By Eleanor Moriarty, Trip Leader
On Sunday, October 16th, DOAS sponsored a fall birding trip to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, located at the north end of Cayuga Lake, and US Route 20, East Seneca Falls, NY. A group of seventeen participants carpooled through the numerous pools and grasslands to view migrating geese, ducks, shorebirds, and the usual suspects. The weather was beautiful and allowed for excellent viewing.
Montezuma has been in the process of reconstruction on the wetlands, grasslands to enhance native plants beneficial to migrating and resident species. These improvements are well done and offered a good view of the hundreds of ducks, particularly the American Wigeon which appeared to outnumber all other ducks. The largest number of species being quite vocal was the Canada Geese. No one was able to spot any Brants among them. Impacts of the draught conditions were evident in the mudflats and other areas that previously had been excellent sources of water pools.
We were fortunate to have expert identifications through Dave Kiehm and Randy Lynch, with quite a few participants who were skilled in spotting and identifying. Carol Lynch, an excellent birder, and keeper of our checklist deserve major applause from the day’s birding. An added plus were the photographs taken by Dave Kiehm, Joel Wexler, and a new member of DOAS, Jennifer Hyypio.
List of birds identified are: White-Rumped Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilsons Snipe, Am. Black Duck, Am. Widgeon, Eurasian Widgeon, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Red-headed Duck, Am. Black Duck, Coot, Common Moorhen, Lesser Scaup, Green-Winged Teal, Blue-Winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Wood Duck, Canada Geese, Trumpeter Swan, Pied-Billed Grebe, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Double-Crested Cormorant, Ringed-Billed Gull, Herring Gull, Sand Hill Cranes, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Red-Tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Common Raven, Am. Crow, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Common Grackle, European Starling, Blue-Jay, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebirds, Black-Capped Chickadee, Dark-Eyed Junco. Am Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, and House Sparrow.
This fall trip is one of my favorites and thanks to Andy Mason for giving me a push to organize and lead this wonderful day of birding. Till next year at Montezuma, I wish everyone a great year of birding.
Click any image below to view full size in carousel.