Date: 8/30/17 12:20 pm
From: Bird observations from western New York <geneseebirds-l...>
Subject: [GeneseeBirds-L] Ontario Beach and Island Cottage - 8/30 - migrants and interesting FICR/MERL chases at Charlotte
Ontario Beach and Piers, Monroe, New York, USBob & Sue Spahn, <rspahn...>
Aug 30, 2017 8:35 AM - 9:25 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.3 mile(s)
Comments:    This will include watching an interesting FICR/MERL interaction from where we parked the car to walking out to the Charlotte Pier just past water's edge and scanning the beach on the west side and then the Summerville Pier and back to car.
    As we entered the parking lot, we noticed a chase off to the NW part of the big Ontario Beach parking lot - small falcon chasing a Fish Crow. There were 5 Fish Crows lined up on the street lights along the north edge of the northern entrance to the lot from Lake Ave. After we parked toward the NE part of the lot we looked back and saw continuing off and on chases. First the falcon, now ID'd as an imm. Merlin, chasing a Fish Crow, then the crow or other crows chasing the Merlin. The Merlin was clearly more agile in the air and would dive at the crows, but crows would end up on the Merlin's tail at times. Another twist was that a 6th Fish Crow would appear at times, identifiable by large white areas on the leading edges of both wings. When present, the Merlin seemed to prefer to chase this bird and that crow never managed to become a chaser of the Merlin. We watched for nearly 10 minutes, with breaks when all seemed to perch briefly. It seemed almost like they were just testing their skills or having fun, not really intent on any catching the other.
17 species (+1 other taxa)

Double-crested Cormorant  90
Killdeer  2
Ruddy Turnstone  2
Sanderling  5
Baird's Sandpiper  2
Semipalmated Sandpiper  6
Bonaparte's Gull  20
Ring-billed Gull  3000    This is a typical count for this area at this date. The birds blanketed the beach from near the piers to the west end and mid-beach to near the water plus lots on the Summerville pier. It is a conservative combination of counting blocks and estimating. Not much human disturbance yet on this day.
Herring Gull  50
Great Black-backed Gull  25
Caspian Tern  30
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  12
Mourning Dove  2
Merlin  1
American Crow  1
Fish Crow  7    Again, this is a typical count for this location and an actual count other than deciding to not add birds in the park and on the beach later in the visit when we could not verify the birds out in the lot still there. That group was still among the restaurants on Lake Ave near the parking lot entrance when we left.
    The lone Am. Crow was as we walked out near the pier and NE part of the parking lot and totally separated from the FICR's present and calling.
warbler sp. (Parulidae sp.)  1
House Sparrow  8

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This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (
Island Cottage Woods - Lake Plains side, Monroe, New York, USBob & Sue Spahn, <rspahn...>
Aug 30, 2017 9:40 AM - 10:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments:    We drove to the Lake Plains side of island Cottage Woods and eventually walked the short loop trail on that end clockwise. At first, it was VERY QUIET, except for birds right close to where we parked. Later on the loop, almost back to the start, another small flurry of activity.  I tried lots of spishing and quite a bit of screech-owl whistling with generally not much response. Finally did have a screech-owl start calling and at times it seemed like there might be a second, but never totally certain. At least a few migrant warblers and Blue-headed Vireo.
23 species

Canada Goose  1
Mourning Dove  1
Eastern Screech-Owl  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  3
Eastern Wood-Pewee  4
Blue-headed Vireo  1    This is an early fall date for the location. We were alerted to it by it's snarly call when I was whistling and a brief look confirmed Blue-headed and not Yellow-throated. I'm not sure I can safely separate that call they both give without a look, though in some cases location can help.
Warbling Vireo  1
Red-eyed Vireo  4
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  5
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
American Robin  18
Gray Catbird  9
Magnolia Warbler  1
Bay-breasted Warbler  3    This is in the middle of the interquartile range of their fall migration arrival and they have been banding some at BBBO for over a week now. We had good looks at all and two of the three had enough bay color on the flanks to make ID really easy.
Northern Cardinal  7
Baltimore Oriole  1
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Common Grackle  8
American Goldfinch  23

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