Date: 3/31/18 5:50 pm From: Laura Stenzler <lms9...> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Up the lake: Dryden to MNWR
Ton and I drove north from Dryden to Montezuma NWR today to see what was around. We started at home on Hunt Hill Rd and our first stop after that was Sapsucker Woods. There we found one WOODDUCK, one PIED BILLED GREBE, one SWAMP SPARROW and several BLUE BIRDS among the regulars (redwinged BB, mallard, grackle, song sparrow, robin, starling, Canada goose, crow, goldfinch, red tailed hawk). From there we birded around Stewart Park, which had quite a nice variety of birds. We saw RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS, 1 DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT, 1 HOODED MERGANSER, many COMMON MERGANSERS, many BUFFLEHEAD, around 25 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 10 RUDDY DUCKS, GREATER SCAUP, 3 SHOVELERS and 8 GREEN-WINGED TEAL. From there we headed up rte 34 to Myers Point and Ladoga, both of which were pretty empty with the strong south wind pushing against the shore. Along the way we saw TURKEY VULTURES and CAROLINA WREN among other resident birds.
We drove into Long Point State Park where we were happy to hear our first PHOEBE of the year calling. Further along the shore, after leaving the park, we came upon a couple of WIGEON. As we entered the town of Aurora, we enjoyed seeing the BALD EAGLE sitting on his/her nest. From the Aurora boathouse we found 3 HORNED GREBES, one in breeding plumage, 2 COMMON LOONS, also in breeding plumage, about 40 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, both male and female with the males doing their neat head dipping display, one SNOW GOOSE and a huge group of 30+ BUFFLEHEAD close to shore. Also, our first TREE SWALLOWS of the day.
Factory Pond in Union Springs had BUFFLEHEAD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and RING-NECKED DUCK while the county office area further along the shore had one GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, our only one of the day. As we left Union Springs we came across our first OSPREY of the day.
Finally we entered Montezuma NWR. The water near the visitor center had many SHOVELER, MALLARDS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL (couldnít find the Eurasian teal), some PINTAL and a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Lots of Tree Swallows flying over as well. The first part of the wildlife drive was pretty sparse but once we reached the open water, we saw many, many CANVASBACK (mostly along the far side, of course), a good number of REDHEADs, RING-NECKED DUCKS, GREATER SCAUP, one BLUE-WINGED TEAL, about a dozen GADWALL, our first COOTS of the day and many, many GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Further along the wildlife drive, past Benning Marsh and mostly in the new ponds were many, many GADWALL. This seems to be where they hang out rather than in the main pond. We finally started seeing GREAT BLUE HERONS as well. One HARRIER and a KILLDEER before we left the drive and headed to Tschache Pool.
Tschache Pool was simply amazing. From the tower we could see wall to wall ducks. WIGEON, GADWALL, RING-NECKED, SHOVELER, more GREEN-WINGED TEAL than Iíve ever seen in one place before, PINTAIL, SCAUP, MALLARDS and many GREAT-BLUE HERONS. We counted 6 BALD EAGLES, many perched on the ground among the grassy hillocks in the swamp.
Between Tschache and the turn off for East Road, we saw 4 more OSPREY. From East Road, we scoped Knox Marcellus Marsh. There was a large group of SNOW GEESE in the fields east of the marsh and many SHOVELER, TEAL, and other ducks in the marsh itself. We actually didnít spend a lot of time looking. We did find two sleeping TRUMPETER SWANS, which raised their heads just long enough for us to identify them.
We then headed toward Carncross Road, hoping to find Sandhill Cranes but we didnít have to go that far, as it turned out. In a field on the northwest side of Van Dyne Spoor Rd were three SANDHILL CRANES, feeding quietly as people in passing cars stopped to look. Carncross was pretty empty (one more TRUMPETER SWAN).