My regular group of friends were not available so I was unsure if I would even try for this bird. I awoke around 4 a.m to find I did not have the desire for the 4+ hour drive up to the Montezuma NWR in Seneca Falls, NY. I guess it was on my mind as I woke again about 45 minutes later with the will to take the trip ! I left home at 5 a.m and started on my drive west into Pennsylvania and then north into Central New York. Fortunately 3/4 of the drive was on Interstates so the ride was relatively easy. More good news was received when a birder posted online that the bird had been seen around 8:00.
I arrived on site at the Knox-Marsellus Marsh just past 9 a.m, and went to East Road. After parking, a nice birder about to depart was able to immediately get me on the Garganey !
This is my 644th ABA-area species.
Click to enlargeCredit: Jay McGowan (finder of the bird)
The bird was moving amongst the small brush at the edge of the marsh, with mostly it's head and neck in view for almost 30-minutes. The bird the disappeared for bit and I took a short ride to the Knox-Marsellus Overlook. Here is saw some lovely Black Terns, a pair of Caspian Terns, and a Trumpeter Swan. I had previously only seen the Trumpeter Swan in New Jersey, so this was a bonus NY State Bird for me. In addition to the Life Bird of Garganey, my NY State List is now at 365.
Here is some pics of the Marsh
After returning from the overlook, I joined other newly arriving birders in the search to re-locate the Garaney. I then spotted the bird swimming in open water, which gave me a complete view of the bird. We enjoyed this view for about 5 minutes before the bird once again went into the marsh vegetation.
The next day I read that the bird was not spotted until after 2 pm on Sunday, so I was lucky that I went on Saturday and saw the bird as soon as I arrived.