OT: It Flies! Da Vinci's Dream Comes True.


Recent Additions

Chad Witko <cjtrapper@...>


Over the last few days I was finally able to tally the following species around my residence in Claverack (Columbia Co.)

Belted Kingfisher (4/8)
Eastern Phoebe (4/10)
Tree Swallow (4/10)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (4/11)
Field Sparrow (4/11)

Not too bad for spending the weekend "home".

Chad Witko
Claverack, NY

Sandhill Cranes - Catskill

Richard Guthrie

I received a reliable report of two SANDHILL CRANES in a farm field in the
Town of Catskill from last evening. I inquired, but, as yet, have not heard
any news from today. With the strong south winds, maybe these birds have
picked up and moved on. If so, they may turn up elsewhere in the Region.

Sandhill Cranes used to be very rare around here in the past. But they have
been increasing in numbers through the northeast states in recent years -
even nesting in western New York State. While still rare, they are to be
expected more and more if the trend continues.

Rich Guthrie

New Baltimore

The Greene County


Round and Saratoga Lakes - Lots of Loons

Alan Mapes <aamapes@...>

Yesterday we stopped by Round Lake and paddled on Saratoga Lake (dry suits a must). Common Loons were everywhere, with at least 5 on Round Lake and we estimated 25 on Saratoga Lake. Other birds of interest:

D-C Cormorant - estimated 280 on Round Lake
Red-breasted Merganser - 1 female on Round, 1 male on Saratoga
Ruddy Duck - 2 on Round Lake
No. Rough-winged Swallow - 1 at Round Lk
Barn Swallow - 3 checking out the new bridge at the north end of Saratoga Lk.
Bufflehead - lots on Saratoga
Bald Eagle - 1 adult and 1 immature on Saratoga
Other waterfowl: Ring-necked Duck, Common and Hooded Mergansers, Lesser Scaup, Black, Mallard.

Alan Mapes
New Scotland

Bluebirds and A Falcon Strike <curtmorgan@...>

Turkeys & Swans


I covered a lot of territory today, mostly in Guilderland. Highlights were

Wild Turkey 21 ( photo link )
Tundra Swan 3 ( Watervliet Reservoir )

Later in the afternoon found another 10 Turkeys in Colonie

Alan Schroeder

Redhead couple

Steve <yugruguru@...>

Sorry about the late post but there was a drake Redhead and female companion at Ann Lee Pond yesterday morning with about 8-10 RNDU's and 2 Pied-billed Grebes. Also had my FOY Eastern Phoebe yesterday (have been out of town for a week and a half).


Fox Sparrow

Elayne Ryba <eryba@...>

FOS Fox Sparrow

Elayne Ryba

Red-breasted Merganser & Surf Scouter still at Collins Lake

cpkbh1 <>

The Red-breasted Merganser and the Surf Scouter were still at Collins Lake this AM. Finally got some shots of the RB Merg but will refrain from posting to save myself embarrasement due to the great quality of shots that have already posted.
At one point the RB Merg swam over to the Surf Scouter and they proceeded to swim the length of the pond together stopping now and then to dive for fish but then continuing on together.
I will post this one shot of them swimming together although they were out a ways too far for my lens to get a quality shot.
The two smaller black ducks with black bills and white wash on head behind bill were also present at far west end of the lake. Could not get a shot of them tho.
Ken H.

Waterthrushes at Five Rivers

Barbara Beebe

Yes-thanks John
I watched 1 Louisiana around 11:15 this morning for awhile heading west
along the Vlomankill Trail, watching south of Jones Barn, when the
second appeared. They stayed together closer to the west bridge, left
them at 11:45.
Also a treat, Kingfisher flying over Beaver and Heron Pond.
Tree swallows back and a one was sitting on a bluebird box ( Having been
part of FR Bluebird Research last year), it was a treat to see just how
early the Swallows claim the boxes :-)
Barb BeebeDelmar, New York

Louisiana Waterthrush pair, Five Rivers- Sun. 4/10


Colleen and I are watching a pair of Louisiana Waterthrush right now along the Vlomankill near Station 12. They are chattering, feeding and bathing. Thank you to John K.


Furtive Birds

Larry & Penny Alden

I've been able to cross off two of the more furtive yard list birds this weekend with a Brown Creeper Saturday and Winter Wren this morning. I might be able to hear both of these singing (making them less furtive), but the rushing water in the creek pretty much drowns them out it they do.

Fortunately, Louisiana Waterthrushes are a bit louder than the previous two species and I expect to get them in the coming week or two.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are being quite "vocal" (is drumming considered a vocalization?) in the morning chorus.

Larry Alden
(on the border of southern Guilderland
and northern New Scotland)

Vischer Ferry & more


I decided to drive up to Vischer Ferry this morning, the first time I've had
a chance to go birding outside my neighborhood in a long time.
Fortuitously, I ran into John Hershey upon arriving at the Whipple Bridge.
John had a scope with him, and he offered to show me the Red-Throated Loon
at the power plant, which he said I probably wouldn't be able to see well
with just my binoculars. He was right - through my binoculars, the bird was
little more than a spec in the river, but I got a great look at the loon in
the scope. Thanks for John for the lifebird! We also saw a scaup (not sure
if it was Greater or Lesser).

Back at Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve afterwards, sightings include a Great
Blue Heron flying majestically overhead, a pair of Blue-Winged Teal,
numerous Ring-Necked Ducks, my FOS Tree Swallows, and a vocalizing Northern
Flicker (heard, but not seen). Other early spring migrants included Song
Sparrows, blackbirds, and grackles. And spring peepers could be heard.

Ellen P.

Brunswick Migrants and Raven

Brad Walker

Hi all,

There were a few raptors that I spotted flying by high today: 5 Red-tails and a Cooper's Hawk.

I was also pleased to find a WINTER WREN hopping around and feeding non-stop in the stream behind my house. A few minutes later, I heard and saw one of the resident COMMON RAVENS fly by.

The pond is still holding a lone male RING-NECKED DUCK.

Brad Walker

Hooded Mergansers

Neil Manning

In addition to the Great Egret, which is still in the pond behind our house, a pair of Hooded Mergansers have also arrived. In addition, our resident Kingfisher is back.

Red-breasted Merganser -more

Jeff Nadler

Two new images, painted in early morning light, from Collins Lake.

Also to note, the ice is finally off Ballston Lake. Other than wood ducks and dc coromorants, no other birds of note seen during a brief visit.

Jeff Nadler

Turkeys in Guilderland


Observed a total of 16 Turkeys at various points in Guilderland this morning - two Toms in full display.

Also 8 Wood Ducks.

Have a GREAT day !

Alan Schroeder

Re: Surf Scoter and RB Merg Continues at Collins Lake, Scotia

rita <abradicap@...>

Followed a similar route as Larry this morning, and found similar sightings. We also checked out a few other places along the way.
Starting at Fish Creek (Stafford Bridge), we found 4 Wild Turkeys flying across the river, finally - before this we hadn't seen one anywhere in over seven months. Also a Belted Kingfisher and 5 scaup - a boat rowed by and flushed them before we could tell which species.
At Wright's Loop we found Greater Yellowlegs but couldn't pick out any Lesser's. Also here were 5 Bufflehead, 6 Green-winged Teal, Killdeer, and 3 Eastern Bluebirds. Only 2 geese.
From there we swung west to Vischer Ferry, where the highlight for us was the previously reported Blue-winged Teals. 4 of them along the towpath today. Also found our FOS Swamp Sparrow, ~ 60 Ring-necked Ducks (and 25 more on the Stony Creek Reservoir), 10 American Wigeon, and a Great Blue Heron. Many turtles basking in the warm sunlight.
At the Vischer Ferry Power Plant, we too found only one of the Red-throated Loons, far offshore. Also a Northern Rough-winged Swallow on the wing. Had a black-backed gull way out towards the far shore - too distant to discern any leg color. We'd be inclined to think it was a Lesser Black-backed, as one was reported yesterday and we found no other gulls here. But from that distance it was nearly impossible to tell. Also around the plant were Belted Kingfisher, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, and a scaup.
Our final stop was Collins Lake, where we also found the Surf Scoter and RB Merganser. These were seen from Collins Park at the far southwest corner of the lake. The scoter was hanging around with two unusual (or perhaps just indistinct) ducks: smaller than the scoter, all black with black bills and a faint white wash along the head and upper sides (also some white on the stomach, as visible in flight). These completely stumped us - maybe Black Scoters? Keep an eye out if you visit the lake. Other birds found here: Pied-billed Grebe, American Wigeon, and the usual Common Merganser flock.
Steve & Brett Abrahamsen

Surf Scoter and R-B Merg Continue at Collins Lake, Scotia


It was a frustrating week to be cooped up at work with all the interesting bird sightings and photos popping up on my computer screen. Thanks to everyone for the excellent updates. I was glad to see the female Surf Scoter and male Red-breasted Merganser in person this morning at Collins Lake. Very cooperative and sometimes in the same scope view. I felt like I was on the coast of New Hampshire.

I also got to see the two Red-throated Loons in the Mohawk above Lock 7; I viewed them from the Vischer Ferry hydro dam Friday evening. I only saw one of the loons this morning.

Larry Main
Clifton Park, NY

Waterthrush at Five Rivers

John Kent <jw.kent@...>

The Louisiana Waterthrush is singing along the Vlomankill near Fordham's Crossing at Five Rivers this morning...the earliest I have had it here by more than a week. Also, as soon as I got out of my car in the parking lot, I heard a raven screaming. It flew over low with a crow in pursuit. That is two weeks in a row for ravens here.

John Kent

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