We left good and early for the trip up to Deruyter. Though overcast the weather cooperated, as did the traffic! We took 17 to Binghamton, though all the routing software I queried wanted to take me through I-80 in Pennsylvania. 17 still has a few 'primitive' sections with intersections, but more and more has been replaced with completely new roadways and overpasses to make way for its conversion to I-86.
It is a beautiful road! Especially in the sections starting west of Sullivan county. It winds through river valleys and has some spectacular vistas. And its curvy. I seem to be in the minority with my circle of friends but I like curvy roads. Curvy women ain't to bad either. ;)
We arrived as scheduled, though the sky darkened and the winds picked up a lot.
I pulled into Linda's yard and parked next to her truck facing her feeders. A few different species were availing themselves of her lavish banquet, and in short order a flock of Redpolls came wheeling in. The paused in a tree before flying down, and then proceeded to consume mass quantities. Beldar would have been proud.
Looking up, we found a few Evening Grosbeaks reluctant to come down and feed, though one eventually did. A large flock of them flew by and flew to the other side of the house and decided to dine in privacy. Earic and I decided to venture out into the blustery conditions and view the other feeders. There were lots of them, and they are gorgeous! Yes, we scored a year bird.
The Common Redpolls were none too shabby either. And add to the mix a few Carduelis flammea rostrata AKA “Greater” Common Redpolls and this was a nice place to be. While this was not a year bird, it was a life subspecies! And word has it that DNA work is being done on the Redpoll complex. So who knows, maybe we'll lose Hoary Redpoll, or gain Greater Redpoll?
We went to Montezuma NWR and searched many vantage points. No Sandhill Cranes were about. There was a nice variety of ducks as well as continuing Trumpeter Swans. We even ran into David Keihm, from the no-show GG Owl again. But despite a nice day of birding and our earlier success we added no new year birds. Perhaps it should be 'Montezuma's obstinance', rather than revenge...