Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Upstate New York Summary

Travis and I spent the morning of Saturday 1/12 at Montezuma NWR. The highlight were a group of Tundra Swans. We first ID'ed them as Trumpeters, neither of us have seen either. After much deliberation we changed our ID to Tundra based on lores and a juvenile we saw in the group. Funny enough the next day someone sighted 800 Tundras making our 12 seem weak.  The weather was warm for January but the wind was blowing. We walked about 3 miles and saw very little. A disappointing day but glad we stopped anyway.

On a side note; on our way to Syracuse we stopped to try to track down the Gyrfalcon seen in Hadley, MA to no avail. A Gyr was seen on Sunday 1/13 at Montezuma. Damn! That's what keeps us coming back I guess.  Anyway, we missed the Gyrfalcon but did spot a Vesper Sparrow (Lifer for both), Horned Larks, a Bald Eagle, and a load of Savannah Sparrows.

We drove through the Clifton Park area along the Mohawk River on Sunday 1/13 trying to track down the previously mentioned Sandhill Cranes. We started at bridge along Towpath Road and worked our way along the river, crossed south onto Crescent Rd. We gave up on the Sandhills somewhere around the dam and started hunting gulls. In addition to our poor gulling abilities it seemed like we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing but Herrings, Great Black-backed, and Ringbills.

At Canal Lock 4 we had better luck. Travis had heard this was a good place for Gulls. We stopped on Clark Ave near Peebles Island. As we pulled down the road Travis pointed and laughed at what looked like a plastic white goose on a front lawn. To our surprise it turned its head. A lone snow goose! Not a rare bird here by any means but still surprising to see at such a close distance. We didn't log anything else of note but that was worth the stop.

The "Plastic Goose"

Snow Goose (Photo: Devin Hefferon)

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