While there were lots of Ringnecked Ducks and Canada Geese along with a few grebes, Mallards and assorted others bottled up on the south end of the lake, it was the huge number of Ring-billed Gulls on the ice and the breakwaters that impressed.
They were also the only birds I got close enough to to get a halfway decent photo.
Ring-billed Gull testing the waters of Seneca Lake on March 20th.
The Ring-bill is the most common gul of the Twin Tiers, BTW.
On the way south from Watkins Glen to the Aerie I decided to check out the Hammond-Tioga Lake area. While Hammond Lake was pretty much completely ice covered, and Tioga had just a small open area near the weir/connector to Hammond Lake, the spillway was wide open and running high and turbulent. There were a couple of immature Bald Eagles taking advantage of the wounded fish that would occasionally float up but they were w-a-a-a-y over there when I arrived and stayed out where a 300mm lens wasn't going to help.
There was one Great Blue Heron, however that seemed to pose along the spillway. For a short time anyway.
Great Blue Heron along the spillway in Tioga.
Great Blue takes off as I made too much noise(?)
Great Blue aborts his flight...
...only to discover the water's deeper than he thought!
GBH takes off to more isolated fishing grounds. (i.e. somewhere I am not.)
Amazing wingspan on the GBH as he continues to trail his landing gear.
I never see one of these guys in flight that I don't think of the Bugs Bunny cartoon with the buzzards slowly flapping their wings.
(From "Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid" which I can not find in its entirety.)
"I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee...."
That's All Folks!
More photos tomorrow.