Forgoing our usual plan to join friends for a challenging and high-yield all-Saratoga-county run, Denise and I opted for a more limited, local, and relaxed approach in his pandemic year, covering several sites all within a portion of Albany County, and within about 15 miles of our Loudonville home.
Starting around 0515 in our own yard during breakfast, we tallied our usual feeder and yard birds. Departure was then delayed due to a mini-wavelet of warblers near the street, including Cape May, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, and Blackburnian......
Picking up Rock Pigeon along the way, we then spent 3 hours at Five Rivers, adding more warblers, Bobolink, Meadowlark, Killdeer, Wood Duck, Field Sparrow, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Willow and Least Flycatchers, among others. Louisiana Waterthrush was frustratingly absent, or at least silent, along the Vlomankill.
Our next stop, Tygert Rd. in Voorheesville yielded Virginia Rail, Green Heron, Swamp Sparrow, and a.Common Grackle carrying food to a nest in the reeds and carrying off a fecal sac.
The relaxed pace allowed time for a stop home for lunch and more yard birding.....
heading up to the Mohawk river by Cohoes to include a different habitat, we added Bald Eagle, Osprey, DC Cormorant, some gulls, Northern Rough-winged Swallow...and - our bird of the day, Great Egret, which Denise spotted and photographed at Cohoes flats! We put the word out but it took off and headed south.
A stop at Albany Rural Cemetery added Rose-breasted Grosbeak. after another stop home, our final destination was the Ann Lee pond/Shaker site complex, where we picked up our last two birds: a transient Alder Flycatcher and American Kestrel, before calling it quits around 7 PM.
Our final tally was 77. Along with the Louisiana Waterthrush, expected species that eluded us were Scarlet Tanager, Wild Turkey, Red-eyed Vireo, and Red-tailed Hawk. A fun day to be sure!
Scott Stoner and Denise Hackert-Stoner