Despite Katherine deciding that last night would be a perfect night to keep us from sleeping, I got up a couple of hours earlier than usual today and headed out on a birding expedition with a dozen other birdwatchers up the eastern side of Cayuga Lake. I chalked up 38 species, including numerous species that I hadn’t seen yet this year. Some birds, incidentally, think spring is coming and are starting mating rituals and the like. It’s kind of nice to go to the lake in the middle of winter and see thousands of ducks in breeding plumage (we saw thousands of Redheads like the ones in this photo). A pair of Great Horned Owls in town is sitting on eggs already.
I added one species to my life list: Eared Grebe. It, alas, was not in breeding plumage and so looked quite drab. It wouldn’t have been cause for much excitement except that it is on the wrong side of the continent. It is also a bird that I could not have identified without being accompanied by birders with more experience and considerably more expensive optics than I can afford.