This morning, Karen Miller and I headed down state to try for a number of the recent rarities that have been being seen. My target bird was the Yellow-breasted Chat at Read Nature Sanctuary in Rye. On the way down, we stopped at Piermont Pier to get Karen the WESTERN GREBE that I had found on Thursday. We had the good fortune of not only seeing the grebe, but running into our good friends Lance Verderame and Scott Baldinger, both of whom got to see the grebe as well. From there we headed to Read Nature Sanctuary. We stayed quite some time with many other birders trying to find the chat, but alas, it was never seen today. I was fortunate enough to pick up two new year birds here, KILLDEER and COMMON GRACKLE! From there, we headed to Croton Point Park to try to get the Lark Sparrow for Karen. Lance had gotten it earlier in the day, and a couple we met had just had it before we got there. We spent a great deal of time searching for the bird with good friend Bruce Nott. Once again, we got skunked. Fortunately, there were many good birds in the area for Karen to see and thanks to Bruce, we got a GREAT HORNED OWL! If Bruce wasn’t there, and had the bird earlier in the day with the Mearn’s Group field trip, we would never have spotted this well concealed owl. Thanks Bruce! It was a great day and we had many species in the two counties. If you get the chance, get down there to see the Western Grebe, its a fabulous bird!