Vischer Ferry Preserve - Wilson's Warbler, Least Bittern


I walked the 3-mile western loop from the main entrance at Vischer Ferry this morning.  There was one real hot spot of songbird activity in the area of the trails that follow the edge of the west back pond.  Highlights for the morning include Red-eyed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler (4), Black-throated Green Warbler (5), Chestnut-sided Warbler (1), Wilson's Warbler (1).  There were 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds along the Scout Trail.  When I see them they are always near Touch-me-nots.  I didn't get close enough to see if they could be  Rufous.  Unlike the hummingbirds in Ecuador at feeders these seem to be skittish and disappear immediately upon your seeing them.  There was a Cooper's Hawk hanging out in a tree along the towpath with some American Crows and has been there at least for several days.  Finally at the end of  the Whipple Bridge on the south side I heard first a Virginia Rail and then a Least Bittern calling on alternate sides of the path to the river.  The Least Bittern was using a call that is not in most of the guides/apps such as Audubon and Sibley but is easily found in the Xeno-Canto website.  This is the same spot that I have seen a Least Bittern several times earlier in the summer.  Results for 'least bittern' :: page 1 :: xeno-canto

 John H.

Johnsburg Birding

Scott Varney

Thurman Birding Update

Scott Varney

I went to Thurman, NY tonight and birded around my favorite spots on Glen-Athol Road.  Birds were very quiet from 5-6 pm, but then the action picked up.  Highlights include:

30 +Yellow-rumped Warblers (in 1 location near Parker Cross and Glen Athol intersection.)

3 Pine Warblers

2 Common Yellowthroats

1 Canada Warbler

2 American Bitterns

1 Great Blue Heron

8 Wood Ducks (all were 1st year)

1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

3 Eastern Phoebe

1 Red-eyed Vireo

4 Blue Jay

20+ Black-capped Chickadee

1 Red-breasted Nuthatch

2 White-breasted Nuthatch

1 American Robin

3 Cedar Waxwing

11 Chipping Sparrow

1 White-throated Sparrow

2 Common Ravens

1 Gray Catbird

1 Belted Kingfisher

4 Turkey Vultures

1 Eastern Screech Owl (It's been 10+ years since I've seen one)

Rufous Hummingbird Photo Link

Scott Varney

Rufous Hummingbirds in upstate NY?

Scott Varney

I recently went birding at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville, NY and while there, I enjoyed a plethora of hummingbirds.  It struck me as odd that although there were tons of typical "hummingbird" type flowers in full bloom (including Beebalm), the plethora of hummingbirds that I was observing were all to be found in the brushy areas and all of them were feeding on wild Spotted Touch Me Nots (also referred to as Jewelweed).

I took a few photos and I couldn't help but notice that 3 of these birds had dark spots under the white chin and that there was a significant amount of rusty color on the heads and on the sides of the breast.  I chalked it up to just being juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and just enjoyed the show.

School has started and I've been super busy!  But tonight, I finally uploaded the photos to my computer and now I'm questioning my original observations.

I will be posting my best photo in a few minutes on this it possible that what I saw were Rufous Hummingbirds?  Maybe I'm crazy!  I looked at all of my field guides (Sibleys, Crossley, Petersons, National Geographic) and my photo has me baffled!  

Please help me!

Austerlitz- Turkeys and Kestrels


Had 5 hen turkeys in my driveway (gravel) this morning with at least 20 poults of all sizes and all able to fly. 3 hens were in 10 ft. high bushes that are covered with feral Concord grape vines, and were eating the numerous ripe grapes.The rest were graveling and pecking at something, probably grasshoppers and I hope ticks.
Continue to have 1 juv. Y-b Sapsucker,
3 Kestrels near the house and over my field,
2 adult E. Bluebirds,
one juv. R-t Hawk,
1 Broad-winged Hawk,
3 Blue Jays,
6 Am. Crows,
3 G. Catbirds,
2 E. Towhees,
9 Chipping Sparrows (they are starting to gather),
1 Song Sparrow.

Papscanee Status


At the north end there is finally a nice leveled dirt field on the right just past the gypsum plant. Dry as a bone, but when the rain comes... Did not hear any propane canons today. 2 Kestrels and that was it at about 2:30 pm.
At Staats Island Road a propane canon went off a couple of times near the cornfield on the left. Right side is full of high weeds and a few glimpses of pumpkins, Very dry. Saw 2 T. Vultures fly over, 1 Gt.-b. Heron, and 3 Wood Ducks. No good places for viewing sandpipers yet.

Nancy Kern

Schodack Island- Juv. Northern Goshawk


Nancy Kern

Schodack Island SP IBA, Rensselaer, US-NY
Sep 12, 2014 3:30 PM - 4:40 PM
Protocol: Traveling
4.0 mile(s)
Comments: Temp. 67 F, some wind gusts, leaves moving most of the time. Sunny. Park was quiet.
20 species (+1 other taxa)

Northern Goshawk 1 Flew up into large tree with a bare limb so observation was good, then flew off into thick trees out of sight. Was not carrying prey.
Mourning Dove 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
Downy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 2 I could see one, and another was calling from further into the woods.
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Blue Jay 2
Fish Crow 3 Calling in the area of a nest site I had seen before along the Hudson River at the west side of the Island.
Black-capped Chickadee 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 1
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 4
Cedar Waxwing 22 Eating poison ivy berries. Several Juv. birds with adults, probably half of the birds seen. Were flying in and out of dense leaves high in the trees.
Common Yellowthroat 1
Eastern Towhee 3
Chipping Sparrow 5
sparrow sp. 2
Northern Cardinal 1
American Goldfinch 2

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Fulton County


My partner and I birded In the Johnstown Cemetery this afternoon at 3:15 for about an hour.Most interesting birds included a Hairy Woodpecker, Red Eyed Vireo, 5-6 dark capped juvenile Eastern Phoebes, and an American Redstart still in breeding plumage. Good Birding everyone.  Edward Donnan

An easy way to see ebird reports for our area

David Martin <david@...>

BirdTrax has just been added to the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club's website 

It shows the last three weeks of sightings reported to ebird in our area.   Just scroll down the list to see what has been reported.  When you click on sighting to expand it, you will see links at the bottom that include a map link showing the location of the sighting.  

At present it is centered on Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve and encompasses sightings within a 100km diameter (61 miles), the maximum allowed.   That covers a lot of our area, but not all.

David Martin
Slingerlands, New York

HMBC trips for weekend of Sep 13 & 14


Coordinator: Gary Goodness 862-9260


We’ll first explore the trails of Camp Pinnacle for fall migrants, then head out to “Sunset” the hawk watching site to search the skies for Broad-winged Hawks and other migrating raptors.

Meet in front of the bank at the southwest corner of Routes 20 and 155 in Guilderland at 8:00 a.m.



Sunday, September 14, SEPTEMBER RAMBLE AT FIVE RIVERS (Albany County: morning-afternoon)

Coordinators: Tom & Colleen Williams 857-2176 trwdsd@...


How many species of birds can we observe in one September day at Five Rivers? You are invited to help us find the answer. Come on down to the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar on Sunday, Sept 14, 2014. Walk the trails, and explore the ponds, fields, marshes, and woodlands. Observe for an hour, or bird all day, it's up to you. Join an early group that will meet in the parking lot at 7:30 a.m. and cover much of the property in a three hour walk. You can also bird on your own throughout the day and share your results with the coordinators via e-mail. See you there for a fun day of birding!


Don Gresens



A Great Blue Heron an eagle and a catfish

Louis J. Suarato

I'm across from the Klamsteam Tavern in Half Moon and was watching a great blue heron attempt to down a catfish for about ten minutes. The heron suddenly flew away and in an instant, a bald eagle scooped up the catfish! Photos? My camera is in for maintenance. Ugh!

Louis Suarato

Birdline for September 10


Birdline summary for week ending September 10:

16 reports; 79 species reported.


Best of the week:

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON: Vischer Ferry 9/10 (2).

BLACK VULTURE: Thacher Park 9/10 (4)

YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO: Hollyhock Hollow 9/4.

COMMON NIGHTHAWK: West Sand Lake 9/4; Delmar 9/7; Albany 9/10 (2).

MERLIN: Thacher Park 9/10.


AMERICAN PIPIT: Cohoes Flats 9/7.

WILSONS WARBLER: Five Rivers 9/4.

CANADA WARBLER: Thurman 9/7.


Other notables:

American Wigeon: Vischer Ferry 9/7.

Common Loon: Thurman 9/7.

Pied-billed Grebe: Vischer Ferry 9/7; Thurman 9/7.

Green Heron: Glens Falls 9/7.

Osprey: Stanton Pond 9/4; Huyck Preserve 9/6; Cohoes Flats 9/7; Thacher Park 9/10.

Bald Eagle: Cohoes Flats 9/8 (3); Troy 9/9.

Northern Harrier: Vischer Ferry 9/7.

Broad-winged Hawk: Thacher Park 9/10 (115).

Semipalmated Plover: Huyck Preserve 9/6; Cohoes Flats 9/7, 9/8 (3).

Greater Yellowlegs: Huyck Preserve 9/6; Cohoes Flats 9/8.

Lesser Yellowlegs: Cohoes Flats 9/7 (5), 9/8 (6).

Semipalmated Sandpiper: Huyck Preserve 9/6; Cohoes Flats 9/8.

Eastern Screech-Owl: Vischer Ferry 9/7.

American Kestrel:  New Scotland 9/4; Huyck Preserve 9/6; Thacher Park 9/10.

Peregrine Falcon: Huyck Preserve 9/6.

Least Flycatcher: Huyck Preserve 9/6.

Blue-headed Vireo: Thurman 9/7.

Warbling Vireo: Vischer Ferry 9/7 (5); Thurman 9/7.

Carolina Wren: Five Rivers 9/4; Niskayuna 9/4; Vischer Ferry 9/7.

Magnolia Warbler: Five Rivers 9/4 (6); Delmar 9/7; Thurman 9/7.

Black-throated Blue Warbler: Thurman 9/7.

Blackburnian Warbler: Thurman 9/7.

Scarlet Tanager: Vischer Ferry 9/7; Thacher Park 9/10.


Thanks to Deb Ferguson (Delmar), John Hershey (Cohoes Flats, Vischer Ferry, Ferry Drive), John Kent (Hollyhock Hollow, Huyck Preserve), Bill Lee (Five Rivers, New Scotland, Stanton Pond, Niskayuna), Naomi Lloyd (West Sand Lake), Tristan Lowery (Albany), Ellen Pemrick (West Charlton), Scott Varney (Thurman) and Tom Williams (Cohoes Flats, Thacher Park).

Philadelphia Vireo - Ferry Drive


There was not a lot of bird activity or variety this morning going west from Ferry Drive to the Vischer Ferry Power Plant, but I did find my first PHILADELPHIA VIREO of the year. 

John H.

Common Nighthawks @ UAlbany - 9/10

Tristan Lowery

At around 6:30 this evening, I saw two Common Nighthawks flying low over the Indian Pond on the uptown University at Albany campus.

Tristan Lowery

Black-Crowned Night-Herons at Ferry Drive, Vischer Ferry

John Cebula

I've seen two juvenile black-crowned night-herons in the trees on the far side of the canal at Vischer Ferry.  I've been told there are three.  They are a couple hundred feet east of the parking area.  I've seen them yesterday and today.

Raptor migration, Thacher Park hawk watch- 9/10/2014


An enthusiastic group of birders lined the overlook at John Boyd Thacher State Park today, enjoying beautiful weather while watching the unfolding southward migration of raptors. An Audubon NY group, Will Aubrey's Helderberg Hawkwatch team, and numerous individuals all joined in, with most of the birds moving between 10:00AM-2:30PM. Despite moderate south winds, we observed the following numbers:

Black Vulture- 4 (non-migrants)
Turkey Vulture- 7 (non-migrants), 3 (probable migrants)
Osprey- 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk- 4
Cooper's Hawk- 1
Bald Eagle- 2 (one adult, one 1st year bird)
Broad-winged Hawk- 115 (largest kettle was twenty birds)
Red-tailed Hawk- 14 (difficult to assess migrant status on most)
buteo sp.- 2
American Kestrel- 1
Merlin- 1

Other notables:

Great Blue Heron- 2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird- 3
Tree Swallow- 2
Scarlet Tanager- 1 (calling from just below the overlook wall)

I'm told that yesterday, between 350-400 Broad-winged Hawks passed by the site, along with two Peregrine Falcons, and a Northern Goshawk! The next ten days mark the peak migration time for Broad-winged Hawks. Take advantage of the HMBC field trips ( to Camp Pinnacle, this Saturday and the next. 

Tom Williams

My first Bald Eagle sighting!

Janet Wolkenstein

Nice looking mature adult was hanging out in the dead trees around Mt Ida Lake, in Troy, this afternoon...trying to get some late-day fishing in, I suspect :) .  He was just a little too far for my lens to reach well, but I managed to get a couple of decent identifying shots of him anyway.

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Cohoes Flats shorebirds- 9/8/2014


There was an uptick in shorebird numbers at Cohoes Flats this morning. The water level at the upstream gauge fell to 6.5 feet for a time, leaving a lot of rocky shallows exposed (at 10 feet, most of the rocks are covered.) Viewing from the Clark Avenue access, two other observers and I saw a Greater Yellowlegs, six Lesser Yellowlegs, three Semipalmated Plovers, a Spotted Sandpiper, and single Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Killdeer numbers were back up, probably a dozen. Three Bald Eagles were present out on the rocks towards Goat Island, two appeared to be first-year birds, the other a second-year with more white mottling. An Osprey (or two?) flew by occasionally, but was probably deterred from plunging for fish by the shallow water. eBird report w/photos below:

Tom Williams

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