Monday, January 23, 2017

Birding Point Breeze to Seneca Falls, NY

© Robert Buckert

Had a very nice day of birding on January 21st... 
A bit of failure, but some nice surprises too...

I did the Hamlin Beach State Park to Point Breeze section of the Waterfowl Count along Lake Ontario in northwestern Monroe County, NY, with Greg Lawrence starting at Point Breeze. The fog became awful and provided pretty much no visibility of the lake, so we focused more on land and pond birds from Point Breeze to Buck Pond. (I won't get into TOO MANY specifics, but...) We had Pine Siskin, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Ring-necked Pheasant, and Snowy Owl as our inland highlights.

a cloud of Snow Geese above Cayuga Lake - © Robert Buckert
When I got home, I found out that Lynn Bergmeyer was heading to Seneca Falls for a second try at the Gyrfalcon's roosting spot where it has been going around 4:00 PM. This was our second attempt. We started at Cayuga Lake SP and got around 11,000 Snow Geese, a Ross's Goose, and some other nice waterfowl including the Black Swan (which is certainly an escapee). Unlike our first visit there on the previous Sunday, the Snow Geese largely outweighed the Canada's. They were flushed by a Bald Eagle and all departed around 3:35 PM, but most returned by 3:50.

Black Swan at left, on Cayuga Lake - © Robert Buckert

a raft of Snow Geese on Cayuga Lake - © Robert Buckert
We drove to the spot on Hoster Road where you could view the trees the Gyrfalcon has been resting in before it drops down into the quarry rocks for the night. One thing that was really cool during the wait was the same flock of around 2 dozen Horned Larks on Hoster Rd., except they were singing their spring songs! [editor's note: The weather was more like  March or April than January.] We waited there from 4:15 to 6:00 PM with NO FALCON! Maybe the Gyrfalcon took advantage of the nice weather to fly far away...

two Horned Larks flying - © Robert Buckert
Point Breeze to Seneca Falls in one day, with good photo ops, I can't complain!

[editor's note: each eBird hotspot link provides a zoomable map
 and a list of additional species reported]
Cayuga Lake SP--lake & launch
North Hoster Rd., Fayette

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