Chris Wiley, Shawn Billerman, Nick Sly and I went to Broadway Road on the shore of Lake Ontaio in Wayne County this morning from about 7am-10am. In the first twenty minutes we saw four JAEGERS and ID'd two of them as PARASITIC JAEGERS. One of them eventually flew right over us at close range. A rain squall came through, sending most back to the car, but I stayed out there and saw two more PARASITIC JAEGERS, including one that was only about 20m off shore. All in all we saw 6-10 JAEGERS this morning (Personally, I feel like we saw 8, but a couple were definitely circling around chasing gulls), with almost all of them seen by 8am. After the rain squall went through I only saw one JAEGER way out around 9:30am. Also in the area were 4+ BALD EAGLES, 1-2 PEREGRINE FALCONS, a MERLIN, 8-10 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, a CASPIAN TERN, RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS and a COMMON MERGANSER. I also watched one OVENBIRD fly in off the lake and perch out in the open for a few seconds before disappearing.Before this trip, jaeger (any species) would have been a lifer for me. The funny thing is, I saw none of these jaegers. I couldn't get on the distant birds over the lake with a lower-zoom scope, and when the one came flying overhead, I had been tracking a different bird and didn't realize it until too late. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to head up the lake again sometime soon.
After Broadway Road we visited the Audubon Headquarters at Montezuma, where the mudflats from last week's Muckrace are now very large puddles. We counted 5 LEAST and 1 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 4+ LESSER YELLOWLEGS and 4+ WILSON'S SNIPE. Overall it was pretty dead.
From East Road we saw ~40 GREAT BLUE HERONS, ~150 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, ~400 CANADA GEESE, a SOLITARY SANDPIPER and an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL in with the RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS.
At Tschache Pool we were treated to a flyover SNOW GOOSE with a few CANADA GEESE. Out on the flats I counted 27 LEAST SANDPIPERS in one flock, though more were scattered around. About ten GREAT EGRETS were far out, a MERLIN was flying around and there were scattered SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS.
LaRue's was the highlight of the wildlife drive, but diversity is down from last week. I counted 7 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, 5 LEAST SANDPIPERS, ~8 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 4 CASPIAN TERNS and an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK in with the normal gulls and MALLARDS.
On the rest of the drive we added PIED-BILLED GREBE, many NORTHERN SHOVELERS, lots of BLUE-WINGED TEAL and GADWALL and a few AMERICAN WIGEON.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Some friends and I headed up to the southern shore of Lake Ontario yesterday to take advantage of stiff winds out of the northwest, driving jaegers and who knows what else towards this end of the lake. Ryan Douglas reports to cayugabirds-l: