Well turns out I was right .... it as a dumb idea to chase a gull that hasn't been pinned down. Willie has gone off to chase a Sandwich Tern and, while Betsy D'Anna does head out a couple of time to check for the bird (and e-mails me some suggestions on where to look), I'm pretty much searching on my own. Lake Ontario is awfully big it turns out, and after 4 hours of searching I realize I'm going to have to head back if I plan to get back by midnight (as promised). Franklin's Gull will have to wait for another day ...
|Caspian Terns on Lake Ontario (2 shots)|
So turning around with a nearly 9 hour drive ahead of me, I make the fatal mistake of checking bird alerts. The folks of Long Island are seeing lots of American Golden Plovers and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. So are the folks at Montezuma so this time, when the Montezuma exit comes up, I pull off and head over to East Road, arriving around 6:00pm.
Montezuma NWR is a really neat place and today it is very birdy. There are Bald Eagles and Sandhill Cranes, lots of ducks and herons and quite a few shorebirds. Joining a group of birders, we quickly pick up 4 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS (NYS 2012 # 334) and then a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (#335), one of my all-time favorite species. I spend a lot of time looking for the previously reported Baird's Sandpiper, hoping for the 'Grasspiper Slam' but come up empty. Still, the thorough search adds 2 Wilson's Phalaropes, a Red-necked Phalarope, 5 Common Gallinules and a Virginia Rail. By the time I look at my watch, prompted by a dusk-calling Eastern Screech-Owl, its 7:45pm and I know I'm in for a long night of driving.
Home at 2am, and back to bed. 23 hours on the road, 1,000+ miles of driving, and no Franklin's Gull. That's just how it goes some times and, as a believer in birding karma, I'm hoping I stored up a good balance today to be cashed in at a later date.