Gray-crowned Rosy-finch and much more! 3/7/12

Bohemian Waxwing - Sugar River, Lewis County 3/7/12

Gray-crowned Rosy-finch 3/7/12

Gray-crowned Rosy-finch Lewis County, New York 3/7/12

This morning Renee Davis and I headed north to Lewis County. We were going to meet Ken McDermott, Danny Messina and Lisa O’Gorman to seek out the Gray-crowned Rosy-finch. En-route, only one and a half miles from our destiny, Renee spotted a NORTHERN SHRIKE right along the road by the Sugar River. We all arrived around 9am and were told the bird had been seen this morning. Within 15 minutes, the bird flew in, giving great views in an open tree top. Many other birders were present, including Shai Mitra, Pat Lindsey, Jeff Ritter and Steve Walter. The bird flew off shortly thereafter and Renee and I decided to bird the area in the hour or so between the Rosy-finches visits. We then returned to the Loomis’ home where the Rosy-finch had returned. After viewing for some time it flew off again and we headed south. We were about ten miles away when Shai Mitra called to say he had gotten a call at lunch that BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS had flown past the Loomis residence. We headed back to try for them. Several of the birders were looking without any luck thus far. Renee and I worked our way around the area almost ready to give up when Renee spotted a bird in the top of a tree directly across from where the Shrike had been earlier. It was a Bohemian Waxwing! We pulled over and found about a dozen of the birds actively feeding on a Stone Fly hatch on the Sugar River. I notified most people by phone and then went back to the Loomis’ to let those people know. There soon was a crowd viewing the waxwings ( a lifer for many). Two Rough-legged Hawks passed over a couple of times, one of each light and dark phase. What a great day of birding!! We finally pulled ourselves away for the nearly four hour trip home. I wish every birding day could be this good. Though I didn’t get to meet Nancy Loomis today, I spoke with her at length on the phone yesterday, and I can’t thank her enough for her hospitality! John Haas

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