Ahh, I finally got out and did some Orange County birding after work tonight – thank goodness for Daylight Saving Time. It was just a brief stop at Glenmere Lake, with the usuals, but it’s a sign of the start of spring for me. I wasn’t able to fit in as much birding as I normally do for the past couple of weekends due to traveling to visit family. Last weekend I went to the Poconos to visit my sister Aileen and her husband Bill. We had a nice breakfast and I headed out before noon. That left the rest of the weekend to try for birds, but it was just one of those weekends and I didn’t have any luck at all.
Then, this past weekend Tricia and I headed up to Syracuse to meet up with her brother John, her sister Carolyn and Carolyn’s husband Bill. It was a work weekend, so I didn’t get out at all on Saturday, but I was able to get out for a few hours on Sunday. I headed to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. On the way, I called my ex-wife Stephanie Bane, who lives in the area and volunteers at the refuge, to see if she was free to meet me there. It had been several years since we’d seen each other, so birds or no, it would be good to catch up. We met at the visitor’s center, where we had several species of waterfowl (Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Canada Goose, and Mallard). Unfortunately Wildlife Drive was closed, so we headed over to East Road (Knox Marsellus Marsh; some folks call it the Mucklands too, I think). It was a good choice, we arrived to find what I estimate was 8,000 to 10,000 Snow Geese. It was certainly the most Snow Geese I’d ever seen at once. There were also plenty of Bald Eagles around; they kept flushing the geese which provided some good photo ops. I felt for the geese though – they didn’t barely get a moment of peace. At one point, two young Bald Eagles were just flying through a sea of Snow Geese, I swear they were just doing it because it was fun. I didn’t have much time to bird Montezuma, but we certainly made the best of it.