Sunday, August 27, 2017

Finger Lakes from Aug 24-27

Taughannock Falls, Ithaca, NY, Aug 26, 2017
Just returned from a quick four day getaway to the Finger Lakes region of New York. Although it was not a birding trip I still managed to get some birding in including a walk around the trails at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on Friday and a morning trip up to Montezuma NWR with Ian. The remainder of the time was spent with quality visits to the many wineries in the area and a few waterfalls.

Trumpeter Swans, Montezuma NWR, NY, Aug 26, 2017
Red headed Woodpeckers, Montezuma NWR, NY, Aug 26, 2017
Stilt Sandpipers, Montezuma NWR, NY, Aug 26, 2017
Wilson's Phalarope, Montezuma NWR, NY, Aug 26, 2017
The Saturday visit to Montezuma was the most productive with a total of 86 species from just before dawn until mid/late morning including some truly impressive numbers of swallows, starlings, blackbirds and grackles leaving their roost at dawn (see the following list: Montezuma NWR at dawn ). Also a good showing of shorebirds with eleven species including a Wilson's Phalarope, a few Stilt Sandpipers and several White rumped Sandpipers. The marsh complex is quite impressive and covers a very large area with a wide diversity of would be such a great spot to visit on a regular basis as the opportunities for rarities is high. After parting ways with Ian around 10:30 we walked a little more at Montezuma before spending the afternoon checking out some more wineries plus making a hike up to Taughannock Falls.
Lucifer Falls, Robert H. Treman SP, Ithaca, NY, Aug 27, 2017
The last day was mainly spent making the long drive back home but before we headed out we stopped at Robert Treman SP to take a short hike.  Overall for the trip I ended up with 103 species with 16 of those being new for my New York list (which now stands at 140).
Black throated Green Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, Aug 24, 2017
Chestnut sided Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, Aug 24, 2017
Wilson's Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, Aug 24, 2017
Before leaving on the trip on Thursday I spent a few hours in the morning exploring a few areas at Quabbin Park. I once again tried to find the Mourning Warblers in the area they bred this year but they appeared to have moved on. I did however run across a Mourning Warbler in an area well away from the breeding area and this individual was almost certainly a migrant. Other notables around included my first Wilson's Warbler of the fall and a few other pockets of migrants.

The hurricane season heated up a bit the last several days with the biggest story being Hurricane Harvey that struck the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm and it continues to sit just inland as a tropical storm dumping massive amounts of rain and leading to catastrophic flooding.  As far as birds are concerned there seemed to be some major displacement of both pelagic and near shore birds with the biggest influx noted so far being frigatebirds.

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