We took another fun-filled — OK, stress-filled — flying visit to Cornell. Still no time to visit The Ornithology Lab or Sapsucker Woods… When we go up in October for Parents’ Weekend I plan to blow off most of the scheduled activities, take Will out for some meals, and spend the rest of the time roaming in the gorges and woods.
I did see a few good birds on the way, though. An adult Bald Eagle flew low overhead, I counted at least 30 Turkey Vultures spiraling up into a kettle, and the exasperating traffic jam on campus was compensated for by the sight of 2 Ospreys circling. I haven’t seen one since the last time I was on Long Island, but my mind still did the instant “Gull? no, wings are wrong” sorting.
Today a flock of 4 adult and 16 chick Wild Turkeys roamed the back yard. They checked out the brush pile, detoured into the swamp, ate autumn olives and honeysuckle berries, snapped at bugs around the compost, and stretched/hopped to peck grapes from low-hanging vines. After 20 minutes they wandered off, leaving a feather for the cat to play with.
The American Kestrels did a fine job raising their young this year. I’m seeing four and sometimes five birds on the wire. My neighbor hayed his fields during the long dry spell and there’s a bounty of rodents exposed. They’re very shy, though — I can’t get close enough for a photo.
2 species new to this list.