Saturday, March 10, 2012

About that Rosy-Finch...

Again, trying to get my blog up and running again now that I have some time to maintain it. Brad Carlson, Doug Daniels and I went up to see the previously reported Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch in southern Lewis County, NY. We stopped for coffee on our way up in the morning and as we were leaving, we spotted a Cackling Goose in a flock of Canada Geese. They are so small! It was a clear morning and there was no rain or snow in sight despite weather reports saying otherwise. We arrived at the Rosy-finch site around 8:30 and talked to many of the birders already there. No one had seen the bird yet-a bad sign as the bird had been early in the morning mostly every day it's been here. We stayed for a little while with no luck, but enjoyed nice looks at the many Purple Finches at the bird feeders.
We decided to drive along a few of the nearby roads in hope for some other unique birds and then come back to the feeders. Just down the road from the finch, we found a nice Northern Shrike near the bridge over Sugar River as well as some Pine Siskins. Next, we had nice looks at a couple Rough-legged Hawks and a Northern Harrier, as well as a beautiful adult Bald Eagle along a nearby creek. We checked back again for the Rosy-Finch but it still hadn't been seen all day.
We decided to go birding somewhere else close by and headed north to Whetstone Gulf State Park. Though the majority of the park was covered in snow, the greek and the deep gorge were pretty scenic. We had a flyover Bald Eagle but had little else in the park. On our way out, we spotted an immature Northern Goshawk flying over, doing a unique (display?) flight. A very cool sighting. On the outskirts of the park we had two more Bald Eagles, another Rough-legged Hawk and a Northern Shrike. We also found 5 Ravens feeding on a deer carcass along a roadside and also had some Horned Larks and a large flock of Snow Geese in the same area.
We decided to check back once more for the Rosy-Finch before heading home. On the way back to the finch, we spotted a beautiful Golden Eagle soaring over the car. We got out and had great looks at this magnificent bird. As for the Finch, we were again unsuccessful, as the Finch must have moved on as it hasn't been seen now since early Thursday morning. Before we left we spotted a Rusty Blackbird with the large group of Blackbirds in the yard. Having been defeated by the rosy-Finch we headed off through the snowy roads back to Rochester. Though unsuccessful, a fun chase nonetheless.

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