Checklist S9554251

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Owner Chris Wood

Other participating eBirders
Traveling
  • 2
  • 1 mi
Checklist Comments

Jessie and I arrived at Myers and enjoyed excellent viewing conditions for the first 45 minutes. 36F. Dead calm and overcast. The lake was like glass and made counting and finding birds easy. After about 45 minutes the wind picked up and small waves formed making scanning great distances difficult. We came here in no small part because of the Maryland birding community that created this admittedly silly but undeniably addicting eBird Totals by day, which shows how many birds you have entered on each day of the year across years. 10 January was pretty low for me (only 25 species), so it was a good excuse to get out and go eBirding. We were glad that we did. Jessie found a Red-necked Grebe far to the north from the point. Even better, upon arriving at the Myers Marina and scanning south Chris quickly found a Western Grebe--likely a first-ever for Tompkins County. Special thanks to Mike Ostrowski from Maryland for creating just the excuse we needed to go birding.

Observations

  1. Number observed: 40
  2. Number observed: 818

    Details: Most resting out in the middle of the lake. Glass-like conditions and the lack of hunting combined to create our highest count of the year from here.

  3. Number observed: 6
  4. Number observed: 45

    Details: Heading north.

    Breeding Code: F Flyover (Observed)
  5. Number observed: 60

    Details: Heading south

    Breeding Code: F Flyover (Observed)
  6. Number observed: 2
    Age & Sex:
    Juvenile Immature Adult Age Unknown
    Male 2
    Female
    Sex Unknown
  7. Number observed: 9
  8. Number observed: 1

    Details: One bird far to the north that Jessie found. Too far away to age.

  9. Number observed: 1

    Details: ***Mega. I believe a first record for Tompkins County. When we arrived at the marina we scanned south and almost immediately found this bird wth binoculars. I exclaimed "WESTERN GREBE!" and ran back to the car to get my camera. I realized I had only seen the bird for about a 1/4 of a second, and said, "at least I think it's a Western Grebe, I probably should have looked at it". In any event, I returned with a camera and we were able to get several photos, a few of the best are included here. The bird was fairly far when we first found it, perhaps .5 km to the south. It drifted north the entire time, until we went back to the main part of Myers to the white lighthouse. At that time several other Ithaca birders joined us and all had excellent views. The bird drifted north and then around off of the point. It was loosely associating in the same area as some of the Mallard, but never directly with them. It dove often, launching it's belly off the water and diving head first. It would typically stay submerged about 30 seconds or so. When it emerged it popped up with a little splash every time. When we left, the waves had picked up somewhat and the bird was harder to see and appeared to be moving to the northwest. ID straightforward. Structurally recalled a larger, lankier, longer and more slender-necked version of a Red-necked Grebe with decidedly longer and thinner bill.. Dark upperparts and white underparts. Clear line between dark hind-neck and white on the front of the neck. The dark on the back of the neck was wider than on CLGR (previous experience). Dirty yellowish bill, with dark above and below. Red eye. Feet not seen. Wing pattern not seen. Clark's Grebe would have had much brighter yellow bill that would clearly stand out against dark water, more extensive white flanks, narrower black stripe on hindneck. Clark's often are fairly dusky faced at this time of year, but most would still have shown more extensive white around the eye.

    Media:
  10. Number observed: 264
  11. Number observed: 94
  12. Number observed: 128

    Details: There seems to have been a switch of Herring Gulls in the last couple weeks with many of the birds now present showing more extensive white on the wings (tips and mirrors), adults that seems to show more black on the bill, and dark first-winter birds that have far more retained juvenile feathers, usually with only a few scapulars replaced. These birds often show more extensive Thayer's Gull-like hoods. Presumably these Herring Gulls come from farther north, well north of the Great Lakes.

  13. Number observed: 1
  14. Number observed: 1

    Details: Presumably the same bird continuing south of the marina.

    Age & Sex:
    Juvenile Immature Adult Age Unknown
    Male
    Female
    Sex Unknown 1
  15. Number observed: 11
  16. Number observed: 2
  17. Number observed: 25
  18. Number observed: 5
  19. Number observed: 2
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