Dave N/& P Paradine

2021-10-29 Thread Dave Nutter
Absolutely! I credit Paul Paradine’s work and the change of policy at NYSEG 
from knocking down Osprey nests from power poles (after which the Ospreys would 
often start over in the same place!) to instead raising the nest up onto a 
special platform. The result has been that NYSEG looks good, Ospreys have bred 
successfully, and over the course of several generations Ospreys have spread 
from Montezuma NWR south along Cayuga Lake’s shores to Ithaca, such that this 
past Spring when a storm fatally blew the young out of the nest in Cass Park’s 
Union Fields, there were 6 (six!) other successful nests arrayed around the 
south end of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca! Plus there are others farther afield such 
as Game Farm Road. Candace Cornell tries to keep track of a mind-bogglingly 
large number of Osprey nests in our area.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Oct 29, 2021, at 12:19 PM, Donna Lee Scott  wrote:
> 
> 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 species. 
> Thank you, Paul!
> 
> Donna Scott
> Director, Friends of Salt Point, Inc. 
> Lansing
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
>> On Oct 29, 2021, at 11:38 AM, Dave Nutter  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. 
>

[cayugabirds-l] Cattle Egrets at Cass Park & Treman Marina;

2021-10-29 Thread Dave Nutter
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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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Taughannock peregrine nest location

2021-10-21 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi Pete (& all), 

For the past 2 years the presence of Peregrines at Taughannock (returned after 
decades of absence) has only been publicized after fledging, and the nest 
location has not been publicized. This limits harassment by people trying to 
see or photograph them. Some folks try to get extra close to birds without 
gauging the birds’ discomfort, and a nest is a very vulnerable place. 
Photographers particularly value being as close as possible, and I have met 
amateurs who have scared off other rare birds locally. For instance a worker at 
Treman Marina deliberately flushed a Snowy Owl in order to obtain a cell-phone 
picture of it in flight, and the bird did not return. Maybe it’s better for 
people to use telescopes and to watch the Peregrines after the birds are able 
to keep their own comfortable distance. There are many ledges and snags for the 
birds to use, and they can be seen flying as well.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Oct 21, 2021, at 10:33 AM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
> 
> Hi folks. Is the peregrine nest location at Taughannock best seen from the 
> north or south side of the rim trail. 
> Thank you. 
> Pete Sar
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Montezuma Crane follow up

2021-10-15 Thread Dave Nutter
Thanks for the exciting update on Sandhill Cranes in open ag fields.  They are 
spectacular to see, and always thrill me. 

Just a small note about the township: Armitage Road is along the border between 
the Town of Savannah in Wayne County to the north and Town of Tyre in Seneca 
County on the south. Some folks who like to keep track of what birds they’ve 
observed in what county will actually keep 2 separate lists, one for each side 
of the Armitage Road when birding there. A bird which crosses the road gets 
counted on each list! So yes, while there may be Cranes in Savannah, but there 
may also be Cranes across the road in Tyre. EBird keeps track of records by 
county as well. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Oct 14, 2021, at 9:03 AM, Johnson, Alyssa  
> wrote:
> 
> Currently counting 60+ cranes in the fields on either side of Armitage road. 
> Located just west of Olmstead Rd. Bulk of the flock is on the south side of 
> Armitage rd. The township is Savannah. They’ve been here for every morning 
> this week! 
> 
> Alyssa Johnson 
> Environmental Educator 
> Montezuma Audubon Center 
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Fwd: [cayugabirds-l] Major Broad-winged Hawk flight 16 Sept Tioga County NY

2021-09-17 Thread Dave Nutter
Yes, my mistake, that is of course OWEGO, not Oswego. 

- - Dave Nutter

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Wes Blauvelt 
> Date: September 17, 2021 at 8:55:45 PM EDT
> To: Dave Nutter 
> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Major Broad-winged Hawk flight 16 Sept Tioga 
> County NY
> 
> 
> Dave - That would be Owego. Wes
>> On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 8:48 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:
>> I just got a report from Adam Troyer who was with a group of 6 birders on a 
>> high steep hill off Blodgett Rd, which is off West Creek Rd near NYS-38 in 
>> Flemingville, north of Oswego. This is close to the confluence of the East 
>> and West Branches of Oswego Creek.
>> 
>> In that location yesterday afternoon (16 September) between noon & 4pm they 
>> saw a stream of 6,680 Broad-winged Hawks go by.
>> 
>> Adam is wondering if anyone else in our region was doing a concerted hawk 
>> watch that day, or recently, and if so what totals they had. 
>> 
>> - - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Major Broad-winged Hawk flight 16 Sept Tioga County NY

2021-09-17 Thread Dave Nutter
I just got a report from Adam Troyer who was with a group of 6 birders on a 
high steep hill off Blodgett Rd, which is off West Creek Rd near NYS-38 in 
Flemingville, north of Oswego. This is close to the confluence of the East and 
West Branches of Oswego Creek.

In that location yesterday afternoon (16 September) between noon & 4pm they saw 
a stream of 6,680 Broad-winged Hawks go by.

Adam is wondering if anyone else in our region was doing a concerted hawk watch 
that day, or recently, and if so what totals they had. 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Raptors aloft despite south winds

2021-09-17 Thread Dave Nutter
That shallow glide was *southbound* making progress to more than offset the 
northward drift while circling up.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Sep 17, 2021, at 12:18 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> Since then I’ve watched a Broad-wing glide north at a ridiculously shallow 
> angle before circling up again, a kettle of 6 climb beyond my view in cloud 
> mist, and a climbing kettle of 13 drift north out of view behind trees, yet 
> at least 9 likely from that group gliding SSW a short time later. It’s normal 
> migration, and it’s crazy amazing. 
> 
> - - Dave Nutter
> 
>> On Sep 17, 2021, at 11:20 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>> 
>> Yesterday I watched a couple of Broad-winged Hawks and a couple of Turkey 
>> Vultures kettling upward only to disappear into the misty base of a cloud. I 
>> didn’t know they flew in clouds. 
>> 
>> This morning I was watching the sky despite the south winds, and the 
>> Broad-winged Hawks were moving again. I saw at least 5 circling and climbing 
>> - and drifting decided northward at a pretty good clip. Will they climb 
>> enough to be able to glide farther south? Or is it just a good day for 
>> flying regardless? I also saw a Peregrine Falcon disappear up into the mists 
>> of cloud, but what could have been the same bird was later in the clear 
>> again and managing to stay over downtown Ithaca.
>> 
>> The Monarchs managed to maintain southward travel for awhile, but later they 
>> too were getting blown northward. 
>> 
>> - - Dave Nutter

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Raptors aloft despite south winds

2021-09-17 Thread Dave Nutter
Since then I’ve watched a Broad-wing glide north at a ridiculously shallow 
angle before circling up again, a kettle of 6 climb beyond my view in cloud 
mist, and a climbing kettle of 13 drift north out of view behind trees, yet at 
least 9 likely from that group gliding SSW a short time later. It’s normal 
migration, and it’s crazy amazing. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Sep 17, 2021, at 11:20 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> Yesterday I watched a couple of Broad-winged Hawks and a couple of Turkey 
> Vultures kettling upward only to disappear into the misty base of a cloud. I 
> didn’t know they flew in clouds. 
> 
> This morning I was watching the sky despite the south winds, and the 
> Broad-winged Hawks were moving again. I saw at least 5 circling and climbing 
> - and drifting decided northward at a pretty good clip. Will they climb 
> enough to be able to glide farther south? Or is it just a good day for flying 
> regardless? I also saw a Peregrine Falcon disappear up into the mists of 
> cloud, but what could have been the same bird was later in the clear again 
> and managing to stay over downtown Ithaca.
> 
> The Monarchs managed to maintain southward travel for awhile, but later they 
> too were getting blown northward. 
> 
> - - Dave Nutter

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[cayugabirds-l] Raptors aloft despite south winds

2021-09-17 Thread Dave Nutter
Yesterday I watched a couple of Broad-winged Hawks and a couple of Turkey 
Vultures kettling upward only to disappear into the misty base of a cloud. I 
didn’t know they flew in clouds. 

This morning I was watching the sky despite the south winds, and the 
Broad-winged Hawks were moving again. I saw at least 5 circling and climbing - 
and drifting decided northward at a pretty good clip. Will they climb enough to 
be able to glide farther south? Or is it just a good day for flying regardless? 
I also saw a Peregrine Falcon disappear up into the mists of cloud, but what 
could have been the same bird was later in the clear again and managing to stay 
over downtown Ithaca.

The Monarchs managed to maintain southward travel for awhile, but later they 
too were getting blown northward. 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Snowy Plover and Common Ringed Plover, Sandy Pond (Oswego Co.)

2021-09-14 Thread Dave Nutter
Also, of the 3 initial eBird reports, Sarah’s alone had ID info:
“Not as big as semipalmated, black by eye, broken collar”
Beautifully succinct, narrowing plover possibilities to Snowy.

Matt had a narrative and alluded to photos which were added later. 

Kennedy noted Matt’s reputation, what the observers did and used, that the 
studied Piping Plovers had been gone awhile, who this bird was with, and that 
it was different, but not in what ways (no field marks or comparisons), all 
interesting, but not identifying, painting a background picture that awaited 
the portrait. 

Together they make an exciting story. Thank you to everyone on behalf of those 
of us who probably will not see the actual bird. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Sep 14, 2021, at 10:18 AM, Johnson, Alyssa  
> wrote:
> 
> As I understand, just for the sake of giving credit where credit is due: 
> Sarah Forestiere an SCA/NYS Parks Piping Plover Steward was the first to put 
> eyes on the bird. She then asked Matt Brown for confirmation that it was not 
> a Wilson’s but in fact a Snowy. Sarah is a personal friends and was a student 
> at Finger Lakes Community College when I worked there several years ago. She 
> is a budding conservationist who is ecstatic about this sighting and the 
> experience as a whole.
>  
> --
> Alyssa Johnson
> Environmental Educator
> 315.365.3588
>  
> Montezuma Audubon Center
> PO Box 187
> 2295 State Route 89
> Savannah, NY 13146
> Montezuma.audubon.org
> Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
>  
> From: bounce-12595-79436...@list.cornell.edu 
>  On Behalf Of Jay McGowan
> Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 11:28 PM
> To: nysbird...@cornell.edu; oneidabi...@yahoogroups.com; Cayugabirds-L 
> ; geneseebirds-l 
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Snowy Plover and Common Ringed Plover, Sandy Pond 
> (Oswego Co.)
>  
> Matt Brown found a SNOWY PLOVER on the beach at Sandy Pond in Oswego County 
> this morning. The bird was still present this evening, on the lake side of 
> the south spit. At about 6:04PM, it took off to join a passing flock of 
> Sanderlings and they headed south out of sight down the beach. It's possible 
> they stopped farther down, but they were definitely gone from the pond outlet 
> area before dusk. Access to this area is best by boat, but you can reportedly 
> also walk north from Sandy Island Beach State Park.
>  
> Then just before dusk I found a juvenile COMMON RINGED PLOVER on the sandy 
> shoal on the west side of Carl's Island in the bay. I was checking out some 
> of the array of shorebirds there, which included Red Knot, American 
> Golden-Plover, and Long-billed Dowitcher. As it was getting dark, I got on a 
> small plover giving melancholy calls in flight, quite unlike Semipalmated, 
> and I immediately suspected it was a ringed. Once it landed I was able to get 
> closer and call Drew Weber and Larry Chen who I had been birding with back 
> over to the island, and we were able to get some documentation shots in the 
> fading light. Plumage seemed consistent with a juvenile Common Ringed: 
> overall noticeably larger and plumper than nearby Semipalmated. Dark breast 
> band distinctly broken in center and bulging down on both sides. Lores dark 
> and no white wedge at gape. Closeups on photos show no sign of paler orbital 
> ring around eye. It continued to call occasionally when other shorebirds 
> would vocalize. It was still present on the south side of the shoal when we 
> left well after sunset. This flock would be visible by scope from the south 
> spit of the pond outlet, but ID would be challenging at that distance. 
> Otherwise access is by boat, putting in either at Greene Point marina 
> (paddlecraft launch fee $7) or the public launch on Doreen Dr. at the far 
> east side of the bay.
>  
> Checklist with photos and a recording of the ringed plover here:
> https://ebird.org/atlasny/checklist/S94634252
>  
> --
> Jay McGowan
> jw...@cornell.edu
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] uploading pictures to ebird?

2021-09-10 Thread Dave Nutter
 fascinating. Take notes. Take photos 
if you can. Include them both in your eBird report. 

- - Dave Nutter 

* Ocean City MD CBC, 27 December, 1974. The pictures in my Peterson guide were 
too small to be useful to me, but in the Golden Guide held by my buddy Paul 
Burdick I pointed to the yellow sparrow with a dark crown with a white stripe 
in the middle while the actual bird sat atop a weed within our binocular view. 
The compiler for the count happened to be one of the Golden Guide’s authors, 
Chandler Robbins. The kid who grabbed the bird a week later was Peter Pyle, who 
was already an experienced bander, and who went on to write a guide for banders 
to determine the ID, age, and sex of birds in the hand. This story wouldn’t 
have happened if Paul & I didn’t stop, look carefully, consult guides when we 
realized the bird was totally unfamiliar, and write it up. As inexperienced 
kids giving a very basic description, our word was not enough for complete 
acceptance, nor to dispel skepticism, but it was enough to bring others to the 
scene to attempt corroboration. And the record wasn’t accepted until there were 
photos. Also a couple feathers were brought back to the Smithsonian.


> On Sep 9, 2021, at 9:49 PM, Leona Lauster  wrote:
> 
> I was having trouble adding photos on my computer one evening. Later I tried 
> using my iPad and it was easy!
> It makes me wonder if many people are having trouble. I often see reports 
> that say photos but when you click on the report there are NO photos posted.
> ?? ?
> Leona Lauster
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
>> On Sep 9, 2021, at 3:17 PM, Pat Martin  wrote:
>> 
>> Anyone out there also having trouble uploading photos to their ebird 
>> reports today? Doesn't seem to be a computer issue, as I'm having the same 
>> problem on both my and my husband's computer.
>> 
>> Pat Martin
>> 
>> --
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Muckrace 2021 & early deer season

2021-09-07 Thread Dave Nutter
my understanding. Please correct me where I’m wrong, and inform us 
of the hunting status of all lands managed by DEC & other organizations in the 
Muckrace area. 

 I hope all goes well, and that birders find lots of birds and have a good 
time. If there are no conflicts, scares, near misses, or people shot, that will 
be good and welcome news. But it won’t mean that inviting people to shoot at 
deer during late summer when the leaves are still on the trees is a smart idea. 
I hope the DEC can be convinced - at least in future years - that holding fire 
until most leaves have fallen and fewer people are outdoors actually makes 
sense for safety. And if that basic bit of logic isn’t enough, we can lobby for 
early bow season instead, at least in WMUs 8F & 8J. 

 Thanks for reading. I hope to see you all out birding in the future. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Sep 5, 2021, at 11:18 PM, Colleen Richards  wrote:
> 
> https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html
> 
> 
> -- Original Message --
> From: Poppy Singer 
> To: John VanNiel 
> Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Muckrace 2021 & early deer season
> Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2021 21:35:40 -0400
> 
> John, I’d like to see the link, but don’t see it attached….?
> 
>> On Sun, Sep 5, 2021 at 5:02 PM John VanNiel  wrote:
>> Just for clarification, this change is being implemented over 13 Wildlife 
>> Management Units (WMUs) not just on Howland's Island and the Refuge. WMUs do 
>> not follow political boundaries so it is difficult to just explain exactly 
>> where this hunting can now take place but it impacts the Muckrace because 
>> most of Wayne County, Seneca County and some surrounding area are included. 
>>  This isn't a local issue as far as the NYS DEC goes.
>> 
>> ​
>> 
>> Here is a link to the DEC website if you are interested in knowing where 
>> else you may find deer hunters from 9/11-9/19.
>> 
>> 
>> Birders may also be interested to know that big game hunters (deer and bear) 
>> can now legally hunt from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after 
>> sunset. That is the same start time as waterfowl and spring Wild Turkey.
>> 
>> 
>> Dr. John Van Niel
>> Professor of Environmental Conservation
>> Director, East Hill Campus
>> Finger Lakes Community College
>> 
>> From: bounce-125889910-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
>>  on behalf of Asher Hockett 
>> 
>> Sent: Sunday, September 5, 2021 3:54 PM
>> To: Gary Kohlenberg
>> Cc: Dave Nutter; gag...@twc.com; Steve Benedict; CAYUGABIRDS-L; Andrea 
>> VanBeusichem b
>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Muckrace 2021 & early deer season
>> 
>> CAUTION: This message originated outside the FLCC employee email system. Do 
>> not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know 
>> the content is safe.
>> 
>> The DEC is flat wrong to have tossed this on the schedule with the Muckrace 
>> already planned. I sincerely hope they can be convinced it is a grave error 
>> to proceed with the additional hunt. Were I planning to participate in the 
>> Muckrace I would change that plan if the DEC doesn't yield on this.
>> I know, OOB opinion.
>> 
>> On Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 12:30 PM Gary Kohlenberg 
>> mailto:jg...@cornell.edu>> wrote:
>> I agree with this opinion and would add that rifles are now allowed for deer 
>> in almost all counties in New York.
>> 
>> An argument could be made that this will increase or decrease safety for 
>> others, but it certainly changes the lethal range for misses to 1000+ yards.
>> 
>> Gary
>> 
>> On Sep 5, 2021, at 11:57 AM, Dave Nutter 
>> mailto:nutter.d...@me.com>> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> Hi Kyle & Steve, (& all)
>> 
>> Thanks for letting us know about the unprecedented early gun season on deer 
>> which is planned to start during the Montezuma Muckrace in some of the best 
>> birding areas. I have never heard of this conflict before, so it seems like 
>> something new promoted by DEC. In my opinion it is a very bad idea.
>> 
>> I avoid being on public lands where deer hunting is permitted on opening day 
>> of gun season. The number of people with guns is not limited. They may be 
>> unfamiliar with the area. They may be inexperienced. Their enthusiasm may 
>> overwhelm their judgement. Deer will be particularly numerous, spooked, and 
>> running that day, which may provoke more shots and less care. Slugs for 
>> killing deer are also lethal to people, and unlike the less harmful fine 
>> shot used to shoot ducks and geese,

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Muckrace 2021 & early deer season

2021-09-05 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi Kyle & Steve, (& all)

Thanks for letting us know about the unprecedented early gun season on deer 
which is planned to start during the Montezuma Muckrace in some of the best 
birding areas. I have never heard of this conflict before, so it seems like 
something new promoted by DEC. In my opinion it is a very bad idea. 

I avoid being on public lands where deer hunting is permitted on opening day of 
gun season. The number of people with guns is not limited. They may be 
unfamiliar with the area. They may be inexperienced. Their enthusiasm may 
overwhelm their judgement. Deer will be particularly numerous, spooked, and 
running that day, which may provoke more shots and less care. Slugs for killing 
deer are also lethal to people, and unlike the less harmful fine shot used to 
shoot ducks and geese, those slugs can travel travel hundreds of yards. On 
public lands the shots are less likely to be from deer stands aimed downward a 
short distance and more likely to be from people on foot aimed more-or-less 
level and therefore traveling much farther. 

Howland Island seems like a particularly dangerous place. Sightlines along 
winding trails are poor. The trail system is complex, and it’s hard to know how 
far away the closest trail is in any direction. The terrain is rolling, so 
shots fired somewhat upward are more likely, which would send slugs farther. On 
Howland Island people are allowed to walk or bike the trails any day. During 
the Muckrace there are typically dozens of additional people birding on Howland 
Island, and driving is also allowed. Birders trying to hear owls or night 
migrants are there during the night. Birders may be there all night, or may 
arrive well before dawn and stay through the early morning when many birds are 
most active. There will likely be plenty of birders on the island and active at 
first light when eager hunters first open fire. These birders’ presence may 
additionally make deer nervous and apt to move. There will likely be plenty of 
birders on the island and active at first light when eager hunters first open 
fire.  

The timing of this “special season” - in the first half of September rather 
than the second half of November - means that trees will be fully leafed out, 
making visibility minimal, such that people who are quietly moving within gun 
range will not be able to see each other.  

In my opinion it was a dangerous decision by DEC to open a special early gun 
season for deer on Howland Island when the trees are leafed out and at a time 
when the public traditionally has been able to go out without fear of lethal 
gunfire. It was particularly dangerous to promote this activity when the DEC 
already knew that the Muckrace would be ongoing there when the shooting 
started. 

Since this promotion of premature shooting seems to be a DEC project, I thought 
at least the dikes around the Montezuma NWR’s Knox-Marsellus and Puddler 
Marshes would be safely available to birders. I am very disappointed that the 
Refuge is also welcoming people to fire guns there during the single 24-hour 
period when birders are trying to hold a fundraiser for conservation in the 
Montezuma Wetlands Complex. 

Can the DEC’s Howland Island, any other DEC lands in the Montezuma Wetlands 
Complex, and the Refuge’s Knox-Marsellus & Puddler Marshes be exempted from 
this special shooting season on the Saturday of the Muckrace? Please share 
these concerns with decision-makers at DEC & the Refuge. Thanks.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Sep 4, 2021, at 8:17 AM, gag...@twc.com wrote:
> 
> Muckrace Participants,
> 
> We’d like to make all Muckrace participants aware of an early gun season for 
> deer which will start on September 11th, during the Saturday portion of the 
> Muckrace. NYSDEC Wildlife Management Units in the Northern Complex fall 
> within the areas open for hunting as well as parts of the Montezuma NWR. Hunt 
> times will run from ½ hr before sunrise to ½ hr after sunset. 
> 
> WMU’s will include any that are normally open to hunting during the regular 
> deer season, including Howland Island. Howland Island will be open to birders 
> however and Muckrace participants will be able to open the gate to drive onto 
> the island. Please close and lock the gate behind you after entering/exiting. 
> On refuge property, Knox/Marcellus Marsh and Puddlers Marsh will be open to 
> hunting as well as birders while the Esker Brook Trail, South Spring Pool 
> Trail, the Wildlife Drive and Seneca Trail will be closed to hunting but are 
> open for birding. Any areas other than Knox/Marcellus & Puddlers Marsh which 
> are normally off limits to the public remain that way.
> 
> Please be conscious of the fact that you will be sharing the space with 
> hunters during your Muckrace birding and the use of blaze orange 
> vests/hats/jackets is encouraged/recommended (new regulations r

[cayugabirds-l] Eurasian Wigeon at K-M Marsh - photos please

2021-09-02 Thread Dave Nutter
This past Saturday during the walk onto the dikes at Knox-Marsellus Marsh at 
Montezuma NWR I picked out a wigeon in non-breeding plumage whose ruddy sides, 
breast, and head indicated it to be a Eurasian Wigeon. One detail which made it 
differ from depictions and my previous sightings was that instead of the entire 
head being uniform in color, the top third of its head was a slightly darker 
brown. 

Many people have since reported this bird. On Tuesday Dave Kennedy noted that 
in certain lighting conditions there appears to be a green streak behind its 
eye. Dave takes great photos, and you can see this in his eBird report which is 
referenced below. 

It will be interesting to see whether this bird shows more signs of 
hybridization as it molts into breeding plumage, which should happen during the 
next few weeks. My Sibley Guide says wigeons have non-breeding plumage in 
September, but breeding plumage starting in October.

If you see a Eurasian Wigeon in the Montezuma area during the next month or so, 
please include photos with your eBird report. Photos can be useful even if they 
are not beautiful, so I encourage everyone to make it a habit to include 
photos, if possible, with any eBird report of a rarity, and also to include a 
written description as a rule with any rarity - you may observe features which 
other people miss. 

- - Dave Nutter

Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope) (1)
- Reported Aug 31, 2021 07:45 by David Kennedy
- Montezuma NWR--Towpath Rd., Seneca, New York
- Map: 
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=43.0038224,-76.7457005=43.0038224,-76.7457005
- Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S93986765
- Media: 5 Photos
- Comments: "continuing...faint green streak above eye in right light"


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[cayugabirds-l] Québécois gull

2021-08-24 Thread Dave Nutter
Last Saturday afternoon at Myers Point I noticed one Ring-billed Gull (among 
hundreds present) whose left leg had a blue band marked with “TEJ” in white. I 
reported this sighting to reportband.gov, and today I learned a little about 
the bird: 

It’s a male who was banded as an adult in 2020 on June 26, which means it was 
hatched in 2017 or earlier. 

The folks who banded it were from the Biological Sciences Department of the 
University of Quebec at Montreal. 

The banders did not travel very far for this field work. The location was north 
latitude 45 degrees, 45 minutes and west longitude 73 degrees, 25 minutes, 
which is in the St Lawrence River a short distance downstream (northeast) of 
the City of Montreal. 

According to Google maps this point is close to an uninhabited island called 
Île Beauregard. Islands and shoals can shift, so maybe it wasn’t worth getting 
more precise with the location. My guess is that Ring-billed Gulls breed on 
that island. Anyway, it’s interesting to me to see where some of “our” gulls 
spend at least some of the breeding season. 

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Bugs for supper

2021-08-21 Thread Dave Nutter
Yesterday evening about 7pm I biked on the Cayuga Waterfront Trail alongside 
Cayuga Inlet through Cass Park to Allan H Treman State Marine Park. Along the 
way there were hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls milling about overhead.  They 
stayed about 50-150’ up and were mainly over land, not the water. As they 
circled, each would occasionally flap faster a few times, then spread and lower 
its tail to slow down and even drop its feet while stretching its head and neck 
up to snap at some invisible-to-me aerial food. I wonder what was numerous and 
nutritious and easy enough to catch that it attracted the attention of so many 
gulls. I saw a few dragonflies as well, but they seemed to stay at a lower 
altitude. On my return trip around 8pm the event was over. I had been checking 
the White Lighthouse Jetty in case the Laughing Gulls that had been ousted from 
Myers Point by people using the park had wandered to the south end of the lake, 
but I saw no unusual gulls on the jetty nor in the water. 

The nearly adult Great Black-backed Gull which was banded in 2019 on Appledore 
Island off the coast of the Maine-New Hampshire border (“4JF” in white on a 
black band on its left leg) and which has been here all through winter and 
summer, remains here. It has a dark smudge on the tip of its upper bill. In the 
last few days it has been joined by a few actual adults with clean yellow 
bills. 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Raptor behavior

2021-08-01 Thread Dave Nutter
Were the eagles cooperating in the harassment? Did they continue to compete for 
the fish after the Osprey gave up? Did they go off together? 

Also, has anyone seen an immature Bald Eagle successfully steal a fish from an 
Osprey? 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Aug 1, 2021, at 10:23 AM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
> 
> Cool beans!
> They ARE pirates those eagles
> Pete Sar
> 
>> On Sun, Aug 1, 2021, 9:56 AM Candace E. Cornell  wrote:
>> That is classic Bald Eagle behavior. Greater Black-backed Gulls will 
>> occasionally do this to Ospreys as well. Bald eagles are kleptoparasitic 
>> when it comes to fish. Eagles are always on the lookout for Osprey fishing. 
>> They'll wait patiently for the Osprey to score, then the eagle hassles the 
>> Osprey, forcing it to relinquish its catch. In-air catches are typical. 
>> Ospreys occasionally put up a fight for the fish and are sometimes killed by 
>> the larger bird.
>> 
>> Eyes to the sky!
>> Candace
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Sun, Aug 1, 2021 at 9:30 AM Donna Lee Scott  wrote:
>>> Last Thursday from East Rd at Knox-Marcellus Marsh, Barbara Clise, Mike 
>>> Tetlow & I watched 2 mature Bald Eagles chasing & harassing an Osprey that 
>>> was carrying a fish. 
>>> 
>>> The Osprey tried hard to escape, but eventually the eagles caused it to 
>>> drop the silvery fish. 
>>> Both eagles swooped down after the fish, & just when we thought the fish 
>>> would come to ground, 1 of the eagles caught it in the air!
>>> 
>>> Donna Scott
>>> Lansing
>>> Sent from my iPhone
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[cayugabirds-l] Another Tompkins Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

2021-07-20 Thread Dave Nutter
I celebrated Sandy Podulka’s find of a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at 
Taughannock Falls State Park that so many of us saw. I still do.

I said one of the previous Tompkins sightings of the species was an adult along 
Fall Creek in Freeville. That was in 2018. Today Tom Schulenberg noticed 
something in eBird that I had overlooked (Thank-you, Tom!). There was a second 
similar sighting of an adult along Fall Creek in Freeville, this time 
specifically in Mill Dam Park, THIS YEAR, on May 31 by Gwen Gallagher and a 
second person not named in the eBird report. Each of those reports has a photo 
of a beautiful calm bird watching the person. So that’s the newly corrected 
2021 Cayuga Lake Basin First Record for the species. This is also cool, because 
the earlier record was not a single fluke event. Maybe it’s annual, or a pair, 
or breeding, or the source of the juvenile(s) downstream at Cayuga Lake.

Meanwhile, this evening Sandy relocated the juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 
in Cass Park in a Willow along the lower reaches of Linderman Creek near where 
it crosses NYS-89 opposite Cove Lane. Maybe there’s better hunting there than 
in the soccer field floodles!

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] 2 Tompkins Yellow-crowned Night-Herons?

2021-07-19 Thread Dave Nutter
 did not see any yellow on its bill. Some 
photographs from 3 July at Taughannock show a gray area on the bill which is 
similar to the Cass bird. Is the color of the bill apt to change on this time 
scale? Most of the photos look like separate birds at Taughannock & Cass by 
their bills. 

Facial skin: The Taughannock bird showed consistently more orange skin around 
the eye, the lores, and along the base of the bill, possibly including a bit of 
gape “lip” at the corner. The Cass bird looked faintly yellowish gray at its 
most colorful on the facial skin. Would the skin be expected to lose color over 
a couple weeks in a juvenile? If not, then this again points to 2 birds. 

So anyway I think there have been 2 individual Yellow-crowned Night-herons in 
Tompkins County, but if someone else has a look at these or additional photos 
and has another opinion, or can explain why some or all of these observations 
can be explained by the passage of a couple of weeks I’m open to hear it. 

- Dave Nutter
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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Montezuma Spoonbill update, 13 July

2021-07-13 Thread Dave Nutter
Addendum: at 5:30pm Tom Auer reported that the Roseate Spoonbill just flew in 
by the eagle statue from Tschache Pool!

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Montezuma Spoonbill update, 13 July

2021-07-13 Thread Dave Nutter
 large spoon bill” 
“pale pink wading bird with wide flat bill” 
“pink bird with long flat bill” 
“large pink bird w spoon shaped bill” 

The goal is to differentiate the observed rarity from any equally unlikely 
species, which in this case is easy.

I hope the Spoonbill again chooses a more publicly accessible pond next. 

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Spoonbill continues at Montezuma NWR Monday morning

2021-07-12 Thread Dave Nutter
Shortly after 7am this morning (12 July) Jane Graves & Alison Van Keuren 
reported to eBird that they saw the juvenile Roseate Spoonbill with a Great 
Egret in Tschache Pool at Montezuma NWR. 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Spoonbill Montezuma's Thruway Pool

2021-07-11 Thread Dave Nutter
The Roseate Spoonbill at Montezuma NWR remained all afternoon today (11 July) 
and was seen well by many people from the Wildlife Drive. While I was there 
(twice around the drive) it was in one of the pools alongside the Thruway near 
the large Bald Eagle sculpture. It spent its time standing on a log resting, 
preening, and sometimes wading either to wet its bill for preening or to feed. 
At one point I saw it catch and eat a fish that was longer than the widest part 
of its bill. During most of the time, no other large waders were in that pool, 
although there was a Great Blue Heron visible around the bend in the next pool. 
Some time after 5pm a Great Egret dropped gently from the sky and alit close to 
the Roseate Spoonbill. They tolerated each other well enough, often standing 
only a few feet apart, and the egret walked directly through a video I took of 
the spoonbill feeding. At 5:45pm the Roseate Spoonbill took flight as did the 
Great Egret (I think the spoonbill took off first but I’m open to correction on 
this point). Both flew NW over the Thruway staying fairly close to each other 
even though the spoonbill’s flight wandered left & right quite a bit more from 
my vantage as they got farther away. Last I saw them at about 5:48 they were 
descending toward what I believe was the northeastern part of Tschache Pool. 
About 15 minutes later I tried looking from the Tschache tower along NYS-89 
near I-90 but could only discern a few Great Blue Herons in that area. My guess 
is that the spoonbill is spending the night roosting wherever the Great Egrets 
roost, and that there’s a good chance it will be somewhere around the Montezuma 
Wetlands Complex tomorrow. 

This is a lovely bird. As Kevin mentioned it’s a juvenile, which means just a 
couple months ago it was a nestling, probably in south Florida although they 
also breed along the gulf coast of Louisiana & Texas. This bird lacks the bare 
gray & black crown that forms by their second year, and it lacks the bold rose 
areas on the wings and the orange tail of the adults. Instead it is fully 
feathered white on the head & neck and evenly pale pink on the body & wings. 
The long flat bill is a fantastic thing, gray on the basal half and along the 
midline, but pink on the distal half, especially on the margins around the very 
broad tip. The upper bill is slightly broader and longer than the lower bill. 
The upper legs are pink, the ankle joint is gray, and the lower legs are pink 
in front and gray behind. Each foot has 4 toes, gray (at least below), with no 
webbing. The most contrasting part of the bird is in the outer primaries which 
are mainly pale pink but which also have a narrow edge of bold black, visible 
both when it preened and when it flew. 

I hope it gets refound.  Very cool bird, a first for the Cayuga Lake Basin, and 
tied for first in upstate NY according to eBird. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jul 11, 2021, at 4:19 PM, Kevin J. McGowan  wrote:
> 
> Timing of surge of spoonbills out of the south over the last month doesn’t 
> fit with the storm.
>  
> Here are ebird reports for June:
> https://ebird.org/map/rosspo1?neg=true=-100.76926532551144=31.833515337185677=-64.20676532551144=45.82328941682119=true=true=Z=on=6=6=cur=2021=2021
>  
> You can see a movement already.
>  
> Here are ebird reports for July:
> https://ebird.org/map/rosspo1?neg=true=-130.14670673176144=23.68895634547458=-57.02170673176145=51.648127862764916=true=true=Z=on=7=7=cur=2021=2021
>  
> Look at that straight line of reports from Florida to New York! Amazing.
>  
> Pennsylvania had 4 spoonbills this week, 3 in one spot.
>  
> Was this just a really good year for spoonbill breeding in the southeast? And 
> maybe for wading birds in general? The juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in 
> Tompkins Co this month seems more than coincidental. Juvenile wading birds 
> (egrets, herons, storks, etc) are known to wander widely in summer after they 
> reach independence. I don’t know of any theories about what influences these 
> movements. But, it is logical that the more young produced, perhaps above an 
> average number (?), the more likely it would be for strays to end up in the 
> north.
>  
> Amazing to have a juvenile Roseate Spoonbill at Montezuma NWR and Chenango 
> River State Park in the same day! Both an hour from Ithaca. I was already 
> committed to going south when the Montezuma report came in and didn’t have 
> enough stamina to go see both.
>  
>  
>  
> Kevin
>  
> Kevin McGowan
> Freeville
>  
> From: bounce-125763042-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
>  On Behalf Of Asher Hockett
> Sent: Sunday, July 11, 2021 3:42 PM
> To: Donna Lee Scott 
> Cc: Dave K ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> 
> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Spoonbill Montezuma's Thruway Pool
>  
> Wondering from our here in NM, diid these spoonbills ge

Re: More on Merlin Re: [cayugabirds-l] Merlin results/Turkey Vulture

2021-07-09 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi all, 
I think the Library of Natural Sound used to ask, when archiving audio, whether 
the bird was seen to make the call. Now, when people include audio with eBird 
submissions, that question is not asked, and sometimes people are clearly 
guessing, even against the advice of apps intended to help them ID the calls. I 
recently checked Macaulay trying to learn more about Black-billed Cuckoo calls. 
Because at many places and times the species is not rare, I think the 
recordings go directly from eBird to Macaulay without any review. Before I 
found any audio recordings which were verified by sight, I found 2 examples of 
people labeling Chipmunk calls as cuckoos and 1 Yellow-billed labeled as 
Black-billed. My confidence in Macaulay as a source of information was shaken.

Recently an enthusiastic young collector of rare bird reports claimed on the 
basis of hearing alone that there were 2 Worm-eating Warblers singing at a new 
location in Tompkins County, a county where the species is always rare yet is 
regularly found in one location where it’s a lot of trouble to climb a steep 
slope. Maybe that person is competent to make that judgement. Maybe there are 
plenty of birders who can. I know I can’t, and clearly Merlin can’t. I sure 
would appreciate people noting in their eBird reports whether their audio 
contributions are of birds they also identified by sight while the bird was 
recorded making the noise, or whether the bird was not seen. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jul 9, 2021, at 2:11 PM, Linda Orkin  wrote:
> 
> Thanks Jay and Alicia. I didn’t see first reply though I was looking for it. 
> Appreciate it. 
> I am going to try the uploading to eBird. I didn’t know you could do that 
> It’s interesting looking at the spectrogram and comparing between the 
> trillers too. Although obviously not foolproof it can help you hear the notes 
> in a slightly different  way. 
> 
> Linda 
>> On Jul 9, 2021, at 1:42 PM, Alicia  wrote:
>> 
>>  Hi Linda,
>> 
>> Jay replied a couple days ago - forwarded  below.
>> 
>> Best -
>> 
>> Alicia
>> 
>> 
>>  Forwarded Message 
>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Possible Worm-eating Warblers in Lansing NY
>> Date:Wed, 7 Jul 2021 12:02:10 -0400
>> From:Jay McGowan 
>> Reply-To:Jay McGowan 
>> To:  Linda Orkin 
>> CC:  Barbara Bauer Sadovnic , KitKat PonyBird 
>> , Cayugabirds-L 
>> 
>> 
>> Hi Linda,
>> Yes, clicking that will give us a record of it, but it won't be a lot to go 
>> on otherwise. One thing that will help long-term would be to make a 
>> recording of the bird, then upload it to an eBird checklist (doing some 
>> light editing following our best practices whenever possible). This won't 
>> have any immediate effect on the model of course, but longer term it will 
>> provide us with more diverse examples to train on.
>> 
>> Jay
>> 
>>> On Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 11:34 AM Linda Orkin  wrote:
>>> Jay I wonder if you can say what we should do if we know song ID is 
>>> incorrect. I got worm eating warbler for chipping sparrow down by vas’s 
>>> park rink today and I clicked no match. Is that the best way to tri and 
>>> alert Merlin to an incorrect choice?
>>> 
>>> Linda Orkin
>>> 
>>>> On Jul 6, 2021, at 10:32 AM, Jay McGowan
>>>>   wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> This is a good reminder that the new Sound ID function in Merlin is a 
>>>> great way to cue into new sounds and learn to ID birds, but should never 
>>>> be taken as the final word on an identification. In this case, trilling 
>>>> species like Worm-eating Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and 
>>>> even Pine Warbler can be challenging for even experienced birders to 
>>>> identify with confidence, and the sound ID model has trouble being sure as 
>>>> well. Juncos in particular pose a challenge, with their extreme variation 
>>>> between individuals. So certainly, if you're in the right habitat, look a 
>>>> little harder for a bird flagged as a possible Worm-eating, but in the 
>>>> cases you describe, these were almost certainly Chipping Sparrows.
>>>> 
>>>> P.S. I'd be happy to take a listen to a recording if you want to send it 
>>>> privately.
>>>> 
>>>> Jay
>>>> 
>>>>> On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 6:38 PM Barbara Bauer Sadovnic 
>>>>>  wrote:
>>>>> The same thing happened to me today, also while eating breakfast on my 
>>>>> porch, in Enfield!  I also tried BirdNET, a

Re: [cayugabirds-l] OT

2021-07-03 Thread Dave Nutter
The birds Nari celebrated painted a picture for me of his yard. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jul 3, 2021, at 9:49 AM, Candace E. Cornell  wrote:
> 
> He was alway interested in the Ospreys and sent me many reports and 
> commentaries. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family.
> Candace Cornel
> 
>> On Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 9:38 AM bob mcguire  
>> wrote:
>> Here is the Journal obituary:  
>> https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/theithacajournal/name/nariman-mistry-obituary?pid=199315381
>> 
>> I will always remember Nari for his enthusiasm, his smile, and his kind 
>> words. My condolences to his wife, Ginny.
>> 
>> Bob McGuire
>> 
>>> On Jul 3, 2021, at 9:16 AM, Laura Stenzler  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Nari was also a long-time participant in the Ithaca Christmas bird count 
>>> for area IV, usually counting along Dodge Road and Ellis Hollow Road.  He 
>>> was an enthusiastic birder and Cayuga Bird Club member.  He will be missed! 
>>> Condolences to his family.  
>>> Laura
>>> 
>>> Laura Stenzler
>>> l...@cornell.edu
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: bounce-125747424-8866...@list.cornell.edu 
>>>  on behalf of Donna Lee Scott 
>>> 
>>> Sent: Saturday, July 3, 2021 9:10 AM
>>> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
>>> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] OT
>>> 
>>> I just read the interesting obituary of Nari Mistry in the Ithaca Journal. 
>>> Nari in the past was a frequent contributer to this bird list.
>>> 
>>> Donna Scott
>>> Lansing
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> --
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[cayugabirds-l] Yellow-crowned Night-Heron continues at Taughannock SP

2021-07-02 Thread Dave Nutter
The very rare local chance to observe a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron continues 
this morning. 

Jay McGowan confirmed that this immaculately plumaged juvenile is still at the 
small marina in Taughannock Falls State Park. 

Distinguishing this bird from juveniles of our more common Black-crowned 
Night-Heron are the smaller rounder head, the thicker shorter black bill, the 
longer legs, the longer thinner neck (often extended), and the tiny whitish 
spots instead of longer whitish teardrops at the tips of the feathers on the 
folded wings. 

Yellow-crowned Night-Herons specialize in eating crabs, and this bird has been 
eating crayfish. 

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Taughannock Falls SP

2021-07-01 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi All, 

I just noticed that there was no notice on CayugaBirds-L of a cool, cooperative 
rare bird. This afternoon (Thursday 1 July) Sandy Podulka found an immaculate 
fresh juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at the little marina and boat launch 
area at Taughannock Falls State Park, and it was there until after 8pm hunting 
& swallowing crayfish. Yellow-crowned Night-Herons specialize in eating crabs, 
so crayfish are the best local substitute. Although it was up in a tree with 
several birders below it when I arrived, this bird came back down and went 
about its business along the shore of the marina as soon as people moved away 
and stayed back in binocular distance. For anyone with a scope or a decent 
camera lens it was a great photo op. I hope the bird stays and is re-found 
tomorrow, as this was an excellent chance to see this species well. It is only 
the 3rd record in eBird for Tompkins County, and the first time it was 
“chase-able”. 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Injured Kestrel

2021-06-26 Thread Dave Nutter
Thank you all for your quick responses!

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jun 26, 2021, at 8:04 PM, Nancy Cusumano  wrote:
> 
> Morgan Hapeman of Finger Lakes Raptor Center is on her way to get this bird. 
> She is a licensed rehabber in Lodi.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPad
> 
>> On Jun 26, 2021, at 7:08 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>> 
>> I just got a call from Reuben Stoltzfus. A Mennonite friend of his who lives 
>> just north of the former Seneca Army Depot has a slightly injured Kestrel 
>> which he would like to give to someone who can either care of it or take it 
>> to someone who can (a rehabber or the Swanson Center at Cornell for 
>> example). The bird can fly some but not very well, and I understand it is 
>> currently captive and being given food & water. 
>> 
>> If you can help, please call 
>> Cleason Horst
>> 315-521-1488
>> He is at 4396 MacDougal Center Rd, which is a block east of 96A in the block 
>> which is north of 336 and south of Leader Rd.
>> 
>> - - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Injured Kestrel

2021-06-26 Thread Dave Nutter
I just got a call from Reuben Stoltzfus. A Mennonite friend of his who lives 
just north of the former Seneca Army Depot has a slightly injured Kestrel which 
he would like to give to someone who can either care of it or take it to 
someone who can (a rehabber or the Swanson Center at Cornell for example). The 
bird can fly some but not very well, and I understand it is currently captive 
and being given food & water. 

If you can help, please call 
Cleason Horst
315-521-1488
He is at 4396 MacDougal Center Rd, which is a block east of 96A in the block 
which is north of 336 and south of Leader Rd.

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Fields being mowed.

2021-06-24 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi All, 

Reuben Stoltzfus called me yesterday evening and clarified a few points about 
his experience with mowing v grassland birds. 

He agrees with all the folks who said that walking through fields to look for 
nests is not a good idea due to ineffectiveness and creating paths for 
predators. I forget whether he included trampling the hay, but I’m guessing 
that’s also an issue.

He was able to avoid mowing Bobolinks in part because of the machinery he uses 
which, as I understand it, moves more slowly than non-Amish farmers’ machines, 
allows him to see & hear birds while he makes a strong effort to do so, and 
allows him to react quickly enough to stop or turn aside to avoid mowing the 
immediate area where a female Bobolink has just flushed. I forgot to ask how 
big an area he left around each flushed female and how effective it seemed in 
allowing fledging to succeed or whether it seemed that the exposure led to them 
being taken by predators. 

He found that within his 10 acre field Bobolink nests appeared to be 
concentrated only about 40 to 80 feet from the edge of the field in most 
instances, which seems paradoxical given that Bobolinks require large fields. 

He did not find nests of Grasshopper Sparrows. 

The question of how to balance hay production with grassland bird nesting is 
not easy, as the discussion over the last several days has demonstrated. Among 
the ironies is that the eastern US would have very few areas of grasslands 
large enough for several species if not for hay production, yet if cutting 
schedules prevent reproduction, then these places are a trap for the birds. 
Meanwhile, agriculture has made the vast majority of the prairies which were 
those grassland birds’ original range unavailable for nesting. 

- - Dave Nutter


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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Fields being mowed.

2021-06-21 Thread Dave Nutter
I totally respect Anne’s experienced perspective. It would be a big challenge 
to even approximately locate any nest without disrupting the crop. Also it’s 
possible that Reuben’s mowing machinery was slower, quieter, & more 
maneuverable than what most farmers use, lending itself to guidance while 
cutting. So, maybe his tactic is not easily applicable everywhere. 

Seaside Sparrows attempt to nest in salt marshes as early as they can. They 
routinely get wiped out by the very high tide associated with a full moon. Then 
they immediately re-nest, which just allows them to fledge young by the next 
full moon. Can grassland birds similarly fit a breeding cycle into the time it 
takes a second hay crop to grow? This year I saw lots of hayfields mowed by May 
15. Do field birds stick around and try again to breed after that? Is delaying 
a second cutting into July any better for the farmer? 

Do the field birds learn and not even try the fields next year that got mowed 
this year? 

Are there National Forest or DEC lands which are managed for grassland birds? 
That may not be much total area compared to privately cropped hayfields, but it 
might keep the species from being regionally wiped out. Maybe there are 
landowners who are not farmers and have not yet leased their land to farmers 
who would like to support grassland birds. 



- - Dave Nutter

> On Jun 21, 2021, at 6:36 AM, anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:
> 
> Speaking as someone who spent years locating redwing nests, I think this is a 
> mountain not a molehill. Locating nests in grassland is HARD on purpose. 
> Birds make it that way.   Feeding females do t go down to their nests. They 
> drop and walk to the nest. One makes paths tromping through the grass which 
> neither farmer nor birds will benefit from. 
> 
> I was thinking about what long term obs and relatively few nesting areas it 
> took for the one farm as described. 
> 
> No not impossible but much harder than it seems. And leaving clumps with 
> nests as well as paths near them will increase predation. 
> 
> I am dubious as good as this sounds. 
> 
> Anne
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
>> On Jun 20, 2021, at 10:40 PM, Geo Kloppel  wrote:
>> 
>> I’ve been musing along a different line, wondering if a preemptive approach 
>> is possible. 
>> 
>> It takes time to mow the big fields that grassland nesters favor, and the 
>> hay farmer can’t mow all of them simultaneously. The work of haying season 
>> has to begin somewhere, and start early enough that the farmer can get 
>> through it all. So each year some field will be selected to go first, and 
>> another second, and the rest must wait their turns. 
>> 
>> Clearly some fields that are later in the queue can produce a crop of 
>> fledglings before it’s their turn to be mowed; otherwise we wouldn’t be 
>> having this conversation. So, suppose for the moment that the decision about 
>> which fields to mow early could be made before nesting had even begun. If 
>> there was then some way to discourage the birds from selecting those 
>> particular fields to nest in, the effect would be to direct them to the 
>> fields slated for later mowing...
>> 
>> -Geo
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Fields being mowed.

2021-06-19 Thread Dave Nutter
 demonstrated pest 
problem. Grow your own food without poisons. 
* Buy local. I prefer to buy the sunflower seed grown in Lansing rather than 
think of depriving birds in some other part of the country to feed birds here. 
Use money more to support small scale growers who may share our concerns, and 
less money toward packaging, polluting transportation, corporations which 
maximize extraction and profits by externalizing their costs (getting away with 
not paying the cost of their damage) to the environment (e.g. ripping out 
hedgerows; applying poisons) and to people (e.g. keeping farmers in hock; 
underpaying immigrant labor). A diverse local environment may be able to absorb 
the impact of scattered and well-run small farms, whereas the manure from 
factory farms (cows, pigs, or poultry) is just too voluminous, concentrated, 
and toxic (compare the manure we saw a few years ago spread on fields that 
would attract Snow Buntings in winter, to the vile liquid which larger dairies 
now spew over vast areas). 

Among the animals I have seen in my garden are American Goldfinches taking 
bites of Swiss Chard leaves, but they don’t eat so much as to be pests in my 
biased opinion. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jun 16, 2021, at 9:30 AM, Rachel Lodder  wrote:
> 
> Hi everyone,
> 
> Very, very well put Ken. It is indeed a significantly tricky balance. My 
> partner and I are organic grain (and hay) farmers in the Ithaca area (~1400 
> acres, involving numerous large fields), who make our living 100% from 
> farming. We would also consider ourselves bird enthusiasts, and regular 
> birdwatchers, who do our best to be sensitive to environmental and 
> biodiversity issues (part of the reason that we farm organically). Not only 
> that, I own and ride horses. The Venn diagram in this case is profound!
> 
> But seriously, my point is to stress how well you expressed the various sides 
> of the issue, and directed the passion that people are expressing toward 
> having a positive impact. And that Thor and I are real-life, local farmers 
> trying to do our best in this balancing act and are open to talking with 
> anyone about these issues. We have a lot of experience with conservation 
> programs in the Farm Bill (NRCS and FSA), and would be happy to talk with 
> other farmers (or anyone) about them.
> 
> You offered some great ways for individuals to have an input. One point that 
> I would like to add to this discussion is the actual price of food. People 
> want food that is inexpensive - and we should all be able to afford good, 
> healthy food!! - but food that is produced in ways that incorporate 
> conservation methods is probably going to cost more. How you shop and where 
> you spend is one way that you can have an impact.
> 
> So much to say about this. Feel free to get in touch!
> Appreciative of all the concern,
> Rachel and Thor
> 
> 
> From: bounce-125714663-81221...@list.cornell.edu 
>  on behalf of Kenneth V. 
> Rosenberg 
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 11:32 PM
> To: Geo Kloppel ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> 
> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Fields being mowed.
>  
> Hi everyone,
>  
> Having fueled some of the passion about hay-cutting and grassland bird 
> conservation, I wanted to clarify a few points. Thanks to the many who 
> provided resources and links to additional information. I am not an expert on 
> farming or legal issues, but I can provide a bit more perspective on the 
> grassland bird issues. What is happening today has happened for decades and 
> is standard agricultural practice over most of the eastern U.S. The 
> challenges are complex, both for the farmers and those interested in 
> conservation.
>  
> Most importantly, it is not fair or correct to blame the local farmers, or 
> even those at Cornell trying to manage the hayfields along Freese and Hanshaw 
> Roads – these are indeed hayfields, grown for the horses at the Equine 
> Research Lab, and the growers are under the same constraints regarding timing 
> and nutritional value of the hay (the horses won’t eat it if it’s mowed too 
> late). Individual farmers trying to eek out a living and keep their farms in 
> production cannot be expected to sacrifice economically for the sake of birds 
> or other wildlife – a common resource for us all. This is the fundamental 
> problem.
>  
> The solutions, therefore, need to come at the societal and policy levels. If 
> more of society puts greater value on birds and other nature, then this can 
> become part of the economic structure that supports both agriculture and 
> biodiversity conservation. Much easier said than done!  There is a 
> complicated array of Farm Bill and other incentive programs that encourage 
> farmers to create or set aside wildlife habitat, but these programs are 
> obscure to mos

[cayugabirds-l] Lime Hollow & Cayuga Basin

2021-05-22 Thread Dave Nutter
>> On May 22, 2021, at 4:02 PM, Maryfaith Miller  
>> wrote:
>> 
>> Outside of Cayuga basin, but I had a black billed cuckoo at Lime Hollow 
>> Nature Center on Wednesday.
>> Good birding!
>> Maryfaith


Three points: 

First, the CayugaBirds-L list serve is about birds in the general area.  

Second, I think most of Lime Hollow is within the Cayuga Basin, draining via 
Beaver Creek to join Fall Creek near Malloryville, although Stupke Pond is 
outside the basin, draining via Otter Creek to the Tioghnioga River.

Third, many interesting birding areas are in wetlands that formed in saddles at 
the edge of the Cayuga Basin, and part of the challenge of listing within the 
Basin is that many of those spots are just outside, in the part of the saddle 
that drains away from Cayuga Lake: 

Hile School Rd wetland is at the headwaters of the Owasco Inlet.
 
Just beyond the headwaters of Fall Creek, Bear Swamp Creek drains north to 
Skaneateles Lake.

Goetchius is not far from Six-mile Creek, but it drains east and south into 
Owego Creek West Branch. 

Shindagin Hollow, Ridgeway Rd, & Steam Mill Fen all drain south to Catatonk 
Creek and Owego. 

Just beyond Jennings Pond, which is the headwaters of Buttermilk Creek, nearly 
all of Michigan Hollow and its wetlands also drain south.  

That’s why great birds found in those places don’t end up on the annual Cayuga 
Basin First Records list that I keep. 

There are plenty of great places within the Basin, too, of course. My advice is 
to choose whatever interesting place is closest, where you can spend the most 
time and get to know its birds.

- - Dave Nutter 

P.S. The north end of the Cayuga Basin, as defined in a 1926 botany textbook, 
is a bit more complex, and I won’t go into it now. 


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[cayugabirds-l] Fwd: [eBird Alert] Tompkins County Rare Bird Alert

2021-05-03 Thread Dave Nutter
Here’s a fun birding game. By some fluke of eBird programming a checklist 
submitted from somewhere else in the world got listed instead as being at 
Stewart Park, so the species are listed as rare - outrageously so. There are 
birds which I suspect haven’t ever been found in North America. Based on the 
ranges of those birds (remember this is migration season), where do you think 
the checklist was made? After you have guessed, you can click the link to see 
the checklist, and when it gets corrected, you’ll see the actual location.

- - Dave Nutter

Begin forwarded message:

> From: ebird-al...@birds.cornell.edu
> Date: May 3, 2021 at 1:52:03 AM EDT
> Subject: [eBird Alert] Tompkins County Rare Bird Alert 
> 
> *** Species Summary:
> 
> - Bar-headed Goose (1 report)
> - Graylag Goose (1 report)
> - Garganey (1 report)
> - Northern Shoveler (1 report)
> - Eurasian Coot (1 report)
> - Black-winged Stilt (1 report)
> - River Lapwing (1 report)
> - Yellow-wattled Lapwing (1 report)
> - Red-wattled Lapwing (1 report)
> - Kentish Plover (1 report)
> - Little Ringed Plover (1 report)
> - Small Pratincole (1 report)
> - Black-headed Gull (1 report)
> - Brown-headed Gull (1 report)
> - River Tern (1 report)
> - Little Cormorant (1 report)
> - Great Cormorant (1 report)
> - Red-naped Ibis (1 report)
> - Green Bee-eater (1 report)
> - Blue-tailed Bee-eater (1 report)
> - Sand Lark (1 report)
> - Eurasian Skylark (1 report)
> - Crested Lark (1 report)
> - White Wagtail (1 report)
> 
> -
> Thank you for subscribing to the  Tompkins County Rare Bird Alert.The 
> report below shows observations of rare birds in Tompkins County.  View or 
> unsubscribe to this alert at https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35084
> NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated.
> 
> eBird encourages our users to bird safely, responsibly, and mindfully. Please 
> follow the recommendations of your local health authorities and respect any 
> active travel restrictions in your area. For more information visit: 
> https://ebird.org/news/please-bird-mindfully
> 
> Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) (70)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86983586
> - Comments: "Yes"
> 
> Graylag Goose (Anser anser) (5)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86983586
> - Comments: "Yes"
> 
> Garganey (Spatula querquedula) (8)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86983586
> - Comments: "Yse"
> 
> Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata) (4)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86983586
> - Comments: "Yes"
> 
> Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) (25)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86983586
> - Comments: "Yes"
> 
> Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) (30)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86983586
> - Comments: "Good habitat"
> 
> River Lapwing (Vanellus duvaucelii) (25)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86983586
> - Comments: "Yes"
> 
> Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus) (8)
> - Reported May 03, 2021 08:04 by Amit Kumar
> - 101 Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York, US (42.46, -76.504), Tompkins, New York
> - Map: 
> http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8=p=13=42.46,-76.504=42.46,-76.504
> - C

Re: [cayugabirds-l] House Wren

2021-04-28 Thread Dave Nutter
I also saw my first Ithaca House Wren in the yard this afternoon, and soon 
afterward it obligingly sang several times. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Apr 28, 2021, at 10:18 AM, Marc Devokaitis  wrote:
> 
> I'd buy that. FOY House Wren was singing in our yard this morning as well. 
> Marc Devokaitis
> Trumansburg Village
> 
>> On Wed, Apr 28, 2021 at 10:12 AM Regi Teasley  wrote:
>> I’m pretty sure I’m hearing a House Wren singing in our yard.  We’ve had one 
>> nesting here for several years.
>> Regi
>> West Hill (City)
>> 
>> 
>> “The future of the world is nuts.”  Philip Rutter, founder of the American 
>> Chestnut Foundation
>> 
>> --
>> Cayugabirds-L List Info:
>> Welcome and Basics
>> Rules and Information
>> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave
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>> The Mail Archive
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> 
> --
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> Welcome and Basics
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> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave
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> Please submit your observations to eBird!
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird

2021-04-23 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi all, 
Sandra’s friend sent me the video clip from an evening this week in Newfield. 
The view is very distant, so I studied through a magnifying glass (binoculars 
turned backwards), but it’s good enough that I easily agree with the ID that 
the few “small” birds, some of whom flew a bit, are Crows. The larger dark bird 
is neither a Corvid, nor a Turkey, nor any of the usual raptors which use long 
legs and talons to reach out and grab prey at a safe distance or even chase it 
a bit. It walked with small steps, pecked at the ground in one spot, and did 
not fly. This bird has a fairly long tail which it holds parallel to the 
ground, a long slim body which tapers gradually to what appears to me to be a 
tiny head, and rather short legs. It walks like it’s not very good at it and 
doesn’t have to be. The size, shape, and behavior, including the posture at 
several points, lead me to believe it’s a Turkey Vulture, even though I was not 
able to be certain of a naked or red head. I’m guessing there was some meat in 
what was left out for the Crows. 

FWIW, a lot of Turkey Vultures gather not too far away in the evenings Near 
Robert Treman State Park.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Apr 23, 2021, at 8:53 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> What would help is to know the location & date to determine a basic list of 
> what birds likely are in that area at that season.
> Further information about habitat could also narrow down the likely species. 
> 
> Then it would really help to get a copy of that video in front of another 
> experienced birder to judge the shape of both kinds of birds, including bill 
> & tail, and their relative size. It’s surprisingly easy to misjudge the size 
> of birds at a distance, so the fact that there are 2 species in view together 
> is your best help, and you must use shape, behavior, pattern & color to try 
> to pin down one of them. There could be some subtle information in that video 
> that would not be obvious everyone. Speed of walking is also a clue to size. 
> 
> Assuming the video is from April in Northeastern US, and knowing the basics 
> of what blackish birds feed in flocks on the ground and tolerate each other, 
> we currently have lots of European Starlings and Common Grackles doing that. 
> Brown-headed Cowbirds are another possibility. Red-winged Blackbirds are more 
> territorial and single now but might also gather at a food source. American 
> Crows are also territorial now but could be either single or in small family 
> groups or again might gather at a large food source. Common Ravens are in 
> some places, but typically are chased off by Crows. Turkey Vultures (or 
> rarely Black Vultures) are also a possibility depending on the type of food 
> put out, but might also be chased off by Crows.  
> 
> It’s common for people unfamiliar with Grackles to call them Crows, either 
> occasionally at a distance, or habitually. So, if you saw very long 
> wedge-shaped tails, that’s an ID for one species. Or the very short tails of 
> Starlings or the way they walk and probe, can help ID them. Even Crows and 
> Ravens have slightly different shapes and behaviors. And eagles and vultures 
> may also be distinguished by shape. 
> 
> With all these unknowns and conjectures, I think a closer look at the video 
> is what’s needed. 
> 
> - - Dave Nutter
> 
>> On Apr 22, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
>> 
>> Sibley:
>> Ravens 24" long
>> Crows 17.5 " long
>> 
>>> On Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 1:24 PM Sandra J. Kisner  wrote:
>>> I suggested raven to her, but it was an awful lot larger.  Is there that 
>>> much difference between crows and ravens?
>>> 
>>> Sandra
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: Donna Lee Scott 
>>> Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:45 PM
>>> To: Sandra J. Kisner
>>> Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L
>>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird
>>> 
>>> Ravens hang around where eagles are, but i am not sure crows would tolerate 
>>> being next to them.
>>> Kevin McGowan would know.
>>> 
>>> Donna Scott
>>> Lansing
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> 
>>> On Apr 22, 2021, at 12:41 PM, Sandra J. Kisner 
>>> mailto:s...@cornell.edu>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> By appearance the eagle seems more likely than a vulture (the neck was 
>>> short), but would crows tolerate it?  I'll suggest it to her; I don't 
>>> actually know where she lives, so I don't know if bald eagles are likely to 
>>> be in the area.
>>> 
>>> Sandra
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: Joshua Snodgrass mailto:cedars

Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird

2021-04-23 Thread Dave Nutter
What would help is to know the location & date to determine a basic list of 
what birds likely are in that area at that season.
Further information about habitat could also narrow down the likely species. 

Then it would really help to get a copy of that video in front of another 
experienced birder to judge the shape of both kinds of birds, including bill & 
tail, and their relative size. It’s surprisingly easy to misjudge the size of 
birds at a distance, so the fact that there are 2 species in view together is 
your best help, and you must use shape, behavior, pattern & color to try to pin 
down one of them. There could be some subtle information in that video that 
would not be obvious everyone. Speed of walking is also a clue to size. 

Assuming the video is from April in Northeastern US, and knowing the basics of 
what blackish birds feed in flocks on the ground and tolerate each other, we 
currently have lots of European Starlings and Common Grackles doing that. 
Brown-headed Cowbirds are another possibility. Red-winged Blackbirds are more 
territorial and single now but might also gather at a food source. American 
Crows are also territorial now but could be either single or in small family 
groups or again might gather at a large food source. Common Ravens are in some 
places, but typically are chased off by Crows. Turkey Vultures (or rarely Black 
Vultures) are also a possibility depending on the type of food put out, but 
might also be chased off by Crows.  

It’s common for people unfamiliar with Grackles to call them Crows, either 
occasionally at a distance, or habitually. So, if you saw very long 
wedge-shaped tails, that’s an ID for one species. Or the very short tails of 
Starlings or the way they walk and probe, can help ID them. Even Crows and 
Ravens have slightly different shapes and behaviors. And eagles and vultures 
may also be distinguished by shape. 

With all these unknowns and conjectures, I think a closer look at the video is 
what’s needed. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Apr 22, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
> 
> Sibley:
> Ravens 24" long
> Crows 17.5 " long
> 
>> On Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 1:24 PM Sandra J. Kisner  wrote:
>> I suggested raven to her, but it was an awful lot larger.  Is there that 
>> much difference between crows and ravens?
>> 
>> Sandra
>> 
>> 
>> From: Donna Lee Scott 
>> Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:45 PM
>> To: Sandra J. Kisner
>> Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L
>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird
>> 
>> Ravens hang around where eagles are, but i am not sure crows would tolerate 
>> being next to them.
>> Kevin McGowan would know.
>> 
>> Donna Scott
>> Lansing
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> 
>> On Apr 22, 2021, at 12:41 PM, Sandra J. Kisner 
>> mailto:s...@cornell.edu>> wrote:
>> 
>> By appearance the eagle seems more likely than a vulture (the neck was 
>> short), but would crows tolerate it?  I'll suggest it to her; I don't 
>> actually know where she lives, so I don't know if bald eagles are likely to 
>> be in the area.
>> 
>> Sandra
>> 
>> 
>> From: Joshua Snodgrass mailto:cedarsh...@gmail.com>>
>> Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:11 PM
>> To: Sandra J. Kisner
>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] large dark bird
>> 
>> Any chance it was a juvenile Bald Eagle? Young birds are very dark, but have 
>> white markings. It would be huge compared to crows.
>> 
>> On Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 10:19 AM Sandra J. Kisner 
>> mailto:s...@cornell.edu><mailto:s...@cornell.edu>> wrote:
>> I'm afraid I don't have much information to base my question on, but I 
>> promised I'd try.  A friend showed me a short video on her phone of a group 
>> of crows that she puts food out for near the end of her long (rural) 
>> driveway, with a large dark bird apparently feeding with them.  The shot is 
>> from far away; not knowing that I would have guessed it was a bunch of 
>> grackles being joined by a crow, but she assures me they are her usual 
>> crows.  The guest is rather stocky, with a short (broad?) tail.  The crows 
>> weren't in the least disturbed by the visitor, so it's not likely it was a 
>> hawk.  At one point she pointed out what looked like a white wing bar (very 
>> hard to see at that distance).  She also occasionally sees turkeys, but this 
>> didn't look like a turkey to me.  Any ideas?
>> 
>> Sandra
>> --
>> 

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[cayugabirds-l] Minor local Ithaca phenomena: Ospreys, Chickadees, Gull

2021-04-10 Thread Dave Nutter
>From Allan H Treman State Marine Park I was watching Ospreys on 6 April. 
>Looking east I saw an Osprey doing a display flight carrying a fish. The bird 
>appeared to be beyond Jetty Woods, probably over Fall Creek by Stewart Park. 
>Meanwhile a second Osprey perched high the narrow northern part of Jetty 
>Woods. The 2 Ospreys then met and appeared to use a Cormorant nest as a handy 
>place to share a picnic. Today (10 April) I saw 2 Ospreys there, but one of 
>them was bringing a stick. This looks like the Ospreys are intending to nest 
>on the NW edge of the Cormorant colony using what I assume was previously a 
>Cormorant nest as the base of their own. (At the same time there were 2 
>Ospreys by the nest in the NW corner of Newman Golf Course, across Cayuga 
>Inlet from the boat ramp, so it wasn’t them.) I wonder what the Cormorants 
>think of the Ospreys joining them. I also think it’s neat that the Ospreys are 
>not depending on a human-built structure. 

A few weeks back someone wrote about flocks of Chickadees. I’m accustomed to 
winter flocks with just a few Chickadees joined by an assortment of 
woodpeckers, titmice, and nuthatches. But this is different. For the past few 
days at Allan H Treman State Park I have been seeing flocks of just Chickadees: 
ten, twenty, thirty, or more in the tree crowns and flying across openings or 
fields to reach other trees. The Chickadees have been mostly moving east, 
sometimes stopping along Cayuga Inlet. They like the bare Tamaracks near the 
Park Police office. They seem to especially like the large Cottonwoods with 
swollen buds along the north side of the marina near Cayuga Inlet. (This is 
also an area where a Merlin has been spending time when it isn’t perched in the 
treetops of Jetty Woods. It tried to grab a small bird over Cayuga Inlet but 
failed.) 

I have only seen one Great Black-backed Gull lately around Allan H Treman State 
Marine Park lately, even as I scope across toward Stewart Park. The adults seem 
to have migrated back to their breeding grounds, but this is an immature with 
no need travel and  compete with breeding adults. Maybe it will spend the 
summer here. I feel like this bird is becoming familiar. It is banded, and I 
have seen it several times before. On its left leg is a black plastic band with 
white writing: 4JF. I first noticed it in the winter of last year, and when I 
reported it I learned that it was banded before it was old enough to fly in 
July of 2019 on Appledore Island off the coast of Maine. If you have had the 
good fortune to go to Cornell programs at the Shoals Marine Lab there in Spring 
or Summer you will doubtless recall certain parts of the island where you 
needed to protect yourself from being pecked or shat upon by nesting Herring 
Gulls or Great Black-backed Gulls. That’s where this bird is from. Maybe 
someday it will return there to breed. If you scope this gull well enough to 
read the band, you too can help keep track of it by going to this website: 

reportband.gov

I think this bird flew past my house yesterday, but I haven’t yet been able to 
see the band on the bird in flight. 

There was a second banded Great Black-backed Gull with this bird when I first 
saw it last year, but I haven’t seen that bird since.

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] BROWN THRASHER

2021-04-05 Thread Dave Nutter
Ken, 
Yours may be the first migrant Brown Thrasher this year in the Basin, but two 
were found overwintering in February. The first was on Ferguson Road west of 
Dryden, showing up at a feeder when a big snowstorm hit, then staying for over 
a month. The second was noted by Jay McGowan on NYS-89 in Covert.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Apr 5, 2021, at 11:15 AM, Ken Haas  wrote:
> 
> This morning I had a Brown Thrasher in my yard foraging in the leaf litter 
> and along the back edge of the lawn. Ebird listed it as rare so I though I 
> better get  some pictures. Link below.
> 
> I guess this might be an FOY for the basin. Sure is for my property. 
> 
> 
> 
> Ken Haas
> Mecklenberg
> 
> 
> https://ebird.org/checklist/S84842924
> --
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[cayugabirds-l] First Pine Warbler & Barn Swallow

2021-03-30 Thread Dave Nutter
The Pine Warbler which Barbara Chase reported at her feeder yesterday appears 
to be the first record for 2021 in the Cayuga Lake Basin. 

Also, I got a call late this morning from Reuben Stoltzfus at the Montezuma NWR 
Visitor Center where had just heard then seen a Barn Swallow coming from the 
direction of the Main Pool. This also appears to be a first 2021 Basin record.

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Ithaca Osprey

2021-03-27 Thread Dave Nutter
14:47pm: I had a second sighting of a northbound Osprey over the Flood Control 
Channel past my place. The first bird went straight and steady about treetop 
level, but this time the bird was lower and more erratic, and it gave 4 loud 
chirps just before it came into view. Behaviorally it seemed different, but I 
suppose it could be the same bird passing by again but for some reason more 
excited. I was, too.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 27, 2021, at 1:26 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> 12:05pm: I just saw my First-Of-Year Osprey flying slowly north past my house 
> while it stared down at the Flood Control Channel, clearly ready to take a 
> meal while traveling, whether the trip was local or long-distance. 
> 

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[cayugabirds-l] Ithaca Osprey

2021-03-27 Thread Dave Nutter
12:05pm: I just saw my First-Of-Year Osprey flying slowly north past my house 
while it stared down at the Flood Control Channel, clearly ready to take a meal 
while traveling, whether the trip was local or long-distance. 

This is not the first 2021 record for the Basin, just my personal thrill. But 
I’d like to take the occasion to explain some stuff. 

I also see Bald Eagles regularly, and I know their immatures can have some 
confusing plumages. I could tell this was an Osprey by plumage because it had a 
clean white underside of the body (Bald Eagles with white bellies generally 
also have murky gray markings below, especially on the breast). This bird had a 
dark brown mask which was well-defined & distinct from the clean white lower 
part of the head (Bald Eagles with a dark mask have murky edges to the mask, 
with the mask not as pure dark brown and the rest of the head not as pure 
white, something which may not be easy to tell at a glance or at a great 
distance). I could also distinguish this Osprey by shape: This bird had longer 
narrower wings than a Bald Eagle, which also made the few “fingers” of the 
outer primaries more prominent. This bird when seen from behind showed the 
distinct angled wing shape of the wrists being the high points of a long 
shallow M. 

Other distinguishing features of Osprey v immature Bald Eagle which I did not 
observe today would include: the evenly barred tail of the Osprey; the 
large-scale checkerboard pattern of lighter and darker areas below each of the 
Osprey’s wings with dark secondaries, wrists, and wingtips contrasting with 
pale base of primaries and white inner wing linings (Bald Eagle immatures tend 
to have most white throughout the wing linings and more scattered on the flight 
feathers); the M shape of the wings seen from below with the wrists held 
forward; a very slim shape when perched (Bald Eagles are hulks); and a very 
small hooked bill (Bald Eagles have a huge bill).

Bald Eagles in winter regularly get mistaken for Ospreys, so when I asked for 
distinguishing features for out-of-season or early reports, the above field 
marks would be examples. They are not hard to see or describe, but they do 
require a bit of knowledge and discipline in observation and communication. I 
think it’s okay to point to a picture in a field guide if you can point to the 
particular features in the picture which you noticed. Like any rare bird 
report, a description of the observed features of the bird which support the ID 
should be included. I think that knowing what you have seen does a much better 
job of letting other people know what you have seen if you can say what it is 
that you saw that enabled you to know what it was. By the same token, a 
description (even a partial description) or a photo (even an unappealing photo) 
can help ID a bird whether or not the photographer knew the ID. So I encourage 
everyone to savor views of birds, and take in details of plumage, shape, and 
behavior. For me, this helps every observation to enrich my knowledge of each 
species as well as helping with IDs. Thanks for bearing with me. 

Happy Spring! Another Osprey is back! 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Merlin reports

2021-03-26 Thread Dave Nutter
Yesterday evening (Thursday 25 March) I heard (several times) and saw (once) a 
Merlin calling and flying near my yard. It may have been in one or more of 
several mature conifers near the very bottom of Cliff Street in Ithaca. When I 
finally saw it, it was flying in a big clockwise arc around those trees then 
straightened and flew NW climbing over Hector Street. My guess is it was 
talking to an unseen partner about potential nest sites. I don’t know what the 
selection is of old or new crow nests in those trees. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 25, 2021, at 11:19 PM, anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:
> 
> Interesting. They have more 2020 crow nests to rent in the Birchwood area 
> than near that sycamore. But it will be interesting to see if one pair is 
> searching the whole area. The nest used last year was either a recently 
> depredated American crow nest or a takeover, the reason for the crow nest 
> failure. 
> Anne 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
>> On Mar 25, 2021, at 6:41 PM, Kenneth V. Rosenberg  wrote:
>> 
>>  Hi John
>> 
>> At least one Merlin has returned to the Northeast Ithaca  neighborhood. I 
>> say “at least” one because there is a male perching regularly on the large 
>> sycamore at the north end of Muriel St. (and calling in that area) and one 
>> seen regularly (by Brad) flying around and calling on Birchwood Dr.  I live 
>> about halfway between these areas on Tareyton and also see/hear one 
>> regularly flying over— so we don’t know if this represents 1 or 2 birds. 
>> 
>> Interestingly there was a pair of Merlins (one noticeably larger) perched 
>> and calling in the Muriel sycamore on a warm day in February— so they may 
>> have been winteri g locally. 
>> 
>> KEN
>> 
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> 
>>> On Mar 25, 2021, at 6:18 PM, Karen  wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I love Merlins and Merlin reports and people who send in Merlin reports. I 
>>> check them all out. . Thanks to such reports, I have observed an increasing 
>>> number of incubated nests in Tompkins County as follows: 2 (2014), 6 
>>> (2015), 6 (2016), 5 (2017), 3 (2018), 6 (2019), 9 (2020).  These include 
>>> pairs in Trumansburg, Lansing, Dryden, Freeville, Etna, and Ithaca (plus 
>>> hints of a pair in Groton). Local observers provided guidance to almost all 
>>> of these. I have written one paper on this, and am trying to write a more 
>>> complete paper including habitat choice. Interestingly, all nests have been 
>>> in urban/suburban areas. None in forests nor edge of forest nor edge of 
>>> lake.
>>> 
>>> Merlins start egg-laying in early May. Observations in late March are 
>>> helpful by providing a hint about where they may finally nest. For 
>>> instance, the pair observed by so many at Myer's Pint never nested there. 
>>> Weeks after being seen at Myer's Point, there was a pair about 800 m east 
>>> closer to the Catholic church.
>>> 
>>> I would love to have individuals provide me with their observations at 
>>> confergoldw...@aol.com
>>> 
>>> Thanks, 
>>> 
>>> John
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Merlin

2021-03-23 Thread Dave Nutter
On Inlet Island there’s a tall flat-topped metal pole for electric wires.  I 
have seen at least ten different species of birds choose to perch on top of 
that pole. Twice in the past few days I have seen a Merlin there. The more 
recent time the Merlin appeared to be urged off by a Rock Pigeon, perhaps (the) 
one who likes to display there. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 23, 2021, at 6:00 PM, Carol Cedarholm  wrote:
> 
> Just had a Merlin in my black walnut tonight in downtown Ithaca. Anybody else 
> seeing them?
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Bad news for Osprey along 5 & 20

2021-03-23 Thread Dave Nutter
It’s still early for Ospreys to come back. I think the questions are what the 
birds will do when they return, and whether people will continue to knock down 
nests if Ospreys choose to build other than on discs.

Ospreys and we who love them have been incredibly fortunate that NYSEG’s policy 
changed a number of years ago from tearing down Osprey nests to boosting the 
nests away from wires on platforms. I think this change was a major reason 
their population has increased in our area. I think it was largely the work of 
their forester, Paul Paradine (sp?). Platforms of the same design have also 
been placed on poles that don’t have wires. Other institutions and tower owners 
are not so enlightened. Maybe those folks could use a letter or call to wake 
them up. 

As for the discs, where NYS-90 crosses over the Clyde River you could see where 
Ospreys made their choice. They shunned the disc, but nested nearby. I’m not 
optimistic, but my pessimism has been proven wrong before (The martin box at 
Stewart Park for instance, has succeeded where I thought it would not). We 
shall see.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 23, 2021, at 3:46 PM, Marty Schlabach  wrote:
> 
> This afternoon we drove by the cell phone tower in the hamlet of Covert, on 
> Rt 96 just north of Trumansburg, that Alicia mentioned. We too had noticed 
> several weeks ago that last year’s nest was gone.  Today there is  still no 
> sign of an osprey.
>  
> Marty
>  
> From: bounce-125487631-3494...@list.cornell.edu 
>  On Behalf Of Alicia Plotkin
> Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 3:29 PM
> To: John Gregoire ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> 
> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Bad news for Osprey along 5 & 20
>  
> The osprey nest on the cell phone tower just north of Trumansburg went 
> missing at the end of last winter, was rebuilt and used successfully again 
> last spring/summer, and went missing again about a month ago, I assume torn 
> down but didn't see it being done.
> 
> 
> On 3/23/2021 3:07 PM, John Gregoire wrote:
> The sole Osprey nest in Schuyler was atop the microwave comm tower behind the 
> Tops Market. It had been there for 5 years with great success. Someone tore 
> it down in the last few days.
>  
> On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 1:07 PM Ann Mitchell  wrote:
> The nests are being torn down and replaced with the discs.  No sign of Osprey.
> 
> Ann
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
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[cayugabirds-l] local bird photo worth seeing, IMO

2021-03-14 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi all, 

I’d like to tell you about a photo that I think is subtly wonderful. It’s of 
the male Eurasian Wigeon which showed up at Stewart Park around mid-day Friday 
and was present at least through mid-day Sunday, quite a show for a rarity, and 
seen by many. The place is famous for birds, with shallow lake water which 
ducks favor, and a north view so they are lit well, although not so sunny at 
the recorded moment. The work is by photographer Barbara Clise, and it is the 
picture on the right in her eBird report found here: 

 https://ebird.org/checklist/S83399339

Please have a look at that photo, tap on it to see it full-screen, and 
appreciate it for yourself before being distracted by my comments about it 
below.

- - Dave Nutter

 - - - -

This photo by Barbara Clise of a male Eurasian Wigeon in breeding plumage is, 
to me, gorgeous, the one where it is not quite in profile, swimming, and turned 
slightly toward us...

... the low angle; we are at the level of the bird in the cold lake ...

 ... the waves in the background, the line across the bottom of that 
rough water passing through the Wigeon’s eye ... 

... the foreground of calmer water ending at another line connecting 
the Wigeon’s chin and the tip of its bill ... 

... the snow flakes falling ...

... with its head and eye centered, the Wigeon moves forward within our 
view ... 

... its body is balanced by a pair of anonymous Mallards, the female’s 
white-edged tail pointing to the Wigeon’s eye, while the pattern of gray, 
black, and white on the male Mallard balances and points to the Wigeon’s head 
... 

... even the black of the Wigeon’s bill tip and its rear end have 
similar background markings to balance and highlight them, yet draw the eye 
toward the subject ... 
 
... the hues of the drake Eurasian Wigeon, the soft gray of the back 
and sides - so similar to the waters - transitioning to his pink breast, then a 
crescendo of color in the cinnamon head, the creamy white forecrown, and the 
pale blue bill, which is somehow the same color as the band of water behind it 
...

... and always the eye gazing at us. 




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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Goose migration this morning

2021-03-09 Thread Dave Nutter
Since 12:40pm I’ve been seeing some flocks of all Snow Geese.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 9, 2021, at 12:01 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> At noon I’m finally seeing Snow Geese in mixed flocks northbound over Ithaca. 
> 
> - - Dave Nutter
> 
>> On Mar 9, 2021, at 8:51 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
>> 
>> Several strings & Vs of northbound Canadas, but no Snows seen from my place 
>> yet. 
>> 
>> - - Dave Nutter

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Goose migration this morning

2021-03-09 Thread Dave Nutter
At noon I’m finally seeing Snow Geese in mixed flocks northbound over Ithaca. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 9, 2021, at 8:51 AM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> Several strings & Vs of northbound Canadas, but no Snows seen from my place 
> yet. 
> 
> - - Dave Nutter

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[cayugabirds-l] Goose migration this morning

2021-03-09 Thread Dave Nutter
Several strings & Vs of northbound Canadas, but no Snows seen from my place 
yet. 

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Redwings

2021-03-04 Thread Dave Nutter
I think Joe was teasing about using the term “Redwing,” which many Americans 
use as shorthand for “Red-winged Blackbird,” because Redwing is actually the 
proper name for a European thrush, Turdus iliacus, which bears some resemblance 
to an immature American Robin. The true Redwing is an extremely rare winter 
visitor to the northeastern US, so rare that eBird lists only a single record 
in NYS, from 1959 at Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge. However, the real 
die-hard rarity chasers have already seen a Redwing this winter in Portland, 
Maine, where eBird lists 347 sightings of the bird, so it would probably only 
be birders who want it for their NYS list racing to your feeders, not from the 
whole country. You can relax.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Mar 4, 2021, at 8:53 PM, Marty Schlabach  wrote:
> 
> We had four male redwings show up at our feeders in Interlaken today.
> --Marty
>  
> From: bounce-125437516-3494...@list.cornell.edu 
>  On Behalf Of Peter Saracino
> Sent: Thursday, March 4, 2021 8:51 PM
> To: Joe DeVito 
> Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> 
> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Redwings
>  
> With all due respect Joe, I think not. I anticipate the usual late winter 
> invasion any day now - for ALL to see.
> Be well.
> Pete Sar
>  
>  
>  
> On Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 7:33 PM Joe DeVito  wrote:
> Red winged blackbirds? If you have red wings at your feeder, every birder in 
> the country will be there tomorrow  
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> 
> On Mar 4, 2021, at 10:45 AM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
> 
> 
> Flock of redwings just showed at my feeders!
> Pete Sar
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Osprey

2021-03-01 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi Diana, 

Osprey would be new for the Cayuga Lake Basin 2021 list. This is early though. 
It’s so early that there is only one eBird record ever for Osprey in February 
in NYS north of Long Island, and that was several years ago south of Kingston 
in Ulster County. This year the northernmost eBird report of Osprey in the past 
month was on the 27th in Maryland. 

It’s certainly possible. Birds fly. There have been plenty of south winds 
lately. Ospreys nest along 5&20 by the refuge. I am as interested as anyone in 
finding out if birds are migrating sooner, and Ospreys have surprised me with 
early returns to Myers in the recent past. 

But a report of Osprey even at the very end of February suggests some care be 
taken, particularly since there are plenty of immature Bald Eagles around, and 
in some plumages they share some of the color pattern of Ospreys. Bald Eagles 
also nest earlier than Ospreys and have even been known to take over Osprey 
nests before the Ospreys return, so Bald Eagles or Red-tailed Hawks or other 
raptors might be near those nests. 

So, I’m wondering if you would mind asking your sister what about the bird said 
“Osprey” to her instead of some other large raptor - shape, behavior, pattern, 
etc. Thanks so much. And thanks for your photos and reports. It’s a joy to hear 
what is happening all around us. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Feb 28, 2021, at 8:53 PM, Whitings  wrote:
> 
> Hi All,
> My sister saw an osprey flying on Rt. 20 near the entrance to the refuge 
> yesterday. Also, a Sandhill crane was seen at Mercer Park in B’ville. Spring 
> is in the air!
> 
> Diana Whiting
> 
> dianawhitingphotography.com
> 
> 
> 
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[cayugabirds-l] possible Vega Gull at SW corner of Cayuga Lake yesterday

2021-03-01 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi All, 

Yesterday (28 Feb) I went to Allan H Treman State Park to check on the progress 
of migration (big news: the Northern Pintails - at least 10 - from the day 
before had all departed, and the Lesser Scaups were the #2 Aythya species in 
the raft, Canvasback numbers being a tenth of what they had been). 

At about 12:25 I noticed a gull standing on the ice in the very corner of the 
lake, a gull which I thought might be a juvenile Glaucous Gull because it 
looked very pale, and it had a long pink bill with a small black tip. It had to 
be bigger than a Herring Gull which was in the foreground, although given the 
variation in size among Herring Gulls, and that their distance away from each 
other was small compared to their distance to me, their difference in size may 
not have been significant. I took a photo of it through my scope then continued 
viewing it while I waited for a view of its wingtips. When the birds shifted I 
was disappointed to see its wingtips were not white but light brown, darker 
than the body generally, which I figured ruled out Glaucous Gull. I also 
noticed that the darkest and most distinct feature of its plumage was on the 
row of overlapping feathers on the folded wing which would be the upper inner 
trailing edge of the wing. Each of these feathers had a long oval of light 
brown surrounded by white along the length of the feather, and their effect 
should produce a relatively dark bar next to the trailing edge of the inner 
wing. I figured this must be an example of the tremendous variation in Herring 
Gulls - I’ve seen some immatures which are extremely faded in Summer - and I 
didn’t pay more attention at the time. But late last night as I was writing up 
details of my list for eBird, I got to wondering if this might be a Glaucous 
hybrid. I double-checked my Sibley for the Glaucous-like bill on Herring Gulls, 
and a picture jumped out at me. The first summer Vega (Siberian) Herring Gull 
most resembled my bird, although the bird I saw was even faded compared to that 
Sibley plate. I have no experience with Vega Gull, but I’m putting it out there 
as a possibility, for gull experts to consider. I’m hoping someone has seen 
this bird or will see it, or can form an opinion from my photo & notes. I never 
saw the bird’s tail, nor did I see it with spread wings, nor did I see it 
directly next to another gull, so I apologize for the limited information. 

Reference to my updated eBird list is below, which also shows up in the 
Tompkins County rare birds list with less detailed notes.

Meanwhile I saw again a banded immature Great Black-backed Gull with a black 
plastic band on its left leg with white lettering saying “4JF”. This bird was 
hatched on Appledore Island, home of the Shoals Marine Lab, off the coast of 
the Maine - New Hampshire border, and this is the second winter I have seen it 
in Ithaca. Another observer this winter had remarked on how small this bird 
looked and unlike a Great Black-backed. My photos show that while it may be 
smaller than another Great Black-backed Gull, it is larger than a couple of 
Herring Gulls, and it is much larger than a Ring-billed Gull. 


- - Dave Nutter


> From: ebird-checkl...@cornell.edu
> Date: March 1, 2021 at 11:00:05 AM EST
> To: nutter.d...@mac.com
> Subject: eBird Report - NY:TOM:Ithaca: home to Cayuga L: Cass Pk - AHTreman 
> SMP, Feb 28, 2021
> 
> NY:TOM:Ithaca: home to Cayuga L: Cass Pk - AHTreman SMP, Tompkins, New York, 
> US
> Feb 28, 2021 9:57 AM - 2:20 PM
> Protocol: Traveling
> 3.0 mile(s)
> Checklist Comments: Walked N on CWT W, BDT, driveway, NYS-89; E on AHTSMP 
> entrance road; N on walkway to Hangar; N, E, N, & E on Hangar parking lots, 
> sidewalk, & driveway; N on maintenance building driveway, paved trail, 
> trampled snow shortcut, & snow/ ice covered gravel path; CW around N Field; S 
> on ice-covered paved path through & snow-covered grass path E/ N Woods; SW on 
> trampled snow path across grass field; S on mostly ice-covered paved path; W 
> along cleared S edge of marina; CW on cleared lane in boat ramp parking lot; 
> S on CWT E; W across NYS-89 & Turtle Ln S; S on spur & CWT W home. Totally 
> cloudy, low 40sF, light but increasing S breeze/ wind, liquid FCC except near 
> marina & bay by college boathouses; Williams Glen Estuary has cut a stream 
> through the ice in the SW corner of lake; Treman lakeshore generally 
> ice-free; considerable but deteriorating ice shelf off Stewart Park (Fall 
> Creek not seen but presumed eroded through ice). Lake calm, low shimmer.
> 39 species (+3 other taxa)
> 
> Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  80 ~30 grazing on limited snow-free 
> part of Union Field; 6 & 10 flying seen from BDT. 3 flying over AHTSMP 
> marina. Very few & uncounted on lake (sorry, eBird). ~30 flying near golf 
> course (doubtless more grazing t

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Large Crow flight

2021-02-22 Thread Dave Nutter
About that time, I was walking toward the lakeshore at Treman to survey the 
waterfowl in the SW part of the lake. As I passed between the frozen marina and 
the woods of the Hog Hole swamp, I saw an estimated 450 crows commuting east 
overhead. It sounded like there were more on the way but not yet visible. The 
light was starting to dim, and I chose to look at the birds on the lake, so 
it’s possible that hundreds more crows commuted behind my back. There were 
hundreds of ducks of at least a dozen species stretching north into the 
distance, nothing new, but lots of fun if you don’t stress about numbers. 
(Clarification: hundreds of Redheads, Canvasbacks and Common Mergansers, and 
much smaller numbers of the other 9 species I saw). I didn’t count the geese on 
the lake, mostly along the west shore, but did note that about 80 Canada Geese 
flew low both north and south from the middle of Allan Treman State Marine Park 
just south of the knoll. My guess is that they had been trying to graze where 
the land was windswept, but it looked like tough going. An immature Iceland 
Gull continues in the SW corner of the lake. Lots of Great Black-backs 
dominating the ice-covered Red Lighthouse Breakwater. Many of the Herring Gulls 
are now in sleek breeding plumage. No Ring-billeds that I saw. 4 Double-crested 
Cormorants rested atop the piling cluster. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Feb 22, 2021, at 5:39 PM, Elaina M. McCartney 
>  wrote:
> 
> Approximately 5:20 pm today I noticed a steady flight of Crows from my 
> vantage just north of Hog Hole, heading approximately toward Cayuga 
> Heights/Cornell Campus, moving in the approximately the opposite direction of 
> the large morning flight of 2/17.  I don’t know the extent of today’s flight, 
> I assume it had been going on for a while before I looked up and 
> noticed—pretty gray out there. I don’t have complete numbers, but did a quick 
> count of maybe 100+ birds in less than a minute.  Looked like an evening 
> “return” flight.
> Elaina
>  
> From:  on behalf of Elaina 
> McCartney 
> Reply-To: Elaina McCartney 
> Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 9:27 AM
> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Large Crow flight
>  
> Shortly before sunrise this morning I noticed out the window a stream 
> (actually a river) of Crows flying north following the west shore of Cayuga 
> Lake.  To attempt to count them I recorded a 20 sec video, and was able to 
> count 270 by examining it slowly.  The steady flight, which seemed to 
> originate somewhere southish of Hog Hole, lasted at least 15 minutes at a 
> rate of approximately 800 per minute.  I don’t know how long it had been 
> going on when I first noticed it, but there were upwards of 12,000 
> individuals while I watched them pass at a steady rate.  Some stragglers in 
> groups of 8-10 followed up until about 7 am.
>  
> During the GBBC I observed three immature Bald Eagles simultaneously from my 
> window, making passes over a large raft of aythya and Canada Geese, just 
> north of Hog Hole.  It was the first time I’d seen more than two at a time.  
> Yesterday I observed a mature Bald Eagle land in a nearby tree during a brief 
> snow flurry.  Last fall a neighbor had limbs removed from a large, dying red 
> oak tree for safety, and constructed an osprey platform on what’s left of the 
> tree.  Hoping there will be some nesting interest.
>  
> Elaina
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] 50 Robins

2021-02-15 Thread Dave Nutter
My first 2021 American Robin was on the Count on New Year’s Day, a single bird 
in the suburban neighborhood above my home on Ithaca’s West Hill. It was over a 
month before I saw another Robin: On February 6th, around the time that other 
folks began writing on CayugaBirds-L about flocks of them, I happened to be 
staring out a window with my scope aimed toward the Collegetown skyline when a 
few distant passerines crossed my view. They were substantial and dark but 
didn’t have fast and regular wingbeats of Starlings. Fortunately, they were 
tracking toward me, and I stayed on one until it surprised me with a telltale 
white lower belly and undertail coverts contrasting with brick red elsewhere 
below. Closer, and the fuller wings and longer tail supported the ID as well. 
How novel to see a Robin shape! Scanning nearby, I confirmed 4 of them before 
they went out of view. Neat, but a bit weak as a contribution to discussions of 
flocks. Sorry.

Yesterday, while trying to write, I kept being distracted by individual birds 
flying past the window, too far away for an easy naked-eye ID, but too fast for 
me to get binoculars on them. Eventually I gave up and went to the window as 
they became more organized. They were Robins, and at least 40 of them went past 
toward the bit of woods nearby, but they didn’t seem to be feeding. 

Today we were expecting a delivery, so I set up closer to the window. I didn’t 
get much of my writing project done. The Robins came back. Many settled into a 
Hawthorn tree whose numerous fruits I had assumed nobody liked. But they were 
tasty enough today. Another little tree that I hadn’t thought much about also 
had fruit, and the Robins covered that tree, too, and brought a few Cedar 
Waxwings along. Birds were busy emerging from the woods, eating, and resting in 
nearby trees. I tried to count them and got to at least 60 Robins. A few other 
birds tagged along - a Starling, a male and a female Red-bellied Woodpecker, a 
male Hairy, and also a gorgeous Flicker. I showed Laurie, who declared the 
array well worth looking at. She’s getting a bit tired of the small 
dull-colored birds. 

Then a Red-tailed Hawk, who had spent the morning next door quietly sitting 
atop a large tree, tried to join the party. Awkward! That so-called raptor was 
really bad at hunting songbirds in the woods, and after a few short flights and 
asymmetrical landings, it gave up and left. I hope it finds a nice, fat, slow 
squirrel crossing the snow. Within a minute the birds were back at the berries. 
A dozen Robins were thirsty enough that they came down to the pavement to sip 
at wet spots. I kept scanning through all the birds, hoping for a Hermit 
Thrush. No luck there, but I did notice something atop a tree about a quarter 
mile away: a young Cooper’s Hawk who has graced my yard many times this season 
without catching anything that I saw. How could it not notice the activity 
here? When my attention wandered I suddenly saw several Robins start a rush 
straight for the woods. Yup, the Cooper’s Hawk came ripping past, but veering 
off, again unlucky, I think. 
Still, everyone took this predator seriously, and the feeding session seemed to 
be over. A little while later I noticed Robins leaving the woods to fly away 
over downtown. There were 2 groups totaling about 75. The maximum number of 
Cedar Waxwings I saw at once was only 5. There is still some fruit, so I hope 
they come back. 

I still need to go out and try to ID that mystery tree. And get back to the 
other writing project. 

- - Dave Nutter


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[cayugabirds-l] RFI Historical Ithaca Lark Sparrow report

2021-02-14 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi all, 

I just noticed that last year an historical report of a LARK SPARROW in Ithaca 
was added to eBird, referencing the 1979 New York State Avian Records Committee 
(NYSARC )Annual Report, published in the Kingbird Volume 30, Number 4. Looking 
at that online, as far as I can tell, all it says is that there was a singing 
adult on 5 September 1979 in Ithaca, and that it was “about the 8th” record in 
NYS. Does anyone know (or know how to find out) more specifically where it was 
or who observed it? Thanks!

- - Dave Nutter
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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Goldfinches molting in mid-January?

2021-01-15 Thread Dave Nutter
On a recommendation I looked at Macaulay’s winter photos and saw plenty of 
variety but no sense of whether the sample is biased for or against molting 
birds. Then I recalled I own a reference, a bander’s ID guide. For American 
Goldfinch it says: “Continuous, limited molting occurs throughout the winter.”  
Wild. Learn something new... Still, is this generally known among feeder 
watchers? So much to learn.

It’s fun being able to recognize individual birds. Spock was back today.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 15, 2021, at 2:21 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:
> 
> For the last 10 months I have sharply curtailed my travel, both on account of 
> the pandemic and to eliminate my birding carbon footprint. Meanwhile I have 
> been paying closer attention to feeder birds than ever before. Maybe other 
> folks who have longer experience carefully noting who comes to their feeders 
> can answer me this: 
> 
> Is it unusual to have male American Goldfinches already beginning to molt 
> into breeding plumage in the middle of January? Yesterday I noticed at least 
> 2 with black speckles appearing on their foreheads, and one of those even has 
> a single bright yellow arched eyebrow, like a tiny quizzical Mr. Spock. I 
> noticed these birds at a time when I also had a new maximum number of 
> American Goldfinches, so I guess it’s possible that it’s these individual 
> birds’ presence rather than their plumage that has changed. So, my 
> alternative question is: Have other feeder watchers seen male American 
> Goldfinches retaining black speckles on the forehead or asymmetrical bright 
> yellow patches beyond the typical autumn molt time and into the winter?
> 
> Thanks.
> 
> - - Dave Nutter

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[cayugabirds-l] Goldfinches molting in mid-January?

2021-01-15 Thread Dave Nutter
For the last 10 months I have sharply curtailed my travel, both on account of 
the pandemic and to eliminate my birding carbon footprint. Meanwhile I have 
been paying closer attention to feeder birds than ever before. Maybe other 
folks who have longer experience carefully noting who comes to their feeders 
can answer me this: 

Is it unusual to have male American Goldfinches already beginning to molt into 
breeding plumage in the middle of January? Yesterday I noticed at least 2 with 
black speckles appearing on their foreheads, and one of those even has a single 
bright yellow arched eyebrow, like a tiny quizzical Mr. Spock. I noticed these 
birds at a time when I also had a new maximum number of American Goldfinches, 
so I guess it’s possible that it’s these individual birds’ presence rather than 
their plumage that has changed. So, my alternative question is: Have other 
feeder watchers seen male American Goldfinches retaining black speckles on the 
forehead or asymmetrical bright yellow patches beyond the typical autumn molt 
time and into the winter?

Thanks.

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] What to make of 1000 Swans

2021-01-13 Thread Dave Nutter
Suppose all the swans of a typical winter were for some reason concentrated on 
the Main Pool instead of on flooded mucklands along the Clyde & Seneca rivers 
(Armitage, NYS-31 to Carncross Rd) and on Cayuga Lake from Mud Lock to the RR 
bridge plus farther south along the shores of Cayuga Lake to Union Springs and 
Red Jacket, I wonder if that would total 1000 Tundra Swans. 

What is the ice situation on the lake and the refuge? What’s the flooding 
situation in the mucklands? Did the earlier waterfowl shooting season affect 
where the swans concentrate?

I’d like to hear what the DEC Cayuga Lake waterfowl count shows, and I hope the 
refuge gets counted at the same time. I wonder what their typical Tundra Swan 
count is.  

Also I wonder what the number of Trumpeter Swans and Mute Swans is, although I 
know that’s harder to count if they are sleeping. 

I wonder if the attractiveness of Montezuma this year for swans is in any way 
related to the attractiveness for cranes - weather patterns for nesting 
success, bringing them here during migration, mild weather other than that one 
big snow storm keeping them here?

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 12, 2021, at 7:10 PM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
> 
> Today we conducted a brief survey at the Montezuma Refuge (Wildlife Drive 
> only) while also looking for the locations of some possible new eagle nests. 
> In addition to a good number of ducks (mostly mallards, blacks, ring necks, a 
> few geese and one redhead), we encounterd over 1000 swans - mostly tundra 
> with some trumpeters as well. Most were simply sitting on the ice and many 
> appeared to be sleeping. A number of young were among the larger group. So 
> I'm wondering if their presence in mid-January is simply a testament to the 
> mild winter we've had thus far?  Will more severe weather send them packing? 
> Have they given up the thought of Migration this year?
> Thoughts, opinions, musings all appreciated.
> Thank you.
> Pete Sar
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[cayugabirds-l] 2021 Basin First Records list is up

2021-01-12 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi All,

The 2021 Cayuga Basin First Records list is now on the Cayuga Bird Club website 
for viewing:
> http://www.cayugabirdclub.org/Resources/cayuga-lake-basin-first-records
It’s easier to read with fully spelt-out Common Names. In addition to the list 
in chronological order there’s also a complete checklist in taxonomic order to 
see which species have or haven’t yet been found. Alongside that checklist are 
notes about what years rare species have been found in the Basin or if they 
have yet to be found here at all, what years they have been found in nearby 
counties. This feature also can show some trends, such as when Sandhill Cranes, 
Black Vultures, Fish Crows, or Common Ravens first started to show up in the 
Basin.

Again, please let me know of possible errors or additions. Thanks.

- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Future of Lott Farm & Basin Upland Sandpipers?

2021-01-10 Thread Dave Nutter
I don’t think I am the best person to organize or make contact. I think there 
are people who can speak well about conservation and agriculture and programs 
as well as what birders or bird clubs or other organizations might offer. 

What I think would be good to cover would include: 
* How very grateful we are that the Lotts have for years managed the land in a 
way that let grassland birds, particularly Upland Sandpipers breed there, the 
only remaining place in our area.
* How very grateful we are that the Lotts have allowed birders onto their 
property to see and hear and observe the many kinds of birds including the 
Upland Sandpipers, but also Snowy Owls, Horned Larks, Eastern Meadowlarks, 
Bobolinks, Savannah Sparrows, and even sometimes Grasshopper Sparrows, American 
Kestrels...
* If there is any way we can help the Lotts to continue to keep grassland 
habitat and the birds that use it, despite the loss of the Empire State Farm 
Days, we would like to try. 

The land is theirs and I assume that, unless they already have some 
conservation easement or funding, they could dig it up tomorrow and we must 
respect that. It’s literally their business, not ours, and even asking about 
their plans, let alone trying to influence them, might be offensive, so I’m not 
sure how to even broach the subject, but I feel there are people among us who 
could do this well.

I don’t know what we can offer financially, either as organizations or as 
individuals, such as a small entrance fee or membership, but I think birders 
should consider this.

Of course what also would have to happen is an assessment of what the shared 
sentiments of birders are. Maybe I’m making assumptions that are not valid.

Thank you, everyone who has contributed to this.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 10, 2021, at 8:52 PM, Suan Hsi Yong  wrote:
> 
> As Cayuga Bird Club president, I'll bring this up for discussion at
> our next executive committee meeting. It sounds like engaging with the
> Lotts might be a good first step. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to play
> an active role in pursuing this further, perhaps with the backing of
> the bird club, let me know.
> 
> Suan
> 
> 
>> On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 7:38 AM Robert Horn  wrote:
>> 
>> I agree that contacting the Finger Lakes Land Trust could be beneficial. 
>> They certainly are experts in land conservation. Bob Horn
>> 
>> On Jan 10, 2021, at 6:26 AM, John Gregoire  
>> wrote:
>> 
>> Dave,
>> The state has a strong farmland trust which greatly benefit the owner in 
>> cash which is in exchange for keeping it farmland. I have no further detail/
>> John
>> 
>>> On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 8:17 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>> 
>>> As many of you know, the private Lott Farm, located on the NE corner of 
>>> NYS-414 and Martin Rd on the south border of the Town of Seneca Falls, has 
>>> long been the site for the August farm equipment fair called Empire Farm 
>>> Days. Therefore it has fortuitously been managed as an extensive grassland. 
>>> It is the only remaining breeding site in the Cayuga Lake Basin for Upland 
>>> Sandpipers (They bred between Wood Rd & Caswell Rd in Dryden years ago, 
>>> before a few houses went in there.) as well as a great place for many other 
>>> breeding grassland birds, the occasional rare Dickcissel, plus fairly 
>>> regular Snowy Owls in winter. Furthermore, the owner has been gracious in 
>>> granting access, without charging any fee, to birders who simply request 
>>> permission, describe their vehicle, and agree to remain on the gravel roads.
>>> 
>>> In talking to Reuben Stoltzfus this evening I learned that we cannot take 
>>> for granted the situation which had simply been the result of good luck and 
>>> generosity. This past year, the Empire State Farm Days event did not take 
>>> place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But also the event is now under new 
>>> management who have chosen a different site for the future. This means that 
>>> whatever profit and benefit which the Lott Farm gained from that event is 
>>> gone. And they never got any benefit except good will from us birders.
>>> 
>>> While Reuben has not talked to the farm owner and did not know of any plans 
>>> for this land which had been managed as grassland, I think it’s safe to 
>>> assume that there is a strong incentive for the owner to find some use 
>>> which will pay the taxes or turn a profit, and that grassland bird habitat 
>>> may not be in the picture unless action is taken quickly to encourage 
>>> future management to allow these birds to continue, before decisions are 
>>> made  - if they have not been finalized 

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Dryden Conservation Board Resolution Recommending Preservation of Dryden Lake Dam

2021-01-09 Thread Dave Nutter
Is this DRAFT resolution the thing which we need to write to the board about 
our support right away, or has it already been passed, such that we can relax 
or take some next step?

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 9, 2021, at 5:28 PM, Mary Ann Lutz  wrote:
> 
> I would be able to donate to a fund for preservation of the lake.
> 
> 
> 
> From: bounce-125276679-24840...@list.cornell.edu 
>  on behalf of Poppy Singer 
> 
> Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:31 PM
> To: Regi Teasley 
> Cc: Bard Prentiss ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> ; Marie P. Read 
> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Dryden Conservation Board Resolution 
> Recommending Preservation of Dryden Lake Dam
>  
> Great letter!
> 
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 3:05 PM Regi Teasley  wrote:
> I would love to see birders, as birders, taking an active role in supporting 
> local environmental protection.
> Regi
> 
> 
> “The future of the world is nuts.”  Philip Rutter, founder of the American 
> Chestnut Foundation
> 
> 
>> On Jan 9, 2021, at 2:32 PM, Marie P. Read  wrote:
>> 
>> 
> 
>> ...or maybe I should have said “...help support financially.”
>> 
>> 
>> Get Outlook for iOS
>> From: bounce-125276647-5851...@list.cornell.edu 
>>  on behalf of Marie P. Read 
>> 
>> Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2021 2:30:01 PM
>> To: Bard Prentiss ; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
>> ; NATURAL-HISTORY-L 
>> 
>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Dryden Conservation Board Resolution 
>> Recommending Preservation of Dryden Lake Dam
>>  
>> Good news...losing Dryden Lake would be a tragedy for wildlife and humans 
>> alike. If/when the expected grumbling about finding the needed funds and how 
>> that would affect local taxes comes up, this should be a project that the 
>> local birding community could support financially?
>> 
>> Marie
>> 
>> Get Outlook for iOS
>> From: bounce-125276602-5851...@list.cornell.edu 
>>  on behalf of Bard Prentiss 
>> 
>> Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2021 1:12:35 PM
>> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L ; NATURAL-HISTORY-L 
>> 
>> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Dryden Conservation Board Resolution Recommending 
>> Preservation of Dryden Lake Dam
>>  
>>  v
>> DRAFT 12/29/2020
>> 
>> Dryden Conservation Board Resolution Recommending Preservation of Dryden 
>> Lake Dam
>> 
>> Whereas there has been a dam at Dryden Lake Dryden, NY since circa 1801; and
>> 
>> Whereas the body of water known as Dryden Lake, created by the building of 
>> the dam, has provided numerous benefits to the citizens of the Town of 
>> Dryden and surrounding areas for over two hundred years, with its benefits 
>> changing and expanding over two plus centuries; and
>> 
>> Whereas the lake originally provided power for a sawmill and ice harvesting, 
>> it created additional waterfowl and wildlife habitat that has made the lake 
>> today a birding “hot spot” with 228 species observed, providing migratory 
>> bird rest areas and nesting and foraging habitat (Canada geese, ducks, 
>> loons, herons, Bald Eagles) as well as habitat for numerous mammals, 
>> amphibians, turtles, etc; and
>> 
>> Whereas Dryden Lake and its surrounding areas provides many forms of year 
>> round recreation for town and surrounding area residents, such as fishing, 
>> ice fishing, hiking, jogging, dog walking, biking, cross country skiing, 
>> snow shoeing (on the Jim Schug trail), kayaking, canoeing, ice skating, 
>> hunting, trapping, bird watching, picnicking, etc; and
>> 
>> Whereas Dryden Lake and its surrounding natural areas are an important 
>> educational resource, being used both for formal classes in ecology and 
>> natural resources (Cornell University) and informal education of everyone 
>> from young children to lifelong education participants; and
>> 
>> Whereas the Town of Dryden currently provides a community park at the Lake 
>> under an agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental 
>> Conservation; and
>> 
>> Whereas the Dryden Lake park is a popular location for many community events 
>> with the lake being the center piece for those events; and
>> 
>> Whereas the lake has a rich historical and cultural value to the citizens of 
>> the town; and
>> 
>> Whereas the NYS DEC is considering the removal of the dam and the 
>> elimination of Dryden Lake in the form it has existed for over two hundred 
>> years; and
>> 
>> Whereas the Dryden Town Board has requested a recommendation from the 
>> Conservation Board on the future of the Dryden Lake dam and 

[cayugabirds-l] Future of Lott Farm & Basin Upland Sandpipers?

2021-01-09 Thread Dave Nutter
As many of you know, the private Lott Farm, located on the NE corner of NYS-414 
and Martin Rd on the south border of the Town of Seneca Falls, has long been 
the site for the August farm equipment fair called Empire Farm Days. Therefore 
it has fortuitously been managed as an extensive grassland. It is the only 
remaining breeding site in the Cayuga Lake Basin for Upland Sandpipers (They 
bred between Wood Rd & Caswell Rd in Dryden years ago, before a few houses went 
in there.) as well as a great place for many other breeding grassland birds, 
the occasional rare Dickcissel, plus fairly regular Snowy Owls in winter. 
Furthermore, the owner has been gracious in granting access, without charging 
any fee, to birders who simply request permission, describe their vehicle, and 
agree to remain on the gravel roads. 

In talking to Reuben Stoltzfus this evening I learned that we cannot take for 
granted the situation which had simply been the result of good luck and 
generosity. This past year, the Empire State Farm Days event did not take place 
due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But also the event is now under new management 
who have chosen a different site for the future. This means that whatever 
profit and benefit which the Lott Farm gained from that event is gone. And they 
never got any benefit except good will from us birders.  

While Reuben has not talked to the farm owner and did not know of any plans for 
this land which had been managed as grassland, I think it’s safe to assume that 
there is a strong incentive for the owner to find some use which will pay the 
taxes or turn a profit, and that grassland bird habitat may not be in the 
picture unless action is taken quickly to encourage future management to allow 
these birds to continue, before decisions are made  - if they have not been 
finalized already - for the plowing or construction season this spring. 

Is this something about which local bird clubs would want to work with the 
owner of Lott farm? Are there DEC programs which can reimburse landowners for 
maintaining such habitat? Would bird clubs want to help more directly? Would 
birders be willing to pay a small fee for the privilege of birding there or to 
become members of some organization for the pride of knowing they are helping 
some regionally rare birds survive where we can sometimes see them?  

These are just some ideas based on very limited information. I know there are 
people reading this who are far better than I am at organizing, networking, 
researching, and promoting these things. Please think about it, discuss it, and 
help ensure that come mid-April the Upland Sandpipers have a home to return to. 
Thanks.

- - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Draft 2021 Basin First Records for review

2021-01-08 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi All, 

I’ve been working on the 2021 Cayuga Basin First Records List. Below my 
signature is a draft of my notes for review. When Paul Anderson has time to 
make a new spreadsheet, I’ll fill it out, and he’ll put it on the Cayuga Bird 
Club website here:
http://www.cayugabirdclub.org/Resources/cayuga-lake-basin-first-records
where it will remain, accumulating species throughout 2021 as I learn about 
them and update it. But this initial large list is easier to edit before it’s 
put up, so please have a look, and if you see things that appear wrong or 
missing, please let me know.

Explanations:

The six-letter code for bird species, used in Bird Population Studies when I 
worked there, has this format according to the number of words in the common 
name: BUFFLEhead, GREater SCAup, Eastern Whip-Poor-WILl. To avoid ambiguity 
some words may be abbreviated differently: GRaY, GraY, graY; GReeN, GreeN, 
greeN; GReaT, GreaT, Great; BLacK, BlacK, blacK; BLUe, BlUe, blUe. Have fun 
deciphering. I find it easier than 4-letter codes.

Records are grouped first by date, so everything first found on New Year’s Day 
- currently the vast majority - is first. Species first found on subsequent 
days are all at the bottom.

Within each day, the species are in the taxonomic order used by eBird. This is 
different than the older order used by the National Audubon Society for 
Christmas Bird Counts on the spreadsheet which Paul recently shared for the 
Ithaca count.

For species which were widespread and found by multiple parties on the 
Christmas Bird Count, both the observer(s) and the locations(s) are listed as 
“Ithaca CBC”. Species which were found on the count by very few parties or in 
very few locations have the observers and locations listed.

When a new species is found multiple places on the same day, rather than sort 
out where it was found first, I try to list all the places and credit all the 
finders, because I think it’s interesting when when a bird species arrives 
overnight en masse.

My sources include eBird; the Ithaca Christmas Bird Count through Pauls’ 
spreadsheet, Area Leaders, and individual participants; and other birders who 
post to CayugaBirds-L, or text to the Cayuga Rare Bird Alert, or who contact me 
personally. 

Locations do not include personal addresses but do include road names. 
Locations also include the township to disambiguate, for instance, the many 
Lake Roads.

Birds considered must be within the Cayuga Lake Basin as mapped in a 1926 
botany book by Cornell professors Weigand and Eames. The area was adopted by 
Lab of O founder Arthur Allen as a reasonable convenient area in which to study 
a wide and representative array of birds. He also started the tradition of 
keeping an annual list of bird species found in the basin. The Basin, in its 
south half, as far north as the townships of Fayette and Scipio, is simply the 
land which drains to Cayuga Lake. However the north half of the Basin also 
includes lands which drain north and south into the Seneca River, Clyde River, 
and Erie/Barge Canal, with east and west limits along those waterways designed 
to include particularly interesting ecological and botanical areas, so it 
sweeps west just into Ontario County to include the Junius Ponds and east into 
the edge of Auburn and include Howland Island. The north edge appears ragged 
because the land is covered with north-south oriented drumlins which complicate 
the drainage. If you wonder whether a location is in the Basin, I can look it 
up.

W/ = west of

Questions? Feel free to ask.

- - Dave Nutter

2021 Basin First of Year Records  DRAFT as of 0108

BIRDSP  MMDDObserver(s) Location, incl Town

SNOGOO  0101Ithaca CBC  Ithaca CBC
CACGOO  0101Ken Rosenberg, Jay McGowan; Drew Weber  Stewart Park, Ithaca; 
Chiropractic College, Seneca Falls
CANGOO  0101Ithaca CBC  Ithaca CBC 
MUTSWA  0101Dave Kennedy; Drew Weber, Ash Ferlito, Cullen Hanks 
Cayuga L SP / Lower L Rd, Seneca Falls; Montezuma NWR VC, Tyre 
TRUSWA  0101Dave Kennedy; Wade & Melissa Rowley Montezuma NWR 
VC, Tyre; Carncross Rd, Savannah

TUNSWA  0101Dave Kennedy; Janet Akin; Drew Weber, Cullen Hanks, Ash Ferlito 
Montezuma NWR VC & NYS-89 overlook, Tyre; Cayuga L SP /Lower L Rd, Seneca Falls
WOODUC  0101Dave KennedyOak I, Waterloo
GADWAL  0101Dave Kennedy; Drew Weber, Cullen Hanks, Ash Ferlito, Reuben 
Stoltzfus   Cayuga L SP, Seneca Falls; Montezuma NWR VC, Tyre; CR-53, 
Sheldrake, Ovid
AMEWIG  0101Josh Snodgrass; Drew Weber, Cullen Hanks, Ash Ferlito   SW 
Cayuga L, Ithaca; Montezuma NWR VC, Tyre
MALLAR  0101Ithaca CBC  Ithaca CBC

AMKDUC  0101Ithaca CBC  Ithaca CBC
NORPIN  0101Drew Weber, Cullen Hanks, Ash Ferlito   Montezuma NWR VC, Tyre
GNWTEA  0101Brandon Woo Gracie Pond, Lime Hollow, Cortlandville
CANVAS  0101Dave Kennedy; Drew Weber, Cullen Hanks, Ash Ferl

[cayugabirds-l] Seeking info for Basin First Records list

2021-01-06 Thread Dave Nutter
Hi All,

Does anyone know whether the Gyrfalcon, which is often seen on N Hoster Rd in 
Fayette, was seen on January 1, 2, or 3 this year? I know it was seen as late 
as December 28. 

Here’s why I ask: There’s a long tradition of keeping an annual list of first 
records for the Cayuga Lake Basin. For a number of years I’ve been doing that. 
Past years’ lists are on the Cayuga Bird Club website, and the start of this 
year’s list should also be up soon, with Paul Anderson’s help. 

As you may know, on January 3 a Gyrfalcon was seen near Ithaca. The question 
for me is whether this was the first day the species was found this year, or 
whether the bird from the Canoga area was also seen that same day or earlier. 
If you have info as to when, where, and by whom it was seen, please let me know 
off list. Thanks!

- - Dave Nutter 
nutter.d...@mac.com
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Pileated pair and sumac

2021-01-05 Thread Dave Nutter
I’m also trying to establish Staghorn Sumac in my yard for winter bird food. 
Sometimes the autumn foliage is not just red, it can have a nearly complete 
rainbow of green-yellow-orange-red-purple! 

One of the challenges is removing the somewhat similar invasive Ailanthus.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Jan 5, 2021, at 11:53 AM, Donna Lee Scott  wrote:
> 
> I love sumacs & always let them grow. 
> Bluebirds & Robins & others eat the berries in winter.  Including “my” 
> Pileated wdpkr. 
> In fall the foliage is brilliant red!
> 
> Donna Scott
> Lansing
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> On Jan 5, 2021, at 11:50 AM, "anneb.cl...@gmail.com"  
> wrote:
> 
>> A lovely pair of Pileated woodpeckers had a protracted morning tea on sumac 
>> seed headsmaking the sumac look very spindly!
>> 
>> As always am working on ways to increase the sumac population. Beauty and 
>> utility!
>> 
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> --
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>> 
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>> 
> 
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[cayugabirds-l] Migrating waterfowl

2020-12-19 Thread Dave Nutter
Yesterday morning (Friday 18 Dec) I took a cross-country ski trip on the Black 
Diamond Trail as far north as the woods below the hospital, a little over 2 
miles. The trail which I had broken for the first half mile the previous 
morning had been extended by others at least to Glenwood Heights Rd, I learned 
from a rare passerby. My progress was mainly slowed by estimating the numbers 
in every flock of geese I heard and was able to see. All were flying south, 
evidently haven given up on the idea of grazing or foraging in farm fields 
buried by over a foot of snow. During my 3 hours out I tallied nearly 5,000 
Canada Geese. 

It wasn’t until 0922 when I was near my turnaround that I encountered my first 
flock of Snow Geese, about 100. Eventually five flocks of them added up to 
around 700 birds. I did not see any mixing of Canadas & Snows in flocks, nor 
did I see any Ross’s nor Cackling. 

When I was back near Cass Park a particularly large flock of Canadas went past. 
I was still checking their number when they were south of me, and I noticed 
something sizable but different flying nearby. It was a Common Loon bucking the 
trend by flying north over Ithaca at 1044. Those birds fascinate me. And in the 
sky above the loon I saw two high ghostly silent birds that I would not have 
otherwise noticed - a pair of Swans, presumed Tundra. A few minutes later I 
heard several Tundra Swans calling, and I eventually caught sight of a flock of 
48 of them in a counter-clockwise curving path over West Hill last seen going 
SW and fairly low. Maybe they saw a field they thought worth checking for food. 
I’m guessing that the shallow waters at the north end of the lake where they 
prefer to feed are all either frozen or disturbed by gunners. 

Gunfire was generally far north of Ithaca during my outing, perhaps helping to 
account for the large number of flying Canada Geese and the Common Loon The 
south end of the lake looked pretty empty through binoculars and trees from the 
trail, and ice was extensive off Stewart Park (though not as far as East Shore 
Park), across Fall Creek and Cayuga Inlet, and from the Red Lighthouse 
Breakwater past Allan H Treman State Marine Park all the way to about #857 on 
Taughannock Boulevard. My guess is that with the clear still air and single 
digit Fahrenheit overnight temperatures, that ice will have grown a lot by 
today. 

There were also 14 Snow Geese over the south end of the Black Diamond Trail who 
seemed to be exploring by flying NW, and the last flock of Snow Geese which I 
saw, about 70 of them, was the only substantial goose flock of the morning 
which was not southbound; for whatever reason it was last seen going pretty 
much East over Ithaca. 

 
- - Dave Nutter
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Sandhills

2020-12-04 Thread Dave Nutter
The numbers of Sandhill Cranes reported this autumn at the Montezuma Wetlands 
Complex are remarkable - over 200 at Van Dyne Spoor Rd, over 250 at East Rd, 
and over 50 at the Montezuma NWR Visitor Center - even if they are overlapping 
counts of some or all of the same group moving about. 

Keep in mind that this species has only been observed annually in the Cayuga 
Lake Basin starting in 2000. Before that, eBird only lists 1 bird October 1968 
at Montezuma by Brad Jacobs, 1 bird flying N on warm S winds in February 1990 
in Enfield by Bill Evans (who I believe lived there at the time), and 1-2 birds 
in November 1994 in Montezuma observed by several, including Kevin McGann, 
Kevin & Jay McGowan, and Bill Purcell. 

Starting in 2000, the spring reports in eBird suggest birds might be breeding 
or considering doing so. The first confirmation in eBird of breeding success in 
the Montezuma area was in 2003. 

In recent years it seems that many (most?) major pools or marshes in the 
Montezuma Wetland Complex have their own pair of Sandhill Cranes. I wonder how 
many members of these autumn gatherings were breeding or raised locally and how 
many are pausing here during a longer migration from other parts of their 
range. Regardless, it is clear that Montezuma has become a hub for these social 
birds. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Dec 4, 2020, at 7:46 AM, Peter Saracino  wrote:
> 
> At least 250 Sandhill Cranes currently at Knox Marcellus Marsh (MNWR).
> Pete Sar
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Siskins

2020-11-30 Thread Dave Nutter
I haven’t seen them yet today, but for the last 3 days a flock of Pine Siskins 
has come to my feeders, where the only fare is black oil sunflower seeds. The 
Siskins have only been present for a few minutes at a time, so I have to be 
vigilant and lucky.  The maximum has been 26, which is a real strain on my 
ability to keep track of them. Only 1 so far has shown prominent yellow on the 
wingbar, all the rest having white. 

I had been thinking of expanding the bird feeding operation, but this morning I 
got a series of reports of bird feeders and beehives  being demolished by a 
Bear 1-2 miles away on West Hill, just into the Town of Ithaca, and at 
EcoVillage.

- - Dave Nutter

> On Nov 30, 2020, at 10:20 AM, Donna Lee Scott  wrote:
> 
> ~23 Pine Siskins, along w 4-5 Goldfinches, enjoying nyjer seeds on my deck 
> railing!
> A Red-breasted Nuthatch grabbing sunflower seeds, too. 
> 
> Donna Scott
> Lansing
> Sent from my iPhone
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