Rick Marsi Diary

Following are a collection of sightings and thoughts.

Sightings for April

April Sightings

April 1. YB Sapsucker working Scotch pine. A male. Pair of rb nuthatches in yard – one calling for 10-15 minutes; the other at suet on pine. Siskins and redpolls at thistle. Pair of wb nuthatches. Male flared tail like a turkey as the two were a foot apart on the pine trunk at suet. GC kinglets calling in yard. Song sparrow singing. Phoebe in yard.

 April 1 (06) – Fox sparrow singing. 25 juncos in side yard.

April 1, 08 – Upper Lisle wetland active. Strong south wind and warm – 60 – with impending cold front. Dozens of gw teal and hooded mergansers. A few wigeon and 8 ring-necked ducks. Two juvenile bald eagle circle the pond and send everyone flying around in circles. The eagles land in dead trees and everyone settles back down. One eagle gaining white head. A faint streak of brown through the eye remains of juvenile plumage.

April 1, 09 –Flocks of 12 robins and juncos in yard in morning. Strong south wind. WP Reservoir very choppy. One pied-billed grebe. WP Backwater – a dozen ring-necks and three pintails.

April 1, 10 - On road trip to VT, observed two female harriers and three kestrels.

April 1, 13 - Fifteen juncos feeding around feeders. First Song Sparrow of the spring joining them. Redpolls still here.

April 1, 14 - Whitney Point Lake frozen. Large field along Otselic River flooded and crowded with waterfowl. Hundreds of Canada geese, one Tundra Swan, 2 cormorants, 2 Ring-necked Ducks, several pairs of wood ducks, a male bufflehead, dozens of black ducks, 25 pintails, 25 mallards. An adult Bald Eagle checking it all out. At home, a male turkey gobbles at 6 p.m. in upper woods. male purple finch at feeder.

April 1, 17 - Male Red-winged Blackbird singing in tall maple at front of house for the second day. Eating sunflower seeds at the feeder. Pair of Fox Sparrows here, probably same pair that has been here nearly a month.

April 2. Brown creeper singing. Four wood ducks (one female at least) at Redberry beaver pond. Painted turtle there also. False hellebore shoots are up. Two grouse flushed from pines.

April 2, 04. Dozens of tree swallows swooping over Tioughnioga River in Whitney Point. 

April 2 (06). 100 juncos in yard – everywhere feeding and calling. YB Sapsucker male working the Scotch pine all day. GC Kinglets in pines. Photographed siskens and wood frogs at Chris’s. Compton Tortoiseshell sighted – white on wings.

April 2, 07 – First whitethroat here. RB Nuthatch calling. At Landers Corners, two grouse 40 feet in aspen tree eating buds. Red phase.

April 2, 08 - Upper Lisle wetland: Several dozen green-winged teal, plus a dozen hooded mergansers, one male wood duck, and three or so male pintails. Ring-necked ducks still in attendance. Numerous tree swallows flying over the mouth of the Otselic River. Several killdeer working mudflats. Whitney Point Lake: 25 scaup, with twice as many males as females. Showing purple of lesser scaup on heads in sunlight. Four horned grebes sleeping on water, one of which showed breeding plumage colors on head. A few bufflehead. One male and five female red-breasted mergansers. Females sleeping, male fishing successfully. Tioughnioga backwater below Whitney Point: a dozen ring-necks.

April 2 – 30 juncos on the ground at feeder. Two male sapsuckers duking it out for drilling rights on the Scotch pine. Noisy and close confrontations until one bird prevailed and chased the other away – after fifteen minutes or so. Tree swallow high overhead. Raven croaking.

April 2, 10 - Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are back, drumming and vocalizing in woods. Phoebe calling and perching on screen porch gutter. Leeks are up in the woods and trailing arbutus is flowering. 

April 2, 13 - Very cold. Reservoir 90 percent frozen. In wetland and river by reservoir... 35 green-winged teal, 25 hooded mergansers, 25 ring-necked ducks, 5 wood ducks, five black ducks, 2 bufflehead, 1 pied-billed grebe. At home... fox sparrow.

April 2, 14 - Dozens of juncos appear in the yard in the morning. They are gone by 11. At least two red-bellied woodpeckers spotted - the first time ever here. Much calling for an hour so in the morning.

April 2, 16 - Took birding group to Upper Lisle and Claybanks. Birds sighted: Song Sparrow, Tree Swallow, Purple Finch, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Robin, Flicker, Mourning Dove, Mallard, Common Merganser, Wood Duck, Bufflehead, Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, Cooper’s Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Crow ------ Botanical finds: Pussy Willow, Red-osier Dogwood, Pine Cone Willow Gall, Fertile Fronds of Sensitive Fern, Black Willow, Red Maple, Queen Anne’s Lace (Black Swallowtail host plant.)

April 2, 17 - Male YB Sapsucker has returned to bang on Scotch Pine. First Song Sparrow also has returned. At Boland's Pond... At least 100 Ring-necked ducks, several Wigeon and Gadwall.

April 3 – Two male purple finches at Chris’s sunflower feeder. Peepers very active.

April 3 (06). Sapsucker still working Scotch pine. Six gobblers in yard. No hens. 

April 3, 07 – First dragonfly at pond – green darner. First anglewing butterfly. First garter snake. At Upper Lisle, many bufflehead (two dozen) on wetland pool. Also some scaup. At least 25 gw teal in small pothole pond near campground. Also a few ruddy ducks. First peepers heard. First hermit thrush at Chris’s.

April 3, 08 - Upper Lisle wetland: 8 male pintails and almost as many females. Still many green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks and hooded mergansers. A few wigeon and a couple pairs of wood ducks. First osprey of the season hunting over the pond. Caught a large carp, but let it go immediately after trying to lift it and only getting the head out of water. Fifteen minutes later it caught a 12-14 inch fish and flew away with it. A male harrier flew by the wetland, but stayed over the river channel and kept on going. First kingfisher at the pond also. About 8 hooded mergansers on the reservoir. Strong south winds.

April 3, 10 - PIleated woodpecker doing its territorial drumming in back woods. Many migrating juncos in the yard and woods.

April 3, 16 - Cold front with high winds and snow arrived overnight. An inch or so of snow gradually melted during the day, but temps remained very cold. 15 or so Juncos still feeding on ground.

April 3, 17 - Flock of 10 turkeys in yard. Three are mature Toms, but there is no displaying.

 April 4 – GC kinglets singing at my place. Purple finches loud at Chris’s. Peepers and wood frogs.

April 4, 04. Upper Lisle. Cold and threatening snow. 4 horned grebes on reservoir. On Foster Road, Jan and Steve spot dark phase rough-legged hawk in tree near new housing development.

April 4 (06) – Flicker on ground in back yard. Fox sparrow singing.

April 4, 09 – Montezuma. Stopped en route at Whitney Point backwater off Tioughnioga River. Several nice pairs of ring-necked ducks and also several wood ducks feeding in distance at water's edge. At the Montezuma refuge...Shovelers and gadwalls feeding in first pond on left after entrance. A mute swan there also. On the auto route... Green-winged teal and blue-winged teal in first pond on right, as well as a lone yellowlegs.

April 4, 10 - Six turkey vultures soaring overhead. Dueling downy woodpeckers drumming on trees 100 yards apart. At Montezuma NWR main pool... Three or four tundra swans right off the bat. Black ducks in channel by the road. Several tight flocks of coot close to shore.  Farther out, sleeping as the wind tossed them about, were countless redheads (3,000 according to tally sheet in visitor center.) Joining them were canvasbacks in lesser numbers. A lone snow goose flew over. Two killdeer... walked along the road by our cars. Tree swallows skimmed over the shallows. Wetlands along the NY Thruway... Channel on left held more gadwall, which we enjoyed at close range. Shallow pool on right held many pairs of shoveler, which also allowed us close viewing, plus a number of wigeon. A female harrier coursed over the marsh in tilting flight. A juvenile bald eagle followed suit, cruising across the road in front of us. Route 89... A pair of osprey, perched in a tree by the road, allowed us to disembark for good viewing. Perhaps these two birds were the ones we saw perched on a power line nest along Route 20.

April 4, 13 - On the river... More ducks than I may ever have seen on the river in one day. Wood Ducks everywhere. At one point we flushed a flock of 15. Lots of Hooded and Common Mergansers, plus a few Black Ducks, Mallards and Ring-necks. Also observed a pair of adult Bald Eagles, soaring high overhead, Wherever one went, the other followed, mimicking its mate's every wing beat from a foot or two away.

April 4, 16 - Three inches of wet snow overnight. Robins and Juncos foraging in narrow band of grass exposed by meeting at edges of roadways. Two male Cardinals at the feeder at 4:30. Rare these days. A lone Pine Siskin at the thistle feeder.

April 4, 17 - Heard the season's first nasal cry from YB Sapsucker in the woods. 

April 5 - 12, 2015... Log of sea voyage on Sea of Cortez and Baja Peninsula, Mexico...

Sunday – Many Bottlenose Dolphins swimming about the bow in early morning. Morning walk on Isla San Jose. On  the beach: Shells of largest snail found. Shells from pearl-bearing oyster found. Fossils photographed in limestone cliffs. Black-throated sparrow and ash-throated flycatcher sighted. Both lifers. Trees: Palo Blanco (white stick) and two species of Elephant tree. Three Chuckwallas in rock crevices. Brown Boobies skimming by the ship. late afternnon: Zodiac trip to Los Islotes, rock cliffs loaded with loafing sea lions and soaring frigatebirds. Also: Yellow-footed Gull (lifer) and Blue-footed Booby (lifer) ( a few). Monday. Wildlife cruising in a.m. Pod of 100 Pilot Whales all around ship. Later, another 100 Saddleback Dolphins all around ship. In p.m., kayak at Puerto dos Gatos. Least grebe very close on water. Pelicans diving. Tuesday. Morning at sea. Had brief look at Pygmy Sperm Whale. Just back and dorsal fin showed. Two Sperm Whales were sighted but we didn’t see them. We did hear their clicks and chrrs, amplified from underwater microphones. In late afternoon, visited town of San Rosilio. Had drinks and snacks at Hotel Frances. Got Pan Dulce at local bakery. Pulled anchor at 8 p.m. Big waves for an hour around midnight. Wednesday. Morning on shore at Isla San Esteban. Walked arroyo that featured a forest of Cardon Cacti, plus Ocotillo and Hedgehog  Cacti. Photographed Spiny-tailed Iguana on rocks and eating fruits of Cardon Cactus. Found skull of iguana at base of tall cactus. Heavy seas forced us to abandon plans to head north for Isla Rasa. Instead we steamed south to Isla Perito Marino, a guano-covered rock farther from land and other islands than any other island in the gulf. Hundreds of Brown-footed Boobies gliding overhead. Hundreds of Sea Lion pups approached the zodiacs, diving and playing. Saw several red-footed Tropicbirds overhead, plus a Blue-footed Booby landing and drooping its blue feet for all to see. Several Pacific loons and an Osprey rounded out the bird show for the day. Rolling seas at sunset. Night at Isla Perito Marino. Thursday. Morning in the shelter of Bahia Concepion. Zodiac cruise around islands. Elegant Tern, Blue-footed Boobies.In afternoon, we saw Black Storm Petrels and Least Storm Petrels flying low over the water. Also, one Elegant Tern and one Sabine’s Gull. We also followed a blowing whale, but only saw dorsal fin and back – no tail. Friday. Santa Catalina Island at daybreak. On a hike there, we saw a Loggerhead Shrike fly by and land in a low tree. It had an Emerald-tailed Lizard in its beak. It then impaled the lizard on a spine and flew away. We photographed Palo Verde in flower, as well as Cardon Cactus flowers and flowering endemic Giant Barrel Cactus. We saw Black-throated Sparrows, Verdins, Red-tailed Hawk, Gila Woodpecker and Cardinal. Also photographed two endemic Rattleless Rattlesnakes at close range

April 5. Purple finches loud here. Three large bearded gobblers with 3-4 hens. Redpolls still here. Peepers calling, despite 35-degree temp. Hawk attacks something in tree by Chris’s feeder; then drops to the ground with it. Flies away when I approach.

April 5, 02. Winter wren near stream at Chris’s. Giving loud and persistent kik, kik, kik call.

April 5, 04. Upper Lisle, bitter cold with strong nw wind. 8 ring-necks, 10 green-winged teal, 6 blue-winged teal, 2 wood ducks, 6 bufflehead, 6 hooded merganser, 5 widgeon, 1 pied-billed grebe. We flush a snipe at edge of wetland pool. On reservoir – 6-7 loons. Most already in breeding plumage. At home – female purple finch on feeder.

April 5 (06). Fox sparrow singing. 10 Jake turkeys in yard – all the same size with inch-long beards.

April 5, 08 - Upper Lisle wetland: fewer ducks than in past week. Two male and one female blue-winged teal, a few wigeon and ring-necks. Common Loon on reservoir. Also 6-8 scaup, pair of hooded mergansers and pied-billed grebe, plus pair of bufflehead. A dozen or more ring-necks in river backwater below Whitney Point. 

April 5, 10 - Heard the first flicker of the spring calling in back woods. Flock of 12 cedar waxwings perched in red maple in side yard. Picking at something in the maple flowers. On the river.. Water temperature at 54 degrees. Several pairs of wood ducks sheltering in eddies and backwaters. False hellibore and skunk cabbage leaves getting tall on the banks. Tree swallows over the river.

April 5, 11 – Redpoll flock still here. Fox sparrow singing and foraging in yard. Sapsucker mewing on favorite Scotch Pine tree in yard. At least 20 juncos in the yard. Observed 15 robins in one yard on Foster Road. Flicker on the lawn also.

April 5, 13 - First phoebe of the spring perched on corner of screen porch roof.

April 5, 14  - At Montezuma NWR... 32 wood ducks, 1 wigeon, 18 black ducks, 14 mallards, 2 pintails, 20 green-winged teal. 12 green-winged teal, 12 ring-necked ducks, 6 hooded mergansers, 4 common mergansers, 12 bufflehead, 2 pied-billed grebes, 1 osprey, 2 killdeer, 1 cormorant, 13 bonaparte's gulls (one with black head; the rest still in winter plumage), 10 tree swallows. Here at home... purple finch singing in the morning; Carolina wren singing from across the road at 6 p.m.

April 5, 16 - Four inches of snow still covering the ground. Robins and Starlings feeding on roadside Sumac. Roadsides are thawed a bit, exposing grass. Countless birds are now exploiting these narrow strips. On one road, I photograph robins, flicker, fox sparrow and hermit thrush. I also photograph six common snipe feeding in shallows around floating mat of debris in river channel. Three bw teal and two gw teal also there. lastly, I got two looks at a male harrier flying low over a wetland adjoining the river.

April 5, 17 - Our two Fox Sparrows are still here, after what seems like a month. Past diary entree indicate they could start singing here any day. Birded the loop trail in NE PA. Several singing Song Sparrows, a lone female Kestrel and a pair of Kestrels in open farm country. Here at home... dozens of Juncos in the yard.

April 6. Three gobblers with four hens. I approach to within 30 feet of two gobblers. See another winter wren at Montezuma Refuge (see separate file.

April 6 (06) – Many tree swallows on Cayuga Lake. Hundreds of ring-necks, canvasbacks and pintails at Montezuma. Also many shoveler, some gadwall and redheads. Also a female harrier.

April 6, 08 - First tree swallow here, perched on wire near pond.

April 6, 11 – Many migrating juncos combing the lawn. Ten hen turkeys and two Toms feeding on sunflowers. Haven’t seen turkeys in at least one month. One gobbler beard 7 inches; the other three. Fox sparrow singing. Tree swallows over the Chenango River and at Upper Lisle. 

April 6, 10 - At CV State Park. Photographed flowering trailing arbutus and round-lobed hepatica. Observed male red-bellied woodpecker poking head out of cavity and calling. He stayed inside for 15 minutes. No female arrived. Carolina wren calling along riverbank.

April 6, 13 - At Upper Lisle and Whitney Point Lake... Hundreds of Tree Swallows over the lake. Also a loon in breeding plumage. Several pairs of wigeons, ring-necked ducks, green-winged teal and bufflehead present. One male shoveler. Two adult bald eagles flying in tandem overhead. 

April 6, 14 - A pair of red-bellied woodpeckers appear at the feeder. They called at each other constantly for five minutes before departing together. Snipe reported at Upper Lisle.

April 6, 17 - Steady, chilly rain. Three Tom turkey walk through yard at 3 p.m. No sign of hens. At 6 p.m., in steady rain, a dozen or more juncos and fox sparrow feeding on ground.

 April 7, 04. Pair of pileated woodpeckers in side yard. Working dead aspens. Female takes off and calls loudly in flight. First colt’s foot observed along Powderhouse Rd.

 April 7 (06) – Sapsucker hits office window – chased by another from the pine tree. Fox sparrow (s) still here. Creeper singing. First call by sapsucker heard.

 April 7, 07 – Female sapsucker drinking in driveway puddle. Pair of ravens in swooping courtship flight here. Two fox sparrows. First chipping sparrow at Chris’s. Much of Upper Lisle wetland frozen, but many ducks. Many blacks, woodies, mallards, ring-necks, a few bufflehead, one pair gadwall. Tree swallows over the reservoir.

 April 7, 08 - Pileated woodpecker drumming loudly - its territorial call. First wild turkey males heard gobbling in woods above house .

 April 7, 09 – Three male shovelers at Cutler’s Pond.

 April 7, 10 - A male yellow-bellied sapsucker landed five feet high on a red maple, just 10 feet from me. On the river... three or four pairs of wood ducks and one pair of green-winged teal. Water temp. at 55 degrees.

 April 7, 11 – At Upper Lisle. Eight greater scaup, plus 4-5 pair of hooded mergansers and ring-necked ducks.

 April 7, 13 - Male sapsucker returns to hammer away at scotch pine in side yard. Chickadees singing from opposite sides of the yard.

 April 7, 14 - Crow flying overhead, holding 12-inch-long branch in its bill. Nesting material. Male sapsucker returns to scotch pine; then drums in woods (April 7, 2013). Eight or so robins in the back yard at 6:30 p.m. Feeding actively. Must be migrants stopping for the night.

April 7, 17 - Thirty-seven degrees with swirling wind and snow. Rivers flooding into fields. On roads between Upper Lisle and Triangle... One lone female Kestrel, one lone male and one pair of Kestrels. One female or juvenile Harrier coursing low over a field. Several small flocks of Robins on the ground. For the day... two adult Bald Eagles, one circling low over WP Lake; the other perched in a flooded wetland along Rte.12.

April 8. In Ct. - White memorial wetland walk. Swamp sparrow. Virginia rail. Ring-necks. Osprey. Afternoon walk: 6-10 palm warblers, very bright yellow. One yellow-rumped. 8 Common mergs, 2 hooded females, one pair buffleheads on lake. 

Colt’s foot in bloom.

April 8 (06) – WP reservoir: 6-8 red-throated loons, winter plumage; 25 red-breasted mergansers (only a few males); 8 scaup; one female old squaw in breeding plumage; one common loon in breeding plumage.

Upper Lisle: Ring-necks, pair of gw teal, pair of wigeon, pair wood ducks. Snipe. Whitney Point - Many tree swallows over the river.

YB Sapsucker on Scotch pine.

April 8, 07 – Male sapsucker on lower trunk of scotch pine. Two fox sparrows.

April 8, 08 - At Upper Lisle wetland: five pairs of ring-necked ducks; one pair widgeon: one pair blue-winged teal; osprey hovering over the Otselic River; common snipe flushed from the edge of dike pond. Numerous song sparrows singing. Catkins of trembling aspen in full bloom and easy to see. A dozen or more painted turtles sun bathing (65 degrees), their shells reflecting light and making them easy to see.

April 8, 10 - Ruby-crowned kinglets migrating through - singing. At Echo Lake near Traingle... Sapsuckers drumming and calling. Flicker calling. Four airs of ring-necked ducks on lake, along with three bufflehead males and one female. Shining club moss, tree club moss in the woods.

April 8, 11 - Fox sparrow singing in yard.

April 8, 16 - Montezuma NWR. Thousands of been-winged Teal feeding in shallow pools, along with many Blue-winged Teal and Shovelers. Also good numbers of Gadwall, Pintail, Ring-necked Duck and Coot. A few Black Ducks and a good number of Yellowlegs, both Lesser and Greater. Watched an adult Bald Eagle cruise over the main pool, about 30 feet high, doing 20 mph. I hoped it would dive-bomb some waterfowl, but there was no such excitement. One  Harrier also spotted, plus two chilly-looking Osprey (temperature barely above 32) on nests along Rte. 20. Of note: no Snow Geese, Tundra Swans or Sandhill Crane, although I did hear one crane at Knox Wetland. Also, very few Canada Geese. Also, Red Fox ran across Rte.89 just before Taughannock State Park. Dark rufous body and very bushy tail.

April 9. Snowstorm. 6 inches here. Several flickers flying in the snow while driving. Tree swallow. Hermit thrush at Buddy’s in morning. Here and  at Chris’s in afternoon. Two fox sparrows here. One singing. 4-5 tom turkeys going at each other.

 

April 9 (06) – Pair of purple finches in yard. Male singing. Sapsucker drumming in woods. Five fox sparrows. Still singing. Creeper singing.

April 9, 07 – WP Reservoir – 20 cormorants, 5 loons. Upper lisle – 40 ring-necks, 6 gw teal, 6 bufflehead, 4 wigeon, 2 woodies, blacks, mallards.

 April 9, 08 - Yellow-bellied sapsucker and pileated woodpecker drumming in nearby woods.

April 9, 09 – Upper Lisle… Male harrier hunting over dike pond and then the reservoir. Two pairs blue-winged teal and three green-winged teal in wetland pond. Female kestrel along road heading to Clay Banks.

April 9, 10 - Still many juncos in the woods and yard. Goldfinches turning yellow, but transformation not yet complete.

April 9, 11 – At Montezuma… Total of 33 species, including hundreds of canvasbacks, redheads and greater scaup, numerous shovelers, ring-necks, wigeon and gadwall, many pairs of bufflehead, three greater yellowlegs, a pair of dunlin, half a dozen harriers, a juvenile bald eagle, an osprey, a light phase rough-legged hawk, several tundra swans, a dozen ruddy ducks (with several males in full breeding plumage), a lone pair of pintails, purple martins at the martin house, tree swallows in nesting boxes and a pair of bluebirds there, too.

April 9, 13 - 50+ juncos in the yard this morning. None at 4 p.m. On the river.. numerous wood ducks. In Upper Lisle wetland... several pairs of shovelers, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks and wigeon. One male blue-winged teal - the first of spring. Snipe in large puddle near road barrier. First leopard frogs heard, plus wood frogs and spring peepers. Hundreds of painted turtles sunning on stumps and mounds. At rapids below bridge in Chenango Forks... dozen of tree swallows circling overhead.

April 9, 16 - Working in the yard at 3 p.m. Heard a strange guttural call overhead. Looked up to see it was coming from a crow, which was chasing a Red-tailed Hawk. A second crow quickly joined the fun. Both pursued at a safe but close distance, frequently swooping close to the hawk. Each time this happened, the red-tail abruptly tilted sideways, exposing its talents to the crows. All the while, the hawk gained altitude, until, eventually, the crows lost interest.

April 9, 17 - YB Sapsucker drumming and calling.

April 10. Cold, blustery. Watkins Glen. Many GC Kinglets. Spice bush in bloom (same shrub I saw at Buddy’s). Trailing arbutus is flower along trail above gorge.

April 10, 2002. Sunny. 60 degrees. Male sapsucker on the scotch pine. Brown creeper singing. Fox sparrow singing. 4-5 turkey Toms displaying. Colt’s foot on road. Mourning cloak butterfly at house. Watched woodcock flights at Mike Starke’s house.

April 10 (06) – Upper Lisle: Three BW Teal. Ring-necks. Pair wigeon. PB grebes (2). Snoring frogs, plus peepers. Tree swallows overhead.

At the reservoir: 6-8 Bonaparte’s gulls wheeling over the lake, dipping down to catch (insects?), occasionally landing very briefly. White wedge of leading edge of wing very clear. Orange legs. Two male rb mergs with about 10 females.

Colt’s foot is out. Has been for two days. Brier Hill – Male purple finch.

April 10, 08 - Four gobblers strutting and gobbling in yard at 7 a.m. Two fox sparrows under feeder, the first this year, which is late. First butterfly of the year: a perfect mourning cloak, soaking up sun on the grass. Upper Lisle wetland: One pair bw teal, two pair wigeon, one pair wood ducks, two pair ring-necked ducks. A dozen tree swallows circling overhead. Spring peepers, wood frogs and meadow frogs in full chorus. Reservoir: Three cormorants, 6 pairs of buffleheads, one adult bald eagle on shore of island.

April 10, 09 – Sapsucker drumming and giving both calls in back woods. Phoebes calling and investigating drain pipe nest spot by screen porch.

April 10, 10 - First white-throated sparrow of the spring joins several dozen juncos and half a dozen goldfinches at feeder. Shadbush (juneberry) blooming beautifully.

April 10, 13 - Golden-crowned Kinglets in our white pine trees.

April 10, 16 - Goldfinch males turning bright yellow. Pine Siskins at the feeder and calling overhead.

April 10, 17 - At Montezuma... Hundreds of canvasbacks, Redheads and Scaup in main pool. A single Greater Yellowlegs. At dead end road wetland, pair of ospreys on utility pole nest. Pied-billed Grebes and Coots uttering mating calls in wetland. 

At home... Two male turkeys displaying for 10 hens at 7 p.m. Chickadees trading breeding sings. Sapsucker drumming and giving its screeching call. 

 April 11. Continued cold. Purple finch male at feeder. Several toms strutting around 4-5 hens. 4 jakes also in attendance.

April 11, 2002 – Sapsucker drumming in woods.

 April 11, 2004 – Sapsucker drumming in woods.

 April 11, 07 – Montezuma. 2,500 canvasback, 1,500 redhead, 1,000 ring-necks, plus several dozen gw teal, 1 tundra swan and a pair of osprey nesting on top of power line along Route 20. Pair of harriers courtship soaring, female with talons lowered. Five male redheads pursuing one female, giving cat-like meow calls. PB grebe chases female on water with another loud call. 

April 11, 08 - Two long-bearded gobblers and two hens in yard. One one gobbler fanning, with the other sticking close to him. Influx of juncos in yard. Pileated drumming.

 April 11, 10 - Heard first white-throated sparrow singing this morning. Ruby-crowned kinglets also singing. Lovely male purple finch appeared at feeder - first for the spring. Also saw the first broad-winged hawk circling over the woods and calling.

 April 11, 11 – At State Park… Brown creepers singing.

 April 11, 12 – At Upper Lisle… Four double-crested cormorants on reservoir, plus pied-billed grebe, two female and one male bufflehead. Pine warbler is back at CV State Park.

April 11, 13 - Raven soaring and croaking overhead. Heard first Broad-winged Hawk overhead also.

 April 11, 12 – Two sapsuckers drumming and calling in back woods. Wild turkey gobbling in back woods.

April 11, 14 - A rainy day at CV State Park, but we did one song from a  Brown Creeper. Also... on Chenango Lake: two male Hooded Merganser displaying for one female, and a lone male Common Merganser.

April 11, 16 - At Whitney Point Lake, I counted 8 Common Loons, all in breeding plumage. Three were within 30 yards of each other, diving occasionally. The others were well spaced out on the lake. On the Otselic River, where it enters the lake: Two pairs of Buffleheads and two pairs of Hooded Mergansers.

April 11, 17 - A single loud gobble at 7 a.m. 

April 12 – Two fox sparrows. No siskins or redpolls for several days. Two male and one female purple finch. Creeper on pine tree around suet.

April 12 (06) – Two male purple finches at feeder. Tree swallow on wire. First white-throat and RC Kinglet.

April 12, 08 - Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls, NY. Windy, cloudy, 50 degrees. Three painted turtles crossing entrance road to refuge. We gave them a hand. Hundreds of tree swallows perched in tree near Visitor Center. Periodically they swirled off en masse to catch insects over new pool by headquarters. Sometimes they even landed to catch dying insects that had fallen to the ground. 5-6 purple martins setting up shop in martin house by visitor center. In new pool: several killdeer, blue- and green-winged teal, plus a number of gadwall. On main pool: crowded with birds for two miles of wildlife drive. Hundreds of canvasbacks sweep into the refuge in wave after wave. A lone snow goose. A lone yellowlegs. Dozens of ruddy ducks, many of them males in beautiful breeding plumage. Many ring-necked ducks and redheads. Some bufflehead, a few coot, one pied-billed grebe. At least a dozen bonaparte's gulls - already with breeding plumage black heads - dipping and diving over the wind-blown surface.

Also, a dozen or more male shovelers, all together in a tight group, chasing and jousting. Male ruddy ducks stiffening and fanning their stubby tails to display, then bobbing their heads. Several sightings of female harrier hunting the marsh. Three osprey nests occupied. One sighting of an osprey bringing nesting material to a nest it was building.

Cornelian cherry (cornus mas) shrubs in yellow bloom.

April 12, 10 - Mourning cloak and several spring azure butterflies on forest walk today. Sweet white violets  in bloom.

April 12, 13 - Still have several dozen juncos feeding actively in side yard. Also, a Fox Sparrow. In the lower woods, we got scolded by an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk. High-pitched kak-kak-kak from above us, as we walked the trail. The bird flew to several perches while watched it - never flying more than 30 yards from the first place we saw it.  We did notice a stick nest in a tall Scotch pine nearby. We'll keep an eye on it.

April 12, 14 - A dozen or more juncos feeding in the yard this morning. See note from this date in 2013. Mourning Cloak butterfly on driveway. Same date as 2010.

April 12, 15 - A pair of Broad-winged Hawks over the house, soaring and calling in close formation.

April 12, 17 - Colt's Foot blooming along many local roads. Hillsides colored raspberry with flowering Red Maples.

April 12, 16 - At Montezuma NWR... Countless hundreds of Green-winged Teal and a very few Bleu-winged Teal. Hundreds of Shovelers (males almost in full breeding plumage). 25 Ruddy Ducks with only a few males approaching full plumage. Fair number of Ring-necked Ducks. Handful of Black Ducks; a few dozen Pintails. No migratory geese or swans. Several Bald Eagles. At least 6 occupied Osprey nests, both on refuge and nearby. Several brown Harriers. No gray males. Handful of Yellowlegs. No other shorebirds. Twenty Caspian Terns. 

April 13. Morning below freezing. Fox sparrow singing and feeding. 3 male purple finches at sunflower. 

April 13, 07 – Gobbler fanning and gobbling for two hens in yard – in heavy snow. 

April 13, 08 - Raven soaring and calling overhead at Chris's. Sapsucker drumming. Two male purple finches at feeder. Purple finch singing here in evening.

April 13, 14 - First Cowbird of the spring - a male - at feeder briefly. Heard a Flicker call briefly in back woods. Winter Wren back in bog at State Park, singing.

 April 13, 15 - Loud clattering and yelping of Wild Turkey hens in the woods, followed by very loud gobbles. Shortly after things quieted, a tree fell and elicited more gobbles. Two pine siskin sat feeders. Sapsuckers drumming.

April 13, 17 - Driving country roads north of Whitney Point... Three Kestrels. One pair and a single. One Meadowlark - my first from this area ever. A dozen or more Tree Swallows darting over pond on Jensen Rd. Tree Swallow also on wire down the road for the first time this spring. 

April 14. Purple finches at feeder. Several dozen juncos feeding on seed. Ruby-crowned kinglet singing. “The Four Jakes” feeding at 8 a.m.

April 14, 10 - Male cowbird displaying for female at sunflower feeder. Trout lily and squirrel corn blooming. April 14 (06) – First towhee singing.

April 14 , 07 – Montauk Point – Thousands of scoters off the point, mostly black. Blacks were calling a high-pitched “ow” call. Five or six swimming around females. Also a few rb mergansers. A few red-necked grebes in ocean surf at Ditch Plains. Still a few loons in surf and on bay. Some in winter, some in breeding, plumage. Around 15 ruddy ducks on Big Reed Pond, along with one male scaup. Mourning cloak butterfly there.

April 14, 06 - Four pairs of ring-necked ducks at Upper Lisle wetland. Great egret reported at Cutler Pond, Town of Dickinson. Three red-tailed hawks soaring overhead. Two soaring together, including swoops with folded wings. The third stayed at a distance, calling with "faint scream" call.

 April 14, 10 - American Bittern reported at local wetland pond.

 April 14, 11 – Walk through fields, woods and wetlands in Town of Nanticoke. Several pairs of wood ducks and hooded mergansers. Flushed a brown phase ruffed grouse. False hellebore just poking through. Mink on beaver dam. Meadowlark at meadow’s edge. Swamp sparrow singing

 April 14, 12 – Pair of broad-winged hawks harass a red-tailed hawk soaring over the house. Broad-wings, cupped wings and zoomed toward the red-tail, giving their high-pitched single-whistle call. First chipping sparrow seen in  yard.

 April 14, 13 - YB Sapsucker calling in back woods - both the mewing call and the harsher one. The bird also was drumming - first I've heard that this spring. A crow chased a raven over the house at low altitude.

 April 14, 14 - First float of the season. The river was high and green. Water temp. chilly. Strong south winds. osprey perched on riverside tree. Took off and cried at us, then circled  around and flew upriver. ten or so wood ducks, most males, in pairs and small group. One pair of Common mergansers. Kingfisher pair. One lovely Greater Yellowlegs in breeding plumage. It took off without a sound. Seven Buffleheads (5 males) in lower section f river before bridge. At upper end of reservoir, two Bald Eagles dipping and soaring upward together. Only one was an adult. Snipe flushed in swale beyond barrier at Upper Lisle. Three Blue-winged Teal in wetland there. At home... first Chipping Sparrow. See this date 2012. Pair of red-bellied Woodpeckers visits the feeder.

April 15. High of 70. Rc and GC kinglets calling an flitting about. Two fox sparrows. 8-10 juncos. Sapsucker drumming erratically in upper woods. Also calling. One time heard two sapsuckers drumming almost simultaneously on different trees. Pair of pileateds fly through yard, one after the other. Land in dead gray birches. Two male and one female purple finch at sunflower regularly. Males sing all day. Red-tail overhead, chased by crow. Very large gap in primary feathers on the hawk. Red-shouldered hawk calling constantly for three hours – 4 – 7 p.m. – in woods near IJ farmhouse.

April 15, 03 - Broad-winged hawk calling from perch in aspen by the road. Two blue jays sitting a foot away scolding. First sighting of broad-wing this year. Pine warbler in aspen fluff in side woods. Sapsucker and flicker both back.

April 15, 04 -Upper Lisle. Two snipe in the same place at edge of wetland where we have seen one snipe several times for the past ten days. Also a bittern there. Got to within 20 feet or so as it stretched its neck and hid behind some shrubs in four inches of water. Also a pair or two of BW teal, a drake pintail, four pairs of  ring-necks.

April 15 (06) – Treman State Park – Louisiana Waterthrush in gorge. Squirrel corn starting to bloom. Brier Hill – Hermit thrush in yard. RC Kinglets. Fox sparrows gone.

April 15, 07 – Purple finch male singing and at feeder. Adult sharp-shinned hawk hanging out at tops of trees in spruce woods across the road.

April 15, 08 - BU Nature Preserve: Sapsucker, hairy woodpecker and pileated all drumming. Flicker calling. Ruby-crowned kinglets and white-throated sparrow singing.

April 15, 12 – Ruby-crowned kinglets in yard. Chickadees excavating nest in rotting aspen next to driveway. Hole is done. Birds disappear into it and begin hammering away at inside chamber. Female red-bellied woodpecker at suet. Female purple finch also.

April 15, 16 - Sapsuckers drumming throughout the day. Several Purple Finches at feeder, plus several Pine Siskins. Still have at least 20 Juncos feeding on the ground. 

April 15, 17 - Flicker calling in upper woods. I've heard it up and down the road for the past few days. Pair of Ruby-crowned Kinglets foraging in the Scotch Pine. Detected when of them sang.

April 16, 02. Mid-80s. Broad-wing calling and circling over the house. Three ravens over Harriet’s house. Two were together, with one croaking three times quickly, then folding its wings and going into a short dive. Gorgeous. Chickadee in birdhouse at Nan’s. Phoebes building nest under her deck.

 April 16, 04. RB nuthatch calling below house. Flicker calls and flies over house. First kayak outing – Willet to Lander’s. Gorgeous. 65 degrees, light wind, blue sky. Pair of bufflehead, pair of gw teal, 8-10 woodies, 8-10 common mergs, pair of hooded mergs. Several brown creepers singing. Sapsucker drumming, and grouse drumming at Lander’s launch area.

April 16 (06) – Male robin chases two cowbirds a round the back yard. RC Kinglets. Pair of purple finches. Male singing.

April 16, 07 – 10 inches of wet snow. Fox sparrow here.

April 16, 08 - BU Nature Preserve: pair of phoebes at the boardwalk; brown thrasher in shrubs leading to pond. At Nuthatch Hollow Preserve: Pair of blue-headed vireos with male singing in woods by stream. Brown creeper working sugar maple. Ruby-crowned kinglets and white-throated sparrows about. Report of great horned owl nest in Binghamton - South Mountain. Lone fledgling hopping about on branches of 60-foot pine in which nest (formerly occupied by red-tailed hawks) is located.

April 16, 09 – Phoebe singing constantly. Pair looking over drain pipe nest site from previous years.?April 16, 10 - Male purple finch singing along driveway; female perched in honeysuckle shrubs. Many juncos still here. Chipping sparrow singing.

April 16, 11 – Strong winds and spitting rain. Despite that, sapsucker drumming and calling in back woods. Fox sparrow in yard.

April 16, 12 – On the river… Temp. 82. Greater Yellowlegs feeding in shallows. Bald eagle, almost a full adult, flies ahead and lands several times. Head almost all white but still a few flecks of gray. Tail hardly white, with a few flecks of white. Breast heavily streaked. Bill turning yellow but still with a large brown spot. Gnatcatchers calling in trees near large black willows. Male red-winged blackbirds but still no females. Dozens of red admiral butterflies, apparently flying north. We saw many crossing the river, heading that direction. At home, first white-throated sparrow in yard.

April 16, 14 - Chickadee excavating cavity in dead aspen by the driveway. The mate perched 18 inches away.

April 16, 15 - Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge... Warm and breezy. No birds migrating. No migratory Canada Geese or Snow Geese on site. No Tundra Swans. We did see a pair of Trumpeter Swans. Also, 400+ Canvasback and 100 Redheads. Many Shovelers and good number sof Ring-necked ducks. Also a dozen or more Ruddy Ducks in breeding plumage. A few Green-winted Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon and Scaup. One Caspian tern and 1 Sandhill Crane at Knox wetland. Thousands of Mallards lifted up from flooded fields. Numerous Ospreys on platforms. Only one Harrier and no shorebirds. Purple Martins at their apartment house.

April 16, 16 - Ruby-crowned Kinglet singing frequently through the morning. One White-throated Sparrow under feeder - first of year. Very warm day. Most of Juncos seem to have traveled north. Heard several loud gobbles from upper woods - first of year.

April 16, 17 - Thunderstorm winds ave knocked thousands of red maple flowers off trees and onto lawn and driveway. Buds are attached and also red. These are pollen flower - red at the base and yellow at the tips. Colt's foot and low daisy-like flower on woods road above Upper Lisle.


April 17, 04 – First white-throat singing and first RC kinglets. First towhee heard also. At Montezuma, dramatically fewer birds than 10 days ago. However, we saw 13 species of ducks.

April 17 (06) – Raven chased over house by a crow. Sapsucker actively drumming and calling in back woods. Hermit thrush sighted in lower woods and side yard. 

April 17, 08 - Pair of chipping sparrows has arrived here. Just before dusk, I hear the "drink-your-tea" song of a recently arrived rufous-sided towhee. I visit pine grove where great horned owl fledgling was spotted last evening. Fledged.

April 17, 09 – First kayak outing on Otselic. Few songbirds, with exception of song sparrows. Kingfisher, osprey carrying fish. Solitary sandpiper on mudflat, along with three blue-winged teal. Numerous wood ducks along river channel.

April 17, 10 - At home, three white-throated sparrows feeding on cracked corn with juncos. Also, I walked the edge of a forested lake. Found two shrubs flowering: American Fly Honeysuckle and Low Bush Blueberry. Also a Swamp Sparrow singing.

April 17, 11 – Three purple finches (one male) at feeder.                 

April 17, 13 - Observed adult Bald Eagle soaring over Rte. 26 above Whitney Point. At north end of lake, a Forster's tern swept back and forth over the water for over an hour. Pure white on top, with a black bill. Also on the lake: a pair of Long-tailed Ducks (the male in breeding plumage), 8-10 Caspian Terns (loafing on an island with cormorants), a lone female Common Goldeneye, 8-10 Ruddy Ducks (males in breeding plumage), a loon in breeding plumage, a few Lesser Scaup and numerous Bufflehead. At wetland above lake, a few Gadwall, Wigeon and Shovelers. Peepers and meadow frogs calling. Here at home... a pair of Broad-winged hawks, calling and soaring together high overhead.

April 17, 14 - At CV State Park... Many Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Green Heron, several singing Brown Creepers, a phoebe pair, Chipping Sparrow and Field Sparrow. Leeks are up also. One male Hooded Merganser on the river.

April 17, 15 - At Upper Lisle, north of Whitney Point Lake... Entire area still flooded. Deck of Upper Lisle Bridge still under water. In flooded field by Clay Banks... 15 Bonaparte's Gulls. Several with complete black heads they sport in breeding plumage. One Forster's Tern, plus several Gadwalls, a dozen Bufflehead and what looked like a Red-throated Loon in transition plumage. Towhees and Field Sparrows singing. Ruby-crowned Kinglets also singing.

April 17, 16 - Cowbird male and female at the feeder. One male Cardinal chasing another in brush by driveway. One male on top of my blue car in driveway shortly thereafter. One male singing from maple at side of yard shorty after that.

April 17, 17 - Two Flickers flew overhead, one about 15 seconds after the first. They landed 40 yards apart, with one of them uttering a single screech note. Pair of Nuthatches, each one feeding on hanging suet basket, five feet apart. I heard soft "ank, ank" sounds. 

 April 18, 02 – Whitethroats and GC kinglets singing. Pair of broadwings soaring over the house, calling constantly. One bird high above the other, soaring with cupped wings.

April 18, 04. Upper Lisle. Immature bald eagle circling high overhead with osprey circling a bit higher. Pair of black ducks, two pairs of ring-necks, pied-billed grebe on wetland. Here – rb nuthatch calling in morning.

April 18 (06) – RC Kinglet singing loudly in pine. Hermit thrush sings weakly and calls strongly. Raven croaks in distance. First carpenter bees. RB Nuthatch at sunflower feeder.

April 18, 07 – Five yellowlegs feeding on mudflats in river channel. Two dozen ring-necks, 12 widgeon, pb grebe, one drake pintail, 8 bufflehead, two wood ducks, two Bonaparte’s gulls at channel edge with yellowlegs.

April 18, 09 – First rc kinglets (singing) and gc kinglets in yard. Fox sparrow singing in yard through the day. Phoebes around their nest site all day.

April 18, 10 - RC kinglets in yard. Forest walk. Photographed dutchman's breeches, cut-leaved toothwort, white trillium and mertensia. Observed red-breasted nuthatch (two males calling), broad-winged hawk (calling), blue-headed vireo (singing) and brown creeper (calling).

April 18, 11 – Fox sparrow in yard.

April 18, 12 – At CV State Park… Photographed mertensia and monkey flower. Here at home… Three broad-winged hawks calling and swirling overhead – maybe even a fourth. RC Kinglets in pines.

Glossy Ibis discovered at Boland Pond.

April 18, 13 - Here... RC Kinglets calling in pines. On the river... two juvenile bald eagles in the same tree. Small numbers of wood ducks and mallards. A pair of common mergansers. A lone female goldeneye.

At the wetland... a dozen gadwall, a single shoveler male, a pair of green-winged teal. On the lake... a female long-tailed duck, several horned grebes, a number of bufflehead. Along the road... many patches of colt's foot blooming.

April 18, 14 - Checked bluebird trail near Castle Creek. Of 10 locations, bluebirds were sighted at 8. Several nests in boxes, but no eggs yet. In one field, we encountered a pair of Pine Warblers. Male was bright yellow. Female was first year bird - very pale. Observed two bald eagles - one over Brotzman Rd.; the other over Chenango Valley High School. 

April 18, 15 - Warm and sunny. At Upper Lisle. Fields still flooded and bridge closed. More than a dozen Buffleheads on flooded field and river channel. Male Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers drumming. One bird drummed on support wire of DEC sign at Landers parking lot. Field Sparrows singing. Flickers calling. Two crows chased a Raven over the river. The Raven constantly flipped over on its side in flight, then righted itself immediately. Nice look at a Broad-winged Hawk over the river.

 April 19 – Two male sapsuckers dukeing it out at Hermitedge. One bright male drumming on red aluminum gate. Another swirls in. There is a female there, too. The three of them fly to a nearby tree and hitch up and down a few minutes before one of the males flies off.

April 19 (06) – Solitary vireo singing in back woods near line. Two male sapsuckers drumming from trees 50 feet apart in McAuley woods. One flies to the other’s tree and forces it away; then drums once on the tree before following the bird it forced away.

April 19, 07 – RB nuthatch calling in yard. Fox sparrow at feeder. Pileated drumming.

April 19, 08 - Montauk Point, NY: Long lines of black scoters flying just above the ocean surface, several hundred yards offshore. Several small flocks of common eiders bobbing just beyond the surf line. Many common loons also just beyond the surf. Carolina wren singing actively from tangles surrounding the house where I stayed.

April 19, 10 - Late morning walk. Flicker and sapsucker calling. Purple finches and goldfinches at sunflower. Brown creeper calling. Two ravens sweep just over the treetops, one chasing the other. A crow mobs a red-tailed hawk.

April 19, 11 – Hermit thrush singing near driveway entrance. Purple finch singing. Sapsucker drumming and calling. First white-throated sparrows of the spring – very late due to cold and wet April. White-throats eating suet chunks at base of suet feeder.

April 19, 11 – On the river… Pair of adult bald eagles together in riverside silver maple. One flew off and was immediately harassed by a red-tailed hawk. Just downstream, I saw a red-tail flying over a field toward the river, carrying nesting material. We located a stick nest in a nearby maple at river’s edge. Thought we saw a head protruding, but just barely. Many ducks. 8 green-winged teal, 8 wood ducks, 6 hooded mergansers, 6 common merganser, 12 mallards. Got just a glimpse at two sandpipers on riverbank. Not solitary or spotted. About solitary size. Dozens of red-winged blackbirds calling like crazy in a two-mile stretch. Along that stretch we saw the first females of the year – a flock of about 30. Nice look at a beautiful mink, prowling the bank. Very dark, almost black, tail and face. Also saw a beaver swimming across the river. Head so much larger muskrat, plus flat tail. White trillium blooming along bank.

Here at home… Pair of Chipping Sparrows locked in aerial battle.

April 19, 14 - At Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge... 12 Canvasbacks, one pair of Redheads, dozens of Ring-necked Ducks and Shovelers, several pairs of Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal. Twenty or so Caspian Terns loafing in shallows by visitor center. Martins in residence at martin houses there. Osprey on nest along Rte. 20. 

April 19, 16 - Visit to NE PA and loop road I bird there. Broad-Winged Hawk perched in tree overhanging dirt road. Two kestrels over fields - both females. Field Sparrow singing in brushy meadow. In woods... Trout Lily, Spring Beauty blooming. Colt's Foot along the road. Came upon two red phase Ruffed Grouse on dirt roads. 

 April 20  - Two fox sparrows, three male purple finches. Both singing. RC kinglets singing. RB Nuthatch at the sunflower feeder. Cardinal pair at feeder. Two large gobblers with four hens in yard.

April 20, 04. Broad-wing calling in woods here. Male purple finch at feeder. Pair of red-tails overhead, circling, harassed by crow. RC kinglets gleaning insects in balsam fir.

At CV State Park: collected leaks, small but abundant. Singing: gnatcatcher, blue-headed vireo, brown creeper. Pileated drumming.

April 20 (06) -  Phoebe very active around house. Does high fluttering flight above trees, while calling.

April 20, 07 – Sapsucker drumming and calling. Purple finch singing in yard. GC kinglet in yard.

April 20, 08 - Male brown-headed cowbird has arrived and is making a sound I've never heard this bird make: a creeking-type noise, very different from the common high-pitched squeak. No female in sight.

April 20, 10 - trip to Montauk Point, NY. Many common eider bobbing just beyond the breakers. Gannets fishing just a bit farther offshore.

April 20, 11 – At CV State Park. Sapsuckers and red-bellied woodpecker calling. Brown creeper singing on Bog Trail. Female bufflehead and two cormorants on Lily Lake.

April 20, 12 – Photographed chipping sparrow, singing loudly in back yard.

April 20, 14 - Two male robins facing off and jousting in the backyard. Two male cardinals doing the same thing on corner of Vestal Pkwy. and Bunn Hill Rd.

April 20, 15 - A Raven flew over my car as I was leaving the Binghamton University campus through the back woods road. This must be one of the pair that has built a nest on the side of one of the dorms in that corner of the campus.

April 20, 16 - Ruby-crowned Kinglet singing and foraging in pines and spruces here. On Brandywine Highway, we saw two crows chasing a juvenile Bald Eagle. River float... Red-tailed Hawk on nest in tall tree at edge of side channel. Cries out to get my attention, then flies from nest and perches 5 feet away. Doesn’t go back to nest, but flies from nearby perch to nearby perch for the next five minutes, calling all the while.

Bald Eagle’s white head just visible above nest 100 yards from riverbank.?Adult Bald Eagle soars overhead at end of float. Jet black ironing board wings flat out. Pure white tail shows a bit of orange at the base. Caused by golden talons tucked under tail.?Killdeer picks about on a muddy bank.?Flock of six Tree Swallows sweeps out over river, calling to one another.?Three pairs of Blue-winged Teal muck about in shallows at river’s edge. Wary and fly when they see us. ??Plants?Fertile fronds of Ostrich Fern prominent on bank.?Also emerging leaves of Skunk Cabbage.?Last years tangled threads of Wild Cucumber vine cling to host plants.?Tendrils of Wild Grape creep up large trunk of hardwood.

Sycamore seeds balls show up against clear blue sky, as do pale winged seeds of Box Elder.

EndFragment

 April 21. RB Nuthatch at suet on Scotch pine.

April 21, 04. Pair of hermit thrushes at Chris’s.

April 21 (06) – Two female purple finches at feeder. Several whitethroats in yard. Towhee calling. First warbler – a myrtle – singing in back woods in evening. At Buttermilk State Park. Several solitary vireos singing. Observed Louisiana Waterthrush singing in gorge at West King Road entrance. Sharp-lobed hepatica in flower.

April 21 , 07 – Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Warm in the 70s. Many fewer birds than ten days prior, when 2,500 cans, 2,000 redheads and 1,500 ring-necks were counted. But still we see many cans, redheads and ring-necks, along with eight or so other ducks, including both teal. But no woodies or hooded mergs. Five soaring eagles overhead. A pair of horned grebes, one in breeding plumage.

April 21, 08 - Broad-winged hawks have returned - a bit late compared to past years. I hear them in the evening, not flying but perched in the woods, giving their pee-eee calls. A purple finch also begins singing in the evening.

Friends in northern Susquehanna County, Pa. report a fisher at their suet feeder. This large weasel features a black, tapered tail, black legs and snout, and a brown back. Length is about three feet.

April 21, 10 - Montauk, NY. Walked in a pitch pine woods where numerous pine warblers were feeding and singing. In an adjoining oak woods, observed 4-5 palm warblers feeding on the ground in a loose flock. Also heard and saw blue-gray gnatcatchers, red-bellied woodpecker, ruby-crowned kinglet. Wood anemone in flower.

April 21, 11 – Half a dozen purple finches at sunflower feeder.

April 21, 12 – 8 snipe sighted at Upper Lisle wetland, all in swampy area below path along Dike Pond.

April 21, 14 - On the Otselic River... Three juvenile bald eagles. Two perched in trees as we floated by; one overhead being badgered by a crow. First pair of Spotted Sandpipers of the year. One Greater Yellowlegs on sandbar above Clay Banks. 8-10 wood ducks in pairs along the route. We picked some leaks - very small and tender. At home: Phoebes about and inspecting the house for nesting sites.

April 21, 15 - Upper Lisle Bridge still closed due to flooding. At Dorchester Park, a pair of Ring-necked Ducks feeding in shallow water at edge of lake.

April 21, 16 - Towhee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and White-throated Sparrow singing here at 8 a.m.  

 April 22. Seven days of cloudy, rainy skies. Susquehanna very high. Daffodils have been beautiful for two weeks. Fox sparrow singing in the rain at 1 p.m.

April 22 (06) – Towhee singing loudly, but only the “drink your” part of the song. He is leaving out the “tea” syllable. White-throat invasion. Many under the Scotch pine and singing. Pairs of sapsuckers and downy woodpeckers drumming all day. Observed female downy drumming on hollow tree. Crow chases raven over back woods. Three seconds, later a second crow chases a second raven in the same direction. Colt’s foot blooming beside local roadways.

April 22, 08 - Blue-headed vireo singing in the woods at 9 a.m. Chipping sparrow high in a maple, trilling. Wild leeks have emerged and are ready for harvesting. Kayaking the river, between noon and 3 p.m.: Hundreds of red-winged blackbirds, dozens of grackles, one brown-headed cowbird, a couple of starlings. Three red-bellied woodpeckers, one calling. Several flickers calling. A number of mallards, common mergansers, wood ducks and eight green-winged teal (all together). Several pairs of hooded mergansers also. Several spotted sandpipers. Three or four kingfishers but no herons. Female kestrel perched in riverbank tree.

Also good looks at immature sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks. The Cooper's flew into a small flock of grackles and scared them away, with no chance of catching anything - then perched for awhile so we could admire it.

A great look at a mink on the riverbank, hunting. Lustrous rufous-brown coat with blackish tail and face. Was able to shadow it in the boat for 30 or 40 yards, as it ran along the bank, exploring roots of large undercut trees. Silver maples in full flower. Flowers floating on the surface. Ping pong ball-sized seed clusters of sycamores still hanging from branches, easily seen against the sky. No sign of leaves or flowers on the sycamores yet. Trout lily (adder's tongue) in bloom.

April 22, 09 – First white-throated sparrow in yard. Pair of male sapsuckers dueling at close range, with female just a few feet away. Flicker calling loudly. Eagle nest at CV State Park – adult at the nest; one of two chicks visible from time to time. Wings look about 12 inches long.

April 22, 10 - Montauk, NY. Awoke in tent at 6 a.m. to hear Carolina wren, cardinal and robin singing loudly.

April 22, 12 – Two white-throated sparrows in yard.

April 22, 13 - On the river... collected leeks. Yellow-rumped warbler singing along bank. Flicker calling in woods.  In wetland... several wigeon, gadwall and green-winged teal. 

April 22, 14 - Three White-throated Sparrows in yard. First of year. See April 22 entries above. 

April 22, 16 - Flicker calling in back woods. First Chipping Sparrow appears, perched on tube feeder. At 9 p.m... Driving home. Light rain had fallen. Temp. at 60 degrees. Numerous frogs on the road.

 April 23 (06) – Male pileated working small fallen maple at edge of driveway. He didn’t fly as I drove past, so I was able to stop and observe him at 10-15 feet away. While I watched, another pileated swooped past and flew farther into the woods. Purple finches and RC kinglets here. Goldfinches almost all yellow now. Broadwings return (the pair), circling and calling in late afternoon. Brown Thrasher singing at BU.

April 23, 07 – First ruby-crowned kinglet in yard. White-throated sparrows singing. Pileated woodpecker drumming. Winter wren exploring crannies in stone wall surrounding garden pond.

April 23, 08 - Pennsylvania Game Lands at Great Bend: First shadbush (juneberry) trees in flower. Trout lily and first red trillium in bloom. Colt's foot covering road edges. Skunk cabbage leaves 12 inches high in wet area by Susquehanna River. Several yellow-rumped warblers and blue-headed vireos singing. Louisianna waterthrush singing from high in a hardwood at edge of wooded stream by river. Black-and-white warbler singing in dense hardwood forest.

April 23, 10 - Friend reports hearing a whip-poor-will singing while camping out. Bird sang constantly through the night.

April 23, 11 – Blue-headed vireo singing in back woods in evening. Many migrating juncos in yard. At Upper Lisle: two cormorants, 4 female buffleheads, two black ducks. Kingfishers chasing and loudly courting.

April 23, 12 – Chipping Sparrow and Purple Finch singing in yard. Female finch at feeder.

April 23, 13 - At CV State park... Brown Creeper singing. Wood Ducks along Bog Trail. Female Hooded Merganser on Lily Lake. Trailing Arbutus flowering there also. Here... Several Ruby-crowned Kinglets in evergreens this morning.

April 23, 15 - Very cold (38) with strong NW winds. At Dorchester park: Flock of a dozen Double-crested Cormorants on the lake, plus a Greater Yellowlegs on shore. At Upper Lisle Park, a dozen or so Buffleheads, plus a White-winged Scoter and a pair of Greater Scaup taking shelter from winds in a cove. Adult Bald Eagle perched in a tree by the river at Clay Banks.

April 23, 16 - Flicker continues calling from above house and up the road 50 yards. Pileated also called today, so I had a chance to hear them in comparison. Several White-throated Sparrows here, but no large influx as of yet.

April 23, 17 - Broad-winged Hawk flies up from growing a mail box, perches 1r feet high by the road. Sharp-shinned Hawk attacks feeders. A dozen purple and gold fiches flee. Hawk misses, perches briefly, then flies north at full speed.

 April 24, 2002. Bittern at Upper Lisle. Hunting in wetland pond 40 yards from where we saw it last year on April 26. Also 10-12 cormorants, same as last year at Upper Lisle on April 26. Brown thrasher singing at top of tamarack tree. Several migrating osprey.

April 24 (06) – Many whitethroats.

April 24, 07 – First whitethroat invasion. Dozens in yard. Also first bunch of rc kinglets. Both species singing. Also, blue jay is making his imitation call of the broad-winged hawk. First towhee – a male – seen in yard, at ground feeder.

April 24, 09 –Blue-headed vireo calling at Chris’s

April 24, 10 - Photographed blue phlox, mertensia and spring beauty at CV State Park. Broad-winged hawk circling overhead here.

April 24, 11 – First ruby and golden-crowned kinglets. Kinglets singing. White-throats here and singing. Purple finches still here (8) and singing. Blue-headed vireo singing in back woods. Sapsuckers drumming.

April 24, 12 – Broad-winged hawk perched on wire near water tank on my road.

April 24, 14 - Two female purple finches and a white-throated sparrow at feeder.

April 24, 17 - Toads trilling at night in small garden pond.

April 25 – Two big toms in back yard. One fanning constantly, walking in tight circles around the other as it moved slowly about.

April 25, 2002. Same as above!

April 25, 2004. CV Park with Jack P. female hooded merganser in golf course pond.

April 25 (06) – First chipping sparrow in yard.

April 25, 07 – Many ruby-crowned kinglets feeding and singing. Many white-throated sparrows feeding and singing. First chipping of spring sparrow in yard.

April 25, 08 - Chipping sparrow continues singing actively from atop red maple at forest edge.

Broad-winged hawk pair courting overhead. One did a flutter landing from just over the house into the woods. Second bird of pair followed, landing 40 yards away. Both birds then began "pee-eee" calls. They've been calling from perches in the woods for several days. Female Cardinal on nest in juniper shrub.

April 25, 09 – Broadwing calling overhead. Siskins are still here. Cardinal pair emerges from rhododendrons – nesting? Heard whip-poor-will calling in upper woods around 9 p.m.

April 25, 10 - Many white-throated sparrows in yard, some singing.

April 25, 11 – At CV State Park… Pine warbler singing at Bog Trail and park road. Barred owl hooting between Bog Trail and Chenango Lake. Very low and loud. At least five repetitions. Hermit thrushes and singing creeper on Bog Trail. Gnatcatchers in tall oaks at Tween Lakes pavilion. Twenty common mergansers and two pied-billed grebes on Chenango Lake. Singing yellow-rumped warbler along road between pavilion and Bog Trail entrance.

April 25, 12  – At BU Nature Preserve… Several foraging white-throated sparrows, a towhee, singing ruby-crowned kinglets and a singing swamp sparrow.

April 25, 13 - At Upper Lisle wetland... Two male Green-winged Teal, one male Blue-winged Teal, three male Gadwall, several Wood Duck pairs, three Common Mergansers (river channel), one male Greater Scaup (channel at top of lake), one male Shoveler. Osprey flying over. Flicker calling. Red catkins prominent on large Cottonwood. Box Elders also budding prominently.

April 25, 15 - Crow in the yard, gathering nesting material on the ground.

April 25, 16 - Long Pond State Forest, Smithville Flats. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Cloudy. 57 degrees. Winds – 0

Trail beyond dam…

Muddy. Trail passes through stand of large Norway spruce and then into a brushy field.?In spruce stand, several large middens of cones Red Squirrels have plundered for seeds over the winter.?In spruces, at least two singing Blue-headed Vireos. ?Several singing and calling Ruby-crowned Kinglets. ?Several calling red-breasted Nuthatches. I watched one nuthatch land on a cone and extract a seed. ??Trail on other side of Rte. 41?Yellow-rumped Warbler singing 30 feet high at top of hardwood.?In dense spruces at edge of field…?Blackburnian and Palm Warbler poke their heads out of the spruces briefly. Neither singing. ?More RC Kinglets.?Heard Barred Owl calling 4x from across the field and deep within a mature missed woodland.?RT Hawk circles above overgrown field, then drifts over adjacent deciduous woods.

Juvenile Bald Eagle soars high overhead on flat wings.?Several Field Sparrows singing in adjoining territories.?Heard Sapsucker drumming and Downy drilling, plus Flicker calling.??Field being taken over by brambles, goldenrod, milkweed, larch and aspen saplings.?Many excavated Goldenrod Galls. 

 April 26 – Two fox sparrows, still singing. Bright yellow male goldfinch and pine siskin at thistle. Bird class at Upper Lisle: bittern; gnatcatcher; yellow-rumped warbler; Canada geese with young; 8 cormorants migrating north; 50-60 ring-billed gulls; many tree swallows; a few barn swallows; osprey.

April 26, 2002 - 8:30 a.m. sunny with cold temp. and NW wind. Four broad-wings circling and calling overhead. First time I’ve seen more than two doing this.

April 26, 2004 - Upper Lisle with Jack. P. Male green-wing teal. Four flickers in same tree, making “whick-ah” noises.

April 26 (06) – At Hoxie Gorge on FLT – Singing Louisiana waterthrush. Pair of blue-headed vireos. Gorgeous male back-throated green. Hermit thrush. RC Kinglet. Yellow violets, sharp-lobed hepatica, adder’s tongue, spring beauties.

April 26, 08 - Palm warbler in silver maple along riverbank. Many wood ducks, mallards and common mergansers sighted, as well as a pair of green-winged teal and several female hooded mergansers. First kingbird of the spring also along riverbank. Black willows are bright yellow, with their long yellow catkins in full bloom. Mink observed running along the bank - second one seen on the river this week. Many white trillium in bloom, along with violets and trout lily.

April 26, 10 - Forest walk. Lots of goldthread in flower. Also rue anemone. Two dozen white-throated sparrows in yard.

April 26, 11 – Very warm. Siskin in the yard, chased by a goldfinch. Blue-headed vireo singing briefly in a.m. behind house. Purple finches still here. On the river… two female common goldeneyes, very uncommon for this area. Numerous wood ducks and common mergansers. Female bufflehead. Two spotted sandpipers. 200-300 Bonaparte’s gulls wheeling over large corn field. Also massing on the ground.

April 26, 12 – Several white-throated sparrows in yard. Also a yellow-rumped warbler.

April 26, 13 - Male yellow-rumped Warbler singing at point on Whitney Point Lake. Six Cormorants flying north over the lake. Barn Swallows  mixed in with Tree Swallows hawking insects. 

April 26, 14 - A state park on Long Island Sound in CT... Greater Yellowlegs in marsh. Strings of cormorants flying in formation. Mockingbird imitating Cardinal, Robin and Tree Swallow. Very bright yellow Savannah Sparrow on lawn near parking lot. Several Brant on a rock in sound. Also there, a Red-throated Look in winter plumage.

April 26, 15 - 6-8 juncos at the feeder. Must be migrating through, because we only have one nesting pair here each year.

April 26, 15 - Red-breasted Nuthatch at platform feeder. First sighting in many months.

 April 27 – An increase in the number of whitethroats. RC kinglet in Scotch pine. Purple finches.

April 27, 2004. Pair of chipping sparrows in the yard.

April 27, 08 - Blue-headed vireo, purple finch and chipping sparrow singing here. Flowering dogwood in bloom. First phoebe in yard, singing.

April 27, 09 – Otselic River. Two solitary sandpipers. Many gnatcatchers. Oriole. Warbling vireo. Pair of hooded mergs and woodies.

April 27, 10 - Forest walk. Hermit thrush flitted across the trail and then landed on log close to the ground. Female pileated woodpecker landed on dead white pine and investigated before flying away. Red-bellied woodpecker also on pines. Sapsucker and brown creeper calling. Photographed gay wings (fringed polygala). Parked cars in town are covered with the spent petals of Bradford pears.

April 27, 11 – Cars and streets covered with spend flowers from red maples. At Mike’s on Delaware River in Hancock… black and white warbler, blue-headed vireo singing at camp. Red-bellied woodpecker, numerous yellow-rumped warblers, yellow warbler and yellowthroat along river.

April 27, 12 – Despite temps in the 30s and a 20 mph nw wind, white-throated sparrows  and a purple finch were singing in the yard. Counted a dozen or so sparrows.

April 27, 15 - A pair of red-tailed hawks soaring high overhead. Then one of them starts dropping and disappears from sight. The other hawk continues holding its position and then drifts slowly out of view to the south.

April 27, 16 - Standing by the platform feeder, I was almost hit by an approaching Red-breasted Nuthatch. Second sighting in three days. Crow mobbing a circling red-tail, making same unique sound it only makes when mobbing.

 April 28 – Heard what I am sure was solitary vireo sing once above the driveway. Many whitethroats. RC kinglet. No fox sparrows.

April 28, 04. Floated Tioughnioga from Marathon to WP. Many ducks. Yellow warblers singing. Water cold. No fish caught. Red bat hawking insects over the river at 3 p.m.

April 28, 07 – Swamp sparrow at BU Nature Preserve. 

April 28, 08 - Black willows are a bright yellow, thanks to their thick, dangling catkin flowers.

April 28, 10 - Previously this spring, I've been seeing only male cardinal in the yard, with a mate. Today two here, one chasing the other. The exact thing occurred with robin: previously one pair; today one male chasing another, with a female following along.

April 28, 11 – Wood thrush singing in morning at Mike’s. First towhee here, singing at 10:30 a.m. First ovenbird also singing.

At CV State Park…. Gnatcatchers, plus pine, blackburnian, yellow-rumped and black-throated green warblers near Tween Lakes Pavillion. Barred owl roosting in hemlocks along Bog Trail. Pied-billed grebe and numerous common mergansers on Chenango Lake.

April 28, 12 – Jones Park…. Chipping and Field Sparrows, Ruby-crowned kinglets, Broad-winged Hawk circling and calling, several Louisiana Waterthrushes singing and scolding near large culvert on stream. Foam flower and Gold Thread flowering. No warblers.

At home… Two male Cardinals chasing over the driveway. See this date in 2010. Red-tailed hawk swops through yard at eye level and lands in tree at yard’s edge. Two turkey gobblers in yard, with three hens at 2 p.m. No displays from the Toms. White-throated sparrows still here.

April 28, 14 - Broad-winged Hawk soaring and calling over house where we stayed in CT.

April 28, 15 - At least 15 juncos eating seeds under feeder.

April 28, 16 - Chipping Sparrow pair in backyard evergreens. Male singing from top of ash in side yard. Bluebird pair at Long Pond. Red-breasted Nuthatch calling there.

 April 29 – Bird walk at BU Nature Preserve. Connecticut warbler in flowering aspen tree. Bright and beautiful. Blue head, yellow breast and white eye ring. Brown thrasher singing loudly and frequently from atop other aspens. Many RC kinglets. Many tree swallows over pond. A few white-throats. Soaring osprey, broad-wing and turkey vulture. Four more vultures sighted at home in evening. At Chris’s: warbling vireo in hardwood in front of his house. Red bat hawking insects for 15 minutes over beaver pond.

At home – two tom turkeys feeding together. One of my regulars has a double-beard.

April 29, 01 - Blackburnian warbler at BU Nature preserve. Osprey also.

April 29, 03 - Hermit thrush sings in back woods near twilight.

April 29, 07 – Blue-headed vireo singing.

April 29, 08 - Waterman Conservation Center. Birds singing, calling or drumming include: house wren, blue-headed vireo, brown creeper, pileated woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, field sparrow, goldfinch. Fronds of interrupted and bracken ferns 12 inches high. May apple is up, with umbrella leaves still unfurled. Seed catkins of big-toothed aspen on forest floor. Also small leaves and flower catkins of red oak.

April 29, 09 – Brown thrasher singing around yard. Many white-throated sparrows arrived overnight and now feeding under pine. Osprey and solitary sandpiper at Upper Lisle.

April 29, 13 - On the Delaware River... Heard first Yellow Warblers and Black-and-White Warblers.

April 29, 14 - Several White-throated Sparrows here. Ruby-crowned Kinglet singing. Phoebes flying around the house.

April 29, 15 - Chipping Sparrow singing in maple at edge of yard at 8 a.m;

April 29, 16 - Otselic River Float 

Skies Cloudy?Wind NW at 5?Water 48 degrees??Encountered a Solitary Sandpiper on muddy bank. Quite tame. Greenish legs and white eye ring prominent. (photo)?A number of Spotted Sandpipers were also on the river. Several stood on shore as I passed, teetering their rear ends back and forth. One stood on a fallen tree trunk in shallow water at river’s edge. (photo) Bird was in full breeding plumage.?Had a turkey gobbler fly across the river in front of me. Full view as it took off from a high bank covered with skunk cabbage and flew to a thickly forested bank of hemlocks and Hardwoods on the other shore.?Saw my first female Red-winged Blackbird of spring. It dashed across the river in front of me, chased by a male. Then another male. And then a third.?At the end of the float, we noted a Great Egret perched high in a tree along the bank. As we watched, it took off, flew to a nearby wetland and skimmed over its waters. Lovely contrast between its pure white and the orangy color of new leaves on black cherry in which it was perched.?[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]?[endif]

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 April 30. YB sapsucker calling in yard. At Sky Lake: a number of yellow-rumped warblers in trees around the lake, flitting over the water for insects. Brown creeper calling. Once I heard the loose trill of the yellow-rumped. Call falls off at the end. Tree and barn swallows swooping over the lake. RC kinglets.

April 30, 01 - Swamp sparrow singing at BU Nature Preserve. Brown thrasher singing. House wrens chasing and courting.

April 30, 04 - Floated Otselic from Landers to Upper Lisle. Hooked and lost one 12-14-inch fish on small spinner. Myrtle warbler singing. Several pairs of rough-winged swallows perched along banks. Two osprey sited. Pair of gnatcatchers at picnic spot. Beautiful looks at blue on head. Warbling vireo singing at Upper Lisle.

April 30, 05 - At Chris. Blue-headed vireo and myrtle warbler singing. Sapsucker drumming. Great horned owl hooting at 2:30 p.m. Female bluebird in upper field. Brier Hill: Many RC kinglets singing. Many white-throated sparrows here also.

April 30, 06 – First male RB Grosbeak seen at Chris’s. Fox sparrow singing. 25 juncos in side yard.

April 30, 09 – Hummingbird  at Anderson’s. At Jones Park: Winter Wren, Louisianna Waterthrush, Blue-headed Vireo. Flowers: Red Trillium, False Soloman's Seal, Miterwort, Wood Anemone, Spring Beauty, Dwarf Ginseng, Bluet.

April 30, 11 – At CV State Park… Gnatcatcher, Pine Warbler, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Chickadee, Titmouse, Song Sparrow, Junco, Great Crested Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Swamp Sparrow, Common Merganser.

JKD reports Rose-breasted Grosbeak at feeder.

April 30, 12 – Delaware River camp… Black-and-white and yellow-rumped warblers, blue-gray gnatcatcher. Columbine on dripping rock outcropping along road.

April 30, 13 - On the Otselic River... Rough-winged Swallows near kingfisher burrow where they nested last year. Heard first shreeet! call of the towhee. Spotted Sandpipers calling and flying as pairs.

April 30, 14 - Picked a nice batch of wild leeks.

April 30, 15 - Pair of robins has built a nest on top of crossed logs at the corner of the house - same location a pair used 20 years ago




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