Fw: [GeneseeBirds-L] Townsend's Solitaire - Niagara County, NY

Willie D'Anna dannapotter at wzrd.com
Tue Jan 8 16:06:45 EST 2002

The following post by Mike Zebehazy refers to a definite sighting he had on
Monday.  I want to thank Mike as well as Kurt Fox for detailing the results
of their efforts to see the bird.  The bird has become more difficult to
find since about a week ago and has not been heard singing.  Around that
time, someone was playing a tape of the bird's song which may have caused
the bird to become silent more often.  Please do not play a tape for this

Directions follow after Mike's post.

Good birding!
Willie D'Anna
Betsy Potter
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
dannapotter at wzrd.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "MAZ" <zebs at buffnet.net>
To: <geneseebirds-l at geneseo.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 9:27 PM
Subject: [GeneseeBirds-L] Townsend's Solitaire at Bond Lakes site

> Today, January 7, at about 1:30PM I had the Townsend's Solitaire at the
> Bond Lakes site where it has been seen irregularly over the last couple of
> weeks. This was my fourth try, having spent about seven hours previously,
> with no success. I was at the location from 11:35AM.
> The bird was first heard giving a call note that sounded somewhat like a
> single toot from a flute. The Sibley guide describes the note as
> reminiscent of a Pygmy-owl toot. It called several times from a perch
> the edge that borders the "lake" next to the little orchard. Before I
> locate the perch it flew west across the orchard and into the tall
> evergreens that border the opposite side of the orchard. I made my way
> that woodland through tangles of grape vine and found a large tree to lean
> against and wait. There were many cardinals, as well as robins, blue jays,
> and juncos and a red-bellied woodpecker, a hairy woodpecker, and a couple
> of downy woodpeckers. After about ten minutes I saw movement about 35 feet
> up and 15 to 20 feet away in one of the evergreens. This turned out to be
> the target species. The bird sat quite still at this point for about ten
> minutes facing away from me. All I could see was its back and the back of
> its head. It looked to the right once but I was not able to clearly see an
> eye ring. The back looked very much like the photo of the one in the
> Kaufman guide - gray with white edges on what I guess would be the
> secondaries and tertials (please correct me if I'm wrong).
> I decided to move closer to the tree the bird was in and finally got to a
> point almost directly under it. Still, it didn't move. The light was
> terrible and all I could see was a silhouette. As I moved into a better
> position to get better light the bird moved to a branch slightly higher
> Now I was looking straight up at it. At last I could make out the dark
> central tail feathers bordered by white outer tail feathers and a very
> plain gray breast. The bird became more active and began to feed on what
> looked like tiny grapes on the vines that climb all the way up the pine. I
> watched it for another 15 minutes as it moved within a small area but very
> high up. It was never very close.
> At two different times I was able to get some (terrible) video of the
> Only one frame shows the buffy wingstripe as it flies to another perch. By
> 2:30PM I lost sight of the bird in the tangles of vines so I fought my way
> out of the woods and back onto the paths around the orchard. From there I
> was able to refind the bird for about 2 or 3 minutes before it moved out
> sight.
> Mike Zebehazy
> zebs at buffnet.net
> DIRECTIONS to the Solitaire:
> From I-190 in Buffalo or Niagara Falls, proceed north to Rt. 104
> Ontario birders should cross at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and
> immediately exit after customs, following the signs to Rt 104 eastbound.
> Stay on Rt 104 eastbound when you reach the Village of Lewiston at the
> bottom of the escarpment - you have to exit the limited  access highway.
> Proceed east about 4 miles to Dickersonville Road (there is a church on
> southeast corner) and turn right (south).  In about 1/4 mile, the road
> bend to the left and soon will pass Blacknose Spring Road, which comes
> off of the escarpment on your right.  Proceed another 150 yards or so to
> first road (a dirt lane) on your right.  It is across the street from the
> second house on your left.  Pull over here without blocking the lane.
> is an old sign saying, "Private Property No Trespassing" but I have it on
> good authority that the sign is intended for vehicles only.  This is
> parkland.  Walk down the lane which runs north-south and start looking for
the Solitaire right away
> as the habitat is good.  As you walk, there will be water on both sides of
> the road.  When the water begins to widen on your right, after about 100
> yards, is where I first saw the bird on the right side.  This spot also
> gives a good view over the water to your left.  The bird has been seen
> eating red berries here as well.  A little further down the
> lane, the water ends on both sides of the road and there is a small
> inconspicuous path on your right.  We had excellent looks at the bird from
> this path once.  Several times, the bird was in the conifers along the
edges of the small orchard that is
> just a few more yards down the lane on your
> left.
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"Willie D'Anna" <dannapotter at wzrd.com>

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