Century Run - Albany County

Tristan Lowery

Yesterday, Tom Williams and I birded our fourth consecutive Century Run together, electing - as we have for each of the last three years now - to conduct our big day entirely within Albany County. This year's effort was our best so far by a good margin: we managed to identify 124 species between 4:20 and 19:00, besting our previous high mark of 114 (set in 2015). We also got to 100 species by noon for the first time in four tries; though getting the next 24 proved much more difficult.

We didn't make any specific owling efforts, but our first three species were nocturnal observations nonetheless: American Robins and Chipping Sparrows singing in the dark, followed by a peenting American Woodcock Tom had staked out at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center parking lot. We also ended our day at the Albany Pine Bush, picking up both Downy Woodpecker and Red-breasted Nuthatch in a last-ditch effort for these two species that had managed to elude us all day.

Highlights as follows (by family and location):

6 shorebird species
2 gull species
6 woodpecker species
6 flycatcher species
4 vireo species
4 swallow species
3 wren species
6 thrush species
18 wood warbler species
7 sparrow species
3 finch species

Alcove Reservoir: White-winged Scoter (2), Greater Scaup (hen), Common Loon (2), Broad-winged Hawk

Ann Lee Pond: Orchard Oriole

Basic Creek Reservoir: Common Merganser (2)

Black Creek Marsh: American Bittern (2), Least Bittern (2), Virginia Rail, Common Gallinule, Ruffed Grouse, Wilson's Warbler

Corning Preserve: Osprey, Peregrine Falcon

Deer Mountain: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Worm-eating Warbler. Louisiana Waterthrush

Five Rivers: Wilson's Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush

John Boyd Thacher State Park: four thrush species (Veery, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, Swainson's Thrush), Louisiana Waterthrush, Nashville Warbler

Mohawk River: Mute Swan

Stanton Pond: Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover

Tracy Road swamp (Coeymans): Bank Swallow

We recorded several usually common species only once or twice over the course of an entire day birding, an odd experience I've come to expect on Century Run efforts. We also missed Least Flycatcher for the first time in four years. Other notable misses included Brant, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Northern Harrier, all accipiters, Cliff Swallow (not at Alcove), Winter Wren, and Grasshopper Sparrow (at Albany International Airport, a landscaper was pruning hedges with a chainsaw during our visit, making sparrow detection especially difficult).

Good birding,

Tristan Lowery (and Tom Williams)


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