For anyone interested, Chris and I participated in the Century Run on Saturday for the 2nd time since moving from Duluth, MN. We decided to stay in Albany County where we've become familiar with some good birding spots! Despite walking 13 miles over about 13 hours, we only managed 98 species and very sore feet. At least we did better than our 91 species last year but I was still a little disappointed!
We started our day at Five Rivers EC and ran in to Zach Schwartz-Weinstein who graciously pointed us to several birds and helpful locations. It was surprising to see a Red Crossbill and an FOY Swainson's Thrush. If only we'd heard the Meadowlark that Zach detected, we would have located 70 species there. We drove to Black Creek Marsh but left quickly when we heard nothing and realized we need help to learn the best secrets of birding here. Next we hiked the Thatcher Park South trail and happily found a Junco, Veery, Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo and more. Not having walked enough, haha, we hiked the Albany Pine Bush Karner East main trail and added a few species including Black Vulture, Indigo Bunting and Orchard Oriole and our first "treehog" (groundhog hanging out in a tree). A brief stop at the Six-Mile Waterworks Park produced one Brant, a NY first for us! While waiting for woodcocks to peent behind the ShopRite plaza in Slingerlands, we drove to Swift Preserve in Delmar in hopes of locating a Screech Owl. No owl but we heard two Eastern Wood-Peewees; they may have just arrived on territory.
We were surprised to find no accipiters, no Kestrel, or even one Chimney Swift! Clearly we need help with where best to locate water birds in Albany County. We didn't even see a ring-billed gull. We'll try again next year and perhaps reach 100! Thanks to Larry Alden and others involved in organizing and compiling for this fun event!
Cindy and Chris Edwardson