My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

NYS Ornithological Association Annual Meeting

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon at Iroquois

This weekend I attended the New York State Ornithological Association Annual Meeting in Batavia, New York. This meeting was hosted by the Buffalo Ornithological Society and I would like to say “thanks” for doing such an astonishing job organizing everything. You guessed it . . . . I had a LIFER this weekend!!

Birding Group
Batavia WWTP Field Trip

After breakfast our group headed to the famous Batavia Waste Water Treatment Plant in search of waterfowl moving through the area. We were not disappointed with numerous Northern Shovelers, Ruddy Ducks, Mallards and other great birds (see the list below)! My highlight was the Eared Grebe (CHECK) which was a lifer for me and I am glad not to be the one identifying this bird. It looked like a Horned Grebe but this bird is grayer in its face (auriculars) than in the Horned Grebe. We also had some Black-bellied Plovers (CHECK) and Mockingbirds (CHECK) which were both first of the years for me. This was such a wonderful birding location and was hard to continue over to Iroquois.

Eared Grebe
Eared Grebe

Once we arrived at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge we continue to see more great birds like Belted Kingfisher, American Wigeon, Common Snipe, Greater Yellowleg (CHECK, first of the year) and Rusty Blackbirds. Just before we were about to leave someone said “bird of prey moving this way”! Our leader soon says “Peregrine Falcon” and everyone begins to get excited!! The bird continued flying directly towards us and then flew right over our heads (it even looked down at us as it passed over)!! What a wonderful bird to end this magnificent birding day!

After the field trip we attended a wonderful paper session and a dinner reception following. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Hector Galbraith who is an Avian Ecologist from Dummerston Vermont. Dr. Galbraith addressed us of the impacts of global climate change on avian populations. It was such an eye-opening presentation and I is very scary to think what effects we will be seeing over the next hundred years.

List of Decent Birds Observed on this trip!

Canada Goose Green-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler Woodduck
Ruddy Duck Northern Pintail
Mallard Gadwall
Common Merganser Hooded Merganser
Long-tailed Duck American Blackduck
Ring-necked Duck Scaup species
American Wigeon Double-crested Cormorant
Pied-billed Grebe Eared Grebe
Black-bellied Plover Greater Yellowlegs
Killdeer Common Snipe
Great Blue Heron Red-tailed Hawk
Merlin Peregrine Falcon
Blue-headed Vireo Coopers Hawk
Mockingbird Belted Kingfisher
Red-winged Blackbird Rusty Blackbird
White-throated Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow  

Running Ruddies

Click on the Running Ruddies photo to watch a flickr slideshow of more pictures that I took this weekend.

I am back home (cats are happy) and expect to get back into the swing of things tonight with Saw-whet Owl Banding! Winds look encouraging and just maybe this will be the night for my first owl??

22 responses

  1. Yay on your lifer Tom!!! And your firsts of the year. Glad you had such a great time this weekend. I was wondering how your cats were doing without you there. Hope you have a great night tonight with the owls!

    7 October 2007 at 7:49 pm

  2. Congratulations, Tom! Because you see so many birds, I need to remember that you have a wish-list, too.

    Sounds like a wonderful meeting and a good time. I must add that the second photo is a little intimidating to me …experienced birders!

    7 October 2007 at 8:10 pm

  3. Wow, Tom, what a great weekend. I’m glad you got to see so many birds and it looks like you had pretty decent weather too.

    7 October 2007 at 8:57 pm

  4. Yippy! Lifers and good company, after such an auspicious beginning. I am glad it turned out well.

    7 October 2007 at 9:52 pm

  5. How cool to see a falcon. They are magnificent birds. (Did it have a band?)

    7 October 2007 at 10:26 pm

  6. Oh yeah – How about them Yankees? I’m glad we won one. Two more to go.

    7 October 2007 at 10:33 pm

  7. I have never heard of a killdeer bird. I will look that up. The Great Blue Herons, those are some wonderful looking birds. I don’t know if I have ever seen the Rusty blackbird. Glad you had a good time. ~nita~

    7 October 2007 at 11:32 pm

  8. congrats on seeing a lifer. A good time was had by all I’m sure. And it is fun to get away to be around like minded individuals.

    8 October 2007 at 6:31 am

  9. Marg

    Congrats Tom! Glad you had such a wonderful time-fingers crossed for an owl for you!

    8 October 2007 at 7:13 am

  10. What a list Tom! Congrats on the lifer. :c)

    8 October 2007 at 8:26 am

  11. Congratulations on the lifer. It sounds like you really had such a great time.

    8 October 2007 at 9:38 am

  12. Sounds like a great outing, and congratulations on the lifer! 5 of the birds you saw would be lifers for me.

    Good job on catching the Peregrine in flight, very cool!

    We have Eared Grebes in spades here right now – I saw at least 100 yesterday, but on the other hand, Horned Grebes are less common, and I haven’t seen one yet this fall. I find head shape to be a good way to tell them apart, with the Horned having a much flatter-topped head with a bit of a crest in the back, and Eared having a much rounder and smaller-looking head.

    8 October 2007 at 10:56 am

  13. Looks like you had a fruitful and fun meeting Tom.

    8 October 2007 at 1:15 pm

  14. A great birding weekend, tom. There really is nothing quite like having a bird fly over and look down at you. Such a fine way to make contact. Congrats on your lifer.

    8 October 2007 at 2:08 pm

  15. @ Pam – Thanks and it was great thanks! I always have someone to take care of them when needed!
    @ Mary – almost 10,000 birds in the world and I have only seen a small faction of that! Wish you could have been with us I the second photo!
    @ Ruthie – thanks and glad to be home with a day off to rest!
    @ Trixie – Thanks and was glad to see it!
    @ Barb – This bird has its legs tucked in and couldn’t see one! But looked!
    @ Nita – Killdeers are common little birds and do you know what you call baby killdeers? Killfawns? Only kidding! Thanks
    @ Toni – thanks and is fun to see everyone!
    @ Marg – thanks and but still no owls! Ugg
    @ Jayne – thanks
    @ Erie – thanks and it was fun!
    @ Adam – 5 wow! I was very happy when it flew overhead and the eared grebes would be just as fun! So, you being someone who commonly see’s eared grebes, what is your thought on this bird?
    @ Bernie – thanks it was!
    @ Robin – thanks and it’s like it flew over us to show off! Thanks

    8 October 2007 at 4:25 pm

  16. Such an impressive list!
    I have so many birds I have never seen! Thank goodness I can come here and see what you are seeing!
    I do find that I end up being in relationship with my backyard birds.
    Falcons are very cool.
    Experienced birders with equipment! I would need a Sherpa to carry my stuff.

    8 October 2007 at 8:01 pm

  17. I just adore your movie clips. I keep thinking of all the things I see some I should film. For example; we have a steller jay that steals a bit of the puppy’s food off the porch everyday – filming that would be so much better than a photo. (So far he’s so sneaky I can’t get a good shot of him as of yet!) I love that falcon photo – that would be my lifer!

    8 October 2007 at 11:00 pm

  18. @ Sherry – thanks and they were fun to see! Lots of equipment for sure!
    @ aullori – I two always have to remind myself “give the video a try”! Glad you enjoyed it!

    8 October 2007 at 11:34 pm

  19. What an impressive weekend, Tom. And you thought my list was impressive! You’ve got quite a few listed that would also be lifers for me. What’s a long-tailed duck? Is that species only back East?

    9 October 2007 at 10:32 pm

  20. I love ruddy ducks. They should be called wren ducks, don’t you think?
    Love the PF. I have all my fingers and toes crossed that I get a good look at one in Cape May.

    10 October 2007 at 11:42 pm

  21. Kaz

    The Peregrine has a very distinctive silhouette doesn’t it! Wonderful to see.

    11 October 2007 at 3:09 pm

  22. Nice mix of birds on this list! It’s scary to think of what might happen to birds and wildlife in the future.I gues we should enjoy what we see now, because some things may be no more in the future.

    13 October 2007 at 3:49 pm

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