Date: 3/31/21 4:43 pm From: Bird observations from western New York <geneseebirds-l...> Subject: [GeneseeBirds-L] Vitale Park Waterfowl - Bad Weather Brings Good Ducks
It has been a challenging spring birding for waterfowl on Conesus Lake. It seemed the Lake was slow to thaw and once it did, the temperatures shot up into the 50's and 60's, encouraging every kind of human recreational activity imaginable - motor boats, kayaks, SUP's and even a powered parachute (much to my chagrin.) I would imagine this activity doesn't bode well for wildlife and the ducks seemed scattered all over the place and of course, always in between people's houses. Today's bad weather brought some good luck.
This evening I checked out Vitale Park, which has been somewhat lackluster lately and was fortunate to observe a nice variety of the usual March/April species - horned grebe, red-breasted merganser, common merganser, lesser scaup, greater scaup, redhead, bufflehead, as well as common loon and a smattering of common goldeneye. I also saw rafts of aythya which were too far out for identification - even with a scope. Maybe a tufted duck on the horizon? The waters were calm for a change and the sun came out during the last few moments of the day making for good visibility.
While the bufflehead don't breed here, the males were displaying almost comical breeding behaviors, flying in low at each other and doing a little head/neck bob, as were the common mergansers. There may be one lone pair of common mergansers that actually breed on this Lake, as I've seen young ones in the summer for the last couple of years at Vitale Park.
I probably wouldn't have gone out tonight, but saw a report of two Great Egrets at the Midway Pond of the Conesus Inlet, seen this morning by John and Bonny VanDerMeid. I observed one great egret before it took off for parts unknown.
Happy birding, Terry Bohling <terrybohling1956...>