Western Grebe, January 2012

Scoping the lake from Myers Park in Lansing, Chris Wood found a Western Grebe on January 10. Several birders were able to see the bird that day, but as of late January, it had not been relocated. See Chris’s notes about the discovery and identification as well as more photos on his eBird report.

The sighting appears to be the first for Tompkins County and perhaps for Cayuga Lake. Dorothy McIlroy’s Cayuga Lake Basin records list a report from 1969 in the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, documented in the July 1969 issue of The Kingbird. Dorothy’s record card for the species also mentions two reports from Cayuga Lake in later years that were rejected by the New York State Avian Records Committee. That committee started reviewing reports in 1974, and although their website lists more than a dozen accepted reports for the state, including a few from upstate, there are no accepted reports listed for Cayuga Lake. Consequently, this sighting, although perhaps not a Cayuga Lake Basin record, appears to be the first documented report from the lake itself and from Tompkins County.

Chris Wood.