Date: 2/21/18 2:21 pm
From: Bird observations from western New York <geneseebirds-l...>
Subject: [GeneseeBirds-L] Montezuma area 2/21/18 - lots of waterfowl and Snow Geese
    Tom Smith, Dave Strong and drove to the Montezuma area today and wandered around a bit to see what was going on. Starting at the visitors center, nothing special.From there, we drove to the mudlock and looked south toward the railroad bridge. LOTS or ducks way out toward the far side and hundreds of swans all along that far edge.With the temperature at about 64 degrees, ID of all was impossible. There were clearly lots of Redheads, scaup, and Ring-necked Ducks and many of the swans were Tundra. But closer in, many swans were Mute, more than I expect here. Moving south and dropping to the shore roads and on to Cayuga Lake SP and then south, there were very few waterfowl in close, but thousands of Redhead, scaup, Ring-necked Ducks and other species far out to the north and east along the ice edge of the north end of the lake. Again,thermal distortion mad attempts at study a waste of time.    Back north and Rt. 89, we found little of interest at Tschache Pool. On Armitage Road west of Olmstead, a kestrel was on the wires, as usual, and an adult Bald Eagle was working on the nest across the muck to the SW. Checking Know-Marcellus, QUIET. But way off to the NE, there were obviously some ducks and geese on the flooded areas over north of RT 31 near the river. Moving to Rt. 31 east of Rt. 89, we finally could see two fields loaded with Snow Geese, either side of the potato shed and to the north a bit.Estimated on the order of 10,000 each. WE drove to the far end of the muck near the river to turnaround and for better light. Stopping on the way beack, we had many N. Pintails, est > 1000, 2 N. Shovelers, Mallards, Canada Geese, and swans. Hard to count due to limited pull offs. Later ran into Audubon people doing a count and heard a count of 1500 pintail from that area. Back to the potato shed, I worked on the Snow Goose numbers and had about 10,000 to the east and 20-25,000 in the fields to the west. During the scans, I had counted 28 "Blue" Geese east and found an adult Ross's Goose when an eagle flushed them. After settling, I again located the Ross's Goose (or another?) when again all flushed and they went up from all the fields nearby; I'd stick with the estimate of 30,000+. Then as we watched these moving about low, skeins of Snow Geese started popping out of or below the higher clouds to the E and SE and circling and dropping. I'd add at least 5,000 more Snow Geese arriving. It was great to watch with all those Snow Geese up and down and milling about. Looking around more, we located a few groups of American Wigeon and a lone female Green-winged Teal. There were Red-winged Blackbirds spotted about calling and Horned Larks in the fields calling and flying about. Also had a couple o Lapland Longspurs flying over and calling.    We headed toward Van Dyne Spoor and the Sandhill Crane Unit. Stopping in the woods, it was lots cooler by then and windy and I could not raise a Barred Owl or actually anything else. someone coming back from the far end of the road reported all frozen and nothing of interest, so we headed out and north on Van Dyne Spoor. Added a couple of E. Bluebirds, then later a blackbird dropped into a field next to us and a quick look revealed a molting Rusty Blackbird. It was then joined by three each Red-winged Blackbirds and starlings.     Looking at the time, weather change adding showers, and a need for some to get back for early afternoon appointments, we elected to divert to a lunch spot in Seneca Falls to end a nice morning out.Bob Spahn, <rspahn...>    
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