It was First-Year Family Weekend at Cornell. Did you know Velociraptors are not allowed to ride bikes there?
Great to see our firstborn becoming comfortable in his new habitat, and to have the time to explore the Ithaca area more. We walked along the bottom of the gorge and the rim trail at Taughannock Fall State Park — really spectacular. I’d love to see it in spring thaw.
We also revisited Sapsucker Woods and took a birding tour one morning. It wasn’t the liveliest birding I’ve ever done, but not bad for late October. A Male Hooded Merganser (a bird I haven’t seen in ages) was displaying for his small harem. I love the way they dive and come bobbing to the surface, like rubber duckies held below the bathwater.
Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch, European Starling, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Mallard, Canada Goose, Hooded Merganser, Blue Jay, House Finch, Tufted Titmouse, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, American Robin, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Kestrel, Wood Duck, Hairy Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk, Rock Pigeon.
25 species, 1 new to this list.
Sunday afternoon we walked down along the gorge running through the campus. As we were leaving we met this skunk. Pardon the blurry photo — we proceeded quickly and discreetly in the opposite direction, although the skunk showed no alarm, trundling along in an abstracted and one might even say academic manner as befits a campus critter.