Date: 5/23/18 10:14 am
From: Mickey Scilingo <mickey.scilingo...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Oneida Lake Islands in Constantia

I had a very good morning viewing the islands in Oneida Lake in Constantia from Mill Street after the fog lifted. I arrived around 9:20 and immediately found a group of 22 DUNLIN on Grassy Island (the nearest island.) I next found a group of a dozen or so BRANT floating around the near side of the rocks of Long Island. Aside from the Dunlin, I couldn't find any other shorebirds on the islands. After about an hour, a nice-sized flock of large brown shorebirds flew through my scope view and started to circle around the islands - WHIMBREL!! I spent a good 6 to 7 minutes watching them fly around and around and back and forth over the islands. Twice, it appeared that they were going to land - once on Grassy Island and the second time on Long Island - but instead, they continued to circle aimlessly. Finally, after about a half dozen laps, they continued on their way westward down the lake and out of my sight.

Not too long after the excitement of the Whimbrel, another flock of 40 or so shorebirds caught my attention. Originally found flying low along the rocks of Long Island, the BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS mimicked what the Whimbrel did and passed back and forth around the islands for a few minutes before moving on westward down the lake. As they flew away, I was able to count 32 individuals. I eventually saw another half-dozen Plovers pass the islands and picked out another 15 perched on the rocks.

Back on Grassy Island, the Dunlin numbers seemed to diminish to a handful, until something caused all of the birds on the island to fly up. I'm not sure what they reacted to, as I did not see any reason for the disruption, but the Dunlins flock circled around for a bit and I was able to count at least 38 in the group before they settled down again, with most landing out of view.

A few other notable birds that I saw were 3 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 5 COMMON LOONS, 4 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 2 MERLIN, and a singing BLACKPOLL WARBLER in the tree behind me. I pasted my eBird list below beneath my signature.

Mickey Scilingo
Constantia, Oswego County

Oneida Lake, Constantia (Mill St. parking area)
May 23, 2018
9:20 AM
147 minutes
All birds reported? Yes

90 Brant -- Group of 15 hanging around the rocky islands and a large group of 75 flying past.
12 Canada Goose -- 4 pair with young
1 Wood Duck -- Female that flew across the bay with an egg in her mouth to the shoreline of the peninsula to the west of the viewing site, where she left it floating in the lake.
5 Mallard
3 White-winged Scoter (North American)
4 Red-breasted Merganser
5 Common Loon
77 Double-crested Cormorant
1 Osprey
53 Black-bellied Plover -- Groups of 32 and 6 flew past and 15 more were found perching on the rocks.
62 Whimbrel -- Flock of large brown shorebirds with long decurved bills. Circled the islands several times before moving west down Oneida Lake.
38 Dunlin -- Small shorebirds with broad black belly patches. Originally counted 22, but later saw at least 38.
1 Spotted Sandpiper
X Ring-billed Gull
X Herring Gull
3 Great Black-backed Gull
X Common Tern
2 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
3 Mourning Dove
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)
2 Merlin
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
2 Warbling Vireo (Eastern)
1 Blue Jay
2 American Crow
13 Purple Martin
X Barn Swallow
1 Tufted Titmouse
1 American Robin
2 European Starling
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
X Red-winged Blackbird
2 Common Grackle

Number of Taxa: 38


NYSbirds-L List Info:


Please submit your observations to eBird:

Join us on Facebook!