Six hardy souls joined me on the trip around Cayuga Lake.
We started at Diary Bar, where we heard a Robin singing made us feel it is
spring and warm. A Junco was also singing from the same location. We saw and
heard a Killdeer circling above our head, while some of the Common Grackles
were making their presence known.
We headed to Stewart Park as a couple of members mistakenly showed up at Lab of
O, so we planned rendezvous at Stewart Park. We did see birds from here but
they were half a mile away. So we decided to go East Shore Sailing Park.
From here the view was much closer and ducks looked beautiful through the
scope, but as it happened we were showered with freezing rain while we were
here. But we did have some nice views of lots of Redheads, American Widgeons,
Ring-necked Ducks, Scaups, both Common and Hooded Mergansers, one Northern
Shoveller, three Green-winged Teals and two Goldeneyes. We also had a singing
Song sparrow here. Then someone thought they saw an Eurasian Widgeon, but it
turned out to be a false alarm. I did search for it but I did not see it
either. But we were satisfied with the great looks we had of all those ducks
so we decided to try Myers Marina.
Myers marina was a bit of a disappointment as there were hardly any ducks in
the marina. But out on the lake there were lots of Goldeneyes and other usual
ducks and two Pied-billed Grebes. From there we headed to Myers Point. Only
birds of importance were two Long-tailed Ducks diving close to ice shelf close
to shore. They were so very active, they spent just a few seconds on the
surface and lots of time underwater. On the way to marina there were a couple
of Turkeys in the field. Later near Jerry springer road we saw about 50 Turkeys
and many of the males were displaying.
Then as my usual practice, I went to Center Road to look for larks and
buntings. Except for two Horned Larks and a Redtail we did not see any birds.
Along Long Point State Park road we heard some chickadees, tufted titmouse and
a Carolina Wren. From the shore we had some distant Red-breasted Mergansers and
other usual birds.
At Union Spring pond we had two Horned Grebes and same usual ducks but in fewer
Harris's Park was excellent place to look at a few Red-breasted Mergansers,
both males and females and lots of Canvasbacks! Previously in the morning we
watched on male Canavasback dive along with dabblers and geese in a narrow
patch of water at Stewart Park, he looked very odd among those groups. But I
guess he was finding something, as he was actively diving to eat something
juicy! At Harris's Park we also watched an adult eagle fly around several
times. There is big nest on one of the electrical poles, we do not know whose
nest it is. We will find out soon I guess.
We next stopped at the Mud lock where we saw a head in the eagle's nest, so
that means they are still incubating or may be brooding the young! Chris
pointed out to me a swallow trying to get something off of snow/ice patches.
Then later we saw three Tree Swallows.
Further on we headed to Mucklands. Here it was fun as the sky was filled with
birds. There was huge group of Snow geese trying to land and were not decided
yet they wanted to land or not so they milled around a bit before landing. The
sun was out at that time. So it was spectacular view! Some Tundra Swans were
taking off and others landing. Canada Geese were milling around. Then there
were thousands of Pintails everywhere. We also had a very good look at one of
the Horned larks.
Then we headed to west side of the lake. We saw the same ducks, but much closer
from the north end of the Lake Road. Two Bald eagles that flew over Harris
Park area made all the ducks take to flight and it was spectacular to see so
many ducks in the air. Southern part of the Lake Road was still frozen so no
birds were to be found. So we decided to take the inner route to look for snow
geese and snow buntings.
We took Farron road, where we saw hundreds of Pintails in the snow melt puddles
along with swans and geese. At some point there was huge pure flock of Pintails
in the air. We drove via Hoster Road and Kuneytown road but we did not find
anything else of interest. At this point we had enough of ducks and geese so we
decided to call it a day!
Overall it was very windy day, but we still enjoyed the birds with freezing
hands and butts!
Ithaca NY 14850
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