Monday, June 25, 2012

Ruffing it at Montezuma NWR

So there are days, where I honestly hope that no-one finds a rare bird.  Furthermore, if someone really, really, has to find a rare bird on those days, I'm always hoping that they find it at a location close to where I am at the time.  Sometimes I get my wish, but today was not one of those days.

Mid-morning and a second hand report of a Ruff at Montezuma popped up on the Cayuga Birds list-serve.  There were photos, so no doubt about the ID, but no-one seemed to know if the bird was still there.  I joined in the throng of birders looking for confirmation; the prospect of a six-hour drive mid-day (and a late night return) was not an appealing one, unless I knew for sure that the bird was being seen.  For a while it looked like the bird was not going to be re-found, but then, at 12:30pm, word came in that the bird was in sight and I grabbed my birding bag, jumped in the car, and started the all-too-familiar run up I-87 to I-90.

As I got close to Montezuma, I realized that I had no idea where I was going, but a quick call to Greg Lawrence produced a thorough set of e-mail directions and I was able to pull in to the site at around 6pm.  Luckily the bird was still there, and I was able to get some nice scope views (and terrible iPhone photos) of the bird.

Only my second ever Ruff in New York State, and only my 5th in the ABA.  A nice molting male and a great, and unexpected add to the year-list (#322).  The bird apparently left that night and was not seen again the next morning.  Glad I made the drive.

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