Re: [cayugabirds-l] 4 loons on the inlet by Stewart Park?

2020-11-15 Thread Dave Nutter
Short answer: I only saw other birds, not Loons, in Fall Creek.

I just got back from a quick bike ride on the Cayuga Waterfront Trail  to Fall 
Creek by Stewart Park and back (barely beating the rain) to check out this 
report. 

This is what I found along the north end of Fall Creek: Upstream of the 
anglers’ parking area at the end of Pier Road, Fall Creek is so shallow that 
there were pebbles visible most of the way across, so I did not check there for 
loon-like birds, and although there was water next to the parking area, I saw 
no birds in it. Just upstream of the green suspension bridge over Fall Creek, I 
saw 5 Common Mergansers diving. Common Mergansers are long and low like Common 
Loons, so my guess is these were the birds in question. These Common Mergansers 
were all either females or males who had not yet molted into breeding plumage, 
with distinctly brown heads sharply contrasting with plain light gray bodies 
and some white on the chin and neck. Breeding plumage males would have green 
heads, creamy white neck, breast & sides, and black on the back. Common Loons 
at this time of year are smudgy dark gray on the body, back of the neck, most 
of the face, and the top of the head, with white on the chin, front of the 
neck, and breast. They have no big brown areas like the head of a female Common 
Merganser.  

Farther downstream on Fall Creek, between Stewart Park and Jetty Woods I saw a 
group of 10 breeding plumage male Mallards gathered around 1 female Mallard.  

And in the mouth of Fall Creek between the White Lighthouse Jetty and the Swan 
Pond I saw 2 separate pairs of Hooded Mergansers. They are more compact-bodied  
than Common Mergansers or Common Loons. The heads of the females are more of a 
dark grayish brown contrasting less with the darker gray body and lacking white 
on the neck and breast. The males, now in breeding plumage, have a bold pattern 
of black and white on the head, breast and back. 

There are pictures of male and female Common and Hooded Mergansers on the 
poster along the boardwalk part of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail between the two 
suspension bridges.

I was there at least 2 hours after the original report, and birds swim and fly, 
so there could have been other birds earlier, but loons are unlikely in Fall 
Creek. Common Loons tend to stay in Cayuga Lake rather than going upstream on 
the creeks, probably because they need about 1/4 mile of straight open water to 
run on in order to take flight. Once a few winters ago a much less common 
Red-throated Loon spent a few weeks on Cayuga Inlet as far upstream as the 
Farmers’ Market, but they need less room for take-off, and Cayuga Inlet is very 
wide from there all the way to its mouth between Treman marina and the White 
Lighthouse Jetty. 

- - Dave Nutter

> On Nov 15, 2020, at 10:40 AM, Susan Austern  wrote:
> 
> Good morning 
> Just ran through Stewart Park and by the Inlet part where people usually fish 
> (after the bridges heading back into town, before the fire testing area) 
> , looks like possibly 4 loons My running partner saw them yesterday,  
> too…  if you’re there please confirm... we didn’t have binoculars...Thanks 
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPad 
> 
> 
>> On Nov 15, 2020, at 9:02 AM, Dave K  wrote:
>> 
>> Re
>> 9AM sitting on the concrete  breakwall.
>> Seneca Yacht Club is located on the Northeast corner of Seneca Lake.
>> 
>> Get Outlook for Android
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[cayugabirds-l] 4 loons on the inlet by Stewart Park?

2020-11-15 Thread Susan Austern
Good morning 
Just ran through Stewart Park and by the Inlet part where people usually fish 
(after the bridges heading back into town, before the fire testing area) , 
looks like possibly 4 loons My running partner saw them yesterday,  too…  
if you’re there please confirm... we didn’t have binoculars...Thanks 


Sent from my iPad 


> On Nov 15, 2020, at 9:02 AM, Dave K  wrote:
> 
> Re
> 9AM sitting on the concrete  breakwall.
> Seneca Yacht Club is located on the Northeast corner of Seneca Lake.
> 
> Get Outlook for Android
> --
> Cayugabirds-L List Info:
> Welcome and Basics
> Rules and Information
> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave
> Archives:
> The Mail Archive
> Surfbirds
> BirdingOnThe.Net
> Please submit your observations to eBird!
> --

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