about TAS

Welcome to the Tiadaghton Audubon Society of Tioga and Potter Counties. Our chapter was founded in 1906 with 23 members, making it the oldest chapter in the state. The Tiadaghton name was selected in 1953, and in 1972 the chapter was officially chartered. To contact us, please use the Facebook link below left. (Photo: Scarlet tanager photographed near Hills Creek State Park here in Tioga County)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Porcupine Attacks Landrus Bird Blind

A porcupine, attracted by the salts or chemicals in the bird blind's siding, decided the siding might be very good to eat and started gnawing away. Fortunately, the damage was noticed early, and it was possible to prevent further damage. John Corcoran, Ken Cooper, and Sean Minnick installed some protective mesh and added a barrier to keep the porcupine from climbing higher. See the side panel for more information on the Landrus blind near Arnot.

Monday, August 14, 2017

White-winged Tern Leaves Lake Nessmuck

As of 10:00 AM, Monday August 14, the white-winged tern visiting Lake Nessmuk has not been observed. Most likely it spent a couple of days recuperating from a long flight and then continued its migration south. Local birders are checking out several lakes and other wetlands, but so far without success. It was very exciting and gratifying to have this visitor for as long as it stayed. More than 300 people were able to see it and watch it in action. We would like to thank the many people who came to see the bird and visit our community, and we hope they enjoyed their brief stay here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

White-winged Tern Day 4

Our visiting white-winged tern apparently decided to stay another day, and he/she seems to be doing well. Numerous flights were made over the water over the course of the day in obvious attempts to catch insects and small fish, and after each flight the bird very carefully preened his/her feathers before making the next sortie. The tern continues to be rather tolerant of the birders watching, and consistently returns to the pilings near the parking area, although occasionally some nearby snags are used as a roosting spot.

The visitors' logbook now shows about 250 entries, and we estimate that at least another 75 did not sign, probably because they did not know it was there. It is interesting, though, how many visitors headed directly to the pavilion with the logbook before walking out to the viewing area.  Log entries and license plates show visitors from Arizona, Kansas, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, Washington DC, Indiana, and Illinois in addition to Pennsylvania and nearby New York and New Jersey. Everyone has had excellent opportunities to see the tern at rest and in flight, and I don't think anyone has gone away disappointed. In addition to the white-winged tern, a number of other interesting birds are being seen at the lake, including some out-of-season or hard-to-see birds such as American bitterns, redheads, and ring-necked ducks.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

White-winged Tern Visit Continues

Saturday, August 12. Our celebrity white-winged tern continues to delight birders from all over the country by the score (I counted 125 signatures in the log book, but I know a lot of people did not sign it). We have had visitors from, of course, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Texas, and even Ontario. Of course, how often do you get to see the rarest bird in America? The tern looked pretty good his first couple of days here despite the cloudy weather, but with the sky opening up and the sun shining, he looked absolutely spectacular. There was some concern about his health yesterday, because he seemed listless and didn't hunt for food very much, but I think he made up for it today, making numerous forays around the lake. He was observed catching fish at least three different times. He also moved to the other side of the lake when a storm front came through and seemed reluctant to come back, but he did return after we asked the observers to move back from the pilings and give him more space. Nevertheless, he may prefer the dam side, since the fishing appears to be better over there. Since it is a small lake, he can still be seen, but his occupation of the pilings provided more rewarding views. More tomorrow.

Friday, August 11, 2017

White-winged Tern at Lake Nessmuk

The white-winged tern discovered at Lake Nessmuk just south of Wellsboro PA on Rte 287 Thursday morning  (August 10) by Rich Hanlon and ID'ed by Kathy Riley continued to provide excellent viewing opportunities for numerous birders all day Friday. Rich was able to take some great photos at the time, which resulted in the ID being confirmed rapidly by the ABA. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology followed suit after sending a team down late Thursday afternoon to see the bird first hand. This sighting of a white-winged tern is the first for Pennsylvania ever and the first in North America this year. There is plenty of parking, and so far visitor counts have not been uncomfortably high as often occurs where sightings take place closer to large cities.

The tern was very quiet most of Friday, changing perches on pilings from time to time, but mostly sitting still. The bird has been very tolerant of visitors, who have for the most part been very polite and considerate of the bird and each other. Hopefully this will continue for as long as the bird is visiting us. Many eBird reports are being filed every day, so it is very easy to get information on the current situation.

White-winged Tern at Lake Nessmuk, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Birders getting a good view of the currently rarest bird in America.