Tomhannock Reservoir and Vicinity - 11/11/19

Larry & Penny Alden

I continued my annual Veterans’ Day trip circumnavigating Tomhannock Reservoir, this time with Jackie Bogardus accompanying me (thanks, Jackie!).  The traditional route has two inland excursions on Nortonville and Tomhannock-Johnsonville roads [Northern Turnpike] solely for the purpose of padding the list.  Searching between 8:30 and 3:00 today, we found 49 species.  Weather was cloudy with light wind and temperatures ranging from 37 F, dropping to 34 F.  For the second straight year, water levels were very high, so there were no mudflats.  Fortunately, the rain/snow held off for our time afield.


Highlights included 2 Common Loons (one of which we heard calling across the water), 5 Pied-billed Grebes (3 in one group), 2 Tree Swallows over the water at the north end of the reservoir, and a Field Sparrow off Nortonville Road, where we also got an Eastern Screech-Owl (new to the count!) unexpectedly responding to an owl recording.


I have species records for 20 of the last 21 years (trip totals for all 21) and I know I’ve done this count for at least five years before that.  Adding Eastern Screech-Owl brings the 20-year cumulative list to 104 species.


Here’s today’s list of 49 species (To add to the ignominy of getting an un-round number of species this year, upon meeting back at our car-pooling location at the Brunswick Walmart, we had a Fish Crow on a light pole, alas, too far out of the territory to even consider trying to count as number 50.


Canada Goose

American Black Duck


American Green-winged Teal

Ring-necked Duck


Common Goldeneye

Hooded Merganser

Common Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Common Loon

Pied-billed Grebe (6th time)

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Cooper's Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Eastern Screech-Owl

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Tree Swallow (5th time, found the last 3 years - becoming an expected species)

Black-capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

American Tree Sparrow

Field Sparrow (3rd time)

Song Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow


Totals for past year’s 11/11 counts are as follows:


2018 - 50

2017 - 51

2016 - 43

2015 - 49

2014 - 44

2013 - 51

2012 - 51

2011 - 50

2010 - 51

2009 - 57

2008 - 57

2007 - 47

2006 - 51

2005 - 57

2004 - 58

2003 - 48

2002 - 52

2001 - 48

2000 - 46

1999 - 47


Larry Alden


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