Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

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  Conesus Lake - The Inlet

Published: August 04, 2012
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Conesus Lake, birders, birding, inlet, Bald Eagle, Green Heron, Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Killdeer, Eastern Kingbird, Wood Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Semipalmated Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher, Solitary Sandpiper, Purple Martin

One of the expert birders on the list serve I belong to offered to host a tour of the inlet on Conesus Lake that I tried to find last weekend.  Jim Kimball, our host, announced that the hike began at 7:30 AM.  I wasn't sure I wanted to get up at 5 to make the long ride out there.  As it turned out, though, I woke up at 5:01!  It took about 2 minutes of arguing with myself to get me up and out of bed, anticipating what a day of birding with real birders might be like.  I was NOT disappointed!

I made it on time and got to meet at least 16 or 17 other avid birders of all age groups - even a young lad who was already in the expert category, I suspect! They were all wonderful people and all willing to share their vast bird knowledge with a newbie (and even a few looks through some powerful scopes)!  They were even very patient with me as I hoped to glean a sight of a life-lister, a Swamp Sparrow. I finally set eyes on the little guy - great joy! - but my excitement nearly sent me spilling down a stony hill. After I ungracefully recovered myself, I managed to capture a photo or 2 of the sparrow before he went flitting off into the grasses again.

We saw many birds today and I was able to add a few to my life-list.  My additions include: Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher, Pied-billed Grebe, Solitary Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Swamp Sparrow, and Purple Martin (I know I've seen these before, but I'm officially adding them here).

I think my greatest moment was seeing an adult Bald Eagle off in the distance perched atop a snag (broken off part on a dead tree - this was a new word for me today).  It was an awesome and spectacular sight for me - and for some reason, a bit humbling to see this majestic creature perched so regally purveying the marsh.  I couldn't help but feel like I was thrown back in time when all of the area was wild and these beautiful birds reigned over the land.  We enjoyed watching a juvenile take flight too.

Thank you to the Rochester Ornithological Society for allowing me to tag along.  You were wonderful to meet.  And a special thanks to Jim Kimball for leading this adventure, Judy Gurley for mentoring and driving me around the lake, and the kind man who lent me a hand after my slip over my Swamp Sparrow excitement (Kevin?)!

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Adult Bald Eagle - the first one in the wild that I've seen!

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Adult Bald Eagle

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Swamp Sparrow - you can tell this is a young one by the fact that it has no tail!

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The Swamp Sparrow that made me stumble with excitement!

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Song Sparrow

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Eastern Phoebe

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Eastern Kingbird

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Green Heron

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Great Egret

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I'm not sure, but I'm guessing a young Ring-billed Gull

Reply from: Chita McKinney on 8/5/2012 7:49 AM
 Sue, I'm so glad you joined us. Loved your pictures. It gave me a chance to 'relive' the trip.
Reply from: Mat Nierenberg on 8/5/2012 3:29 PM
 What great pictures, I did not realize the Swamp Sparrow would be such a beautiful bird. Quite impressive all around. Thanks for this, you give me a look at the birds I cannot see in this Pigeon infested city!!
Reply from: Brian Keyes on 8/5/2012 7:12 PM
 Nice shot. I especially liked the Swampy and the Eagle. I went back this morning to watch the Eagles.
Reply from: Judy Gurley on 8/6/2012 6:34 AM
 Sue, Great pictures and wonderful narrative. Your blog will be fun to follow. I'm glad you made the effort to get out of bed, drive the distance and brave the heat to join the RBA field trip. Please come to more events. Some of our trips are much closer to you, so you will be able to sleep in a bit.
Reply from: Dian Stout on 8/6/2012 8:14 AM
 Hi Sue, Your excitement reminded me so much of my early experiences as a "new be." There is something very special about those moments. I can still remember the places I saw my "first......" Even tho I'm not new at this anymore the joys of seeing God's handywork in the bird world still thrills me.

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