Date   

Fun bird outings

Cynthia Edwardson
 

Hi Fellow Birders,
Chris and I wanted to encourage you to check out a new park in Bethlehem called the Normans Kill Ravines Park if you enjoy a hiking challenge while birding. It's already a Hot Spot on eBird. On Weds it was slippery, steep and a challenging 4 mile hike but it's a super cool area for birds. I'm sure in May we would have found more migrants but we heard or saw 37 species including a Barred Owl -see attached photo. There is a map of the trails on the Town of Bethlehem website if you are interested. It is a multi-use trail but we didn't run into any bicycles. Hiking poles helped me stay upright! 

Today we walked at Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary, a MHLC Preserve in Selkirk. This is another wonderful spot and easy to hike while looking for birds. Even with a late morning start, we had 36 species there including a briefly singing Louisiana Waterthrush and great looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo foraging along the Onesquethaw Creek (I can't pronounce this yet).

Finally, is anybody planning to hike in the Catskills or other places to look for the Bicknell's Thrush?  Or have you already? We're interested in trying to locate what would be a life bird for us. We tried Plateau Mountain last June but were not successful. 

Stay cool.
Cindy Edwardson


Five Rivers highlights this afternoon- YB cuckoo and more

scottjstoner
 

Denise and I birded parts of Five Rivers EEC in Delmar this afternoon; highlights were a yellow-billed cuckoo up in the treetops at Fordham's crossing, and a White-throated sparrow and a Louisiana Waterthrush with a mouthful of food, both along the Vlomankill. 

FYI, the bridge over the Vlomankill has been rebuilt, and the visitor center is reopened as of today, with limited hours. 

Scott Stoner, Loudonville



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


HMBC -- June 7 Program meeting invite - 101Great Birds from Around the World

scottjstoner
 

The Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club invites you to our last program meeting of the spring. Monday June 7 at 6:30 PM . Details and zoom link below. 

Programs will resume in September. 

-Scott Stoner, Program Chair
Gregg Recer, Membership Chair


Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club <admin@...>
Date: 6/3/21 16:48 (GMT-05:00)
To: Scott Stoner <scottjstoner@...>
Subject: HMBC -- June Program meeting invite


Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club


  • HMBC Program Notice

  • 101 Great Birds from Around the World

  • Monday, June 7, 2021, 6:30PM via Zoom meeting

  •  

Hello HMBC Members:

    This is a reminder that the HMBC June program will be held via a Zoom meeting on Monday June 7th at 6:30 PM. Use the meeting link below to join the meeting as a participant. All participants will enter the "waiting room" until the meeting host opens the meeting. Participants' audio lines will be muted on entry. We ask that participants keep their lines muted except when prompted for Q&A during the program.

    NOTE: The first time you use Zoom on a device, you will be prompted to download the Zoom app when you click on the meeting link below. Follow the prompts to download the app and then launch the meeting using the meeting ID from the invite. (The app is recommended, but if you prefer, there is also an option when you open the link below to join the meeting via a web browser window, but with limited capabilities.) Audio connections can be through the app on your device or through a separate dial-in phone number given below.

    Program details:

    Mark Garland is a naturalist based in Cape May, New Jersey. This program will celebrate the incredible diversity of birds featuring some birds that are beautiful, some that are less so, and some that have interesting stories to tell. 

    full details here:

    https://hmbc.net/event-4163578


    Meeting details:

    Topic: HMBC June Program Meeting

    Time: Jun 7, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81447399609


    Meeting ID: 814 4739 9609

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    • --

    • Scott Stoner, Program Chair

    • Gregg Recer, Membership Chair

    • gregg.recer@...







    Re: Yellow-breasted Chat - Saratoga Battlefield - no

    gregg_recer
     

    tried for the chat this morning, scouring the area around W trail stop B a couple of times between 8:30 and 10:30. no luck. on the return, I heard some jumbled song way on the far side of the field south of stop B. it was intriguing with some squeaks and repeated whistled notes, but no harsh gutteral phrases I could hear. it was really distant and probably just an odd catbird, but? nothing visible. the chat could certainly still be in the area somewhere - there's a lot of what seems like good habitat. hopefully others have better luck.
    --
    gregg recer
    malta NY


    This week's destination: 6/3

    Naomi Lloyd
     

    Hey Thursday birders! I was planning to bird in my part of the region this week, but the chance of a Yellow-breasted Chat is too good to pass up.

    Let's meet at the Saratoga Battlefield parking lot at 8:00am and walk the Wilkinson trail.
    https://www.google.com/maps/dir//43.0131135,-73.6493323/@43.0029449,-73.6419067,15z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e0?hl=en&authuser=0

    Naomi





    Yellow-breasted Chat - Saratoga Battlefield

    Lindsey Duval <lindsey.duval@...>
     

    There's a YB Chat lurking near the Wilkinson Trail in the Saratoga Battlefield (National Historical Park). I incidentally just came back from down south where there were a few around so their odd chatters and whistles are still fresh in my memory (I swear I didn't bring the bird back with me) and ended up with deja vu with what I was hearing, even though i tried writing it off as a lazy Thrasher or creative Oriole. Then got a brief visual as it flew across the trailing front of me to land in shrubby stuff, but I couldn't find it again and it hasn't sung for a half hour, despite my searching. 

    This is the main section of the trail, walking from office through the woods and down the hill. It was in the stand of about 10 birch and flew across to where the horse trail intersects, just past the sign post with the letter B inset on pink.


    Orchard Oriole at 5 Rivers

    scottjstoner
     

    imm male singing at the research ponds now. common raven also present. Scott Stoner, Loudonville NY



    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


    Sorry...Virginia rails continuing

    Sue Rokos
     

    Continuing, we saw two Virginia Rails in the water, and dipping and scurrying up and down the little pond path. We went up on bridge, and behind the beaver deceiver among the reeds we could see a parent, and then four little rails scurried one at a time across the side (a tiny bit of open land there) over into the other side. Sorta like little moving chocolate puffball cupcakes! 
    The beaver deceiver (which we learned about from the Saratoga Plan volunteer working at the other end) is in this picture, next to the bridge, the reeds beyond it was housing the rail clan.

    Worth the raindrops!

    Sue and Dennis Rokos
    Duanesburg


    Rail Babies

    Sue Rokos
     

    Rainy greetings,
    This morning we birded the Bog Meadow Trail beginning 10 ish at the Lake Road trailhead, finishing in the rain 2 ish. Going up we saw a green teal duck, two killdeer, a greater yellow leg and canada geese in the bog. Moving on found an earful.of Cedar Waxwings, song and white throated sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, red winged blackbirds, two mallards, tree swallows, robins, common yellow throat, yellow bellied sapsucker, Downey and hairy woodpeckers, veery, peewee, chickadee and blue Jay. Once we got back to the Big pond/bog in the rain, saw some tiny shorebirds touch down and disappear among the hillocks
     Then right before the bridge, we chanced on two Virginia Rails, 


    Mourning Warbler - Vischer Ferry

    jhershey2
     

    This morning at Vischer Ferry Preserve it was cloudy and breezy and I didn't notice any warblers other than the usual summer residents.  However, at the canal area on the west side of the Lock 19 Historic Area I heard a Mourning Warbler singing loudly.  As usual the warbler was very secretive and did not show itself. The song was cut short at the end.  I attached an iphone recording of the song.  

    John H.


    This week's destination: 5/27

    Naomi Lloyd
     

    Hey Thursday birders! Here's hoping tonight's storms aren't too wild. Let's meet at the Picnic Table Graveyard, aka Carlsbad Pavilion at Saratoga Spa SP. I believe there's no admission charge before 8:00 so be prompt!

    The parking lot is on the south side of East-West Rd.
    https://www.google.com/maps/dir//43.0442567,-73.8091845/@43.0443351,-73.8095224,18z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e0?hl=en&authuser=0

    Naomi





    Zim Smith Trail--Coons Crossing to Round Lake, Saratoga County, May 25, 2021

    scottjstoner
     

    Gregg R and I atlased part of my block this morning, walking roughly west along the Zim Smith Trail from Coons Crossing to the north side of Usher's Rd State Forest on English Rd and back. We tallied 53 species and confirmed several breeding species. Our ebird list is below. - Scott Stoner, Loudonville, NY


    -----Original Message-----
    From: do-not-reply@...
    To: scottjstoner@...
    Sent: Tue, May 25, 2021 1:06 pm
    Subject: eBird Report - Zim Smith Trail--Coons Crossing to Round Lake, May 25, 2021

    Zim Smith Trail--Coons Crossing to Round Lake, Saratoga, New York, US
    May 25, 2021 7:16 AM - 9:57 AM
    Protocol: Traveling
    1.9 mile(s)
    53 species

    Canada Goose  36    26 young
    Mallard  5
    Mourning Dove  3
    Green Heron  1
    Turkey Vulture  1
    Osprey  1
    Broad-winged Hawk  2
    Red-tailed Hawk  1
    Belted Kingfisher  1
    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
    Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
    Downy Woodpecker  1
    Pileated Woodpecker  1
    Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
    Alder Flycatcher  2
    Eastern Phoebe  1
    Great Crested Flycatcher  1
    Eastern Kingbird  2
    Yellow-throated Vireo  2
    Warbling Vireo  4
    Red-eyed Vireo  2
    Blue Jay  2
    American Crow  5
    Black-capped Chickadee  2
    Tufted Titmouse  1
    Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
    Tree Swallow  6
    Bank Swallow  1
    Barn Swallow  4
    House Wren  3
    Marsh Wren  4
    European Starling  9
    Gray Catbird  6
    Veery  4
    Wood Thrush  1
    American Robin  11
    American Goldfinch  3
    Chipping Sparrow  2
    Song Sparrow  2
    Swamp Sparrow  3
    Baltimore Oriole  3
    Red-winged Blackbird  12
    Brown-headed Cowbird  2
    Common Grackle  10
    Ovenbird  1
    Common Yellowthroat  8
    American Redstart  8
    Yellow Warbler  5
    Chestnut-sided Warbler  1
    Scarlet Tanager  2
    Northern Cardinal  4
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2
    Indigo Bunting  1

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S88963422

    This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)


    Brant, Selkirk

    John Kent
     

    About 250 Brant just went over my place in Selkirk, headed north.

    John Kent


    Five Rivers today, May 24 - Loon, cuckoo, mink

    scottjstoner
     

    Most or all of the through-migrant passerines seem to have moved by, with Five Rivers seemingly settling into the peaceful summer breeding season. Two birds of note (but neither new for the year there) were two Black-billed cuckoos, one heard from the parking lot, and the other heard from the vicinity of the research ponds. A Common Loon flew over, making its tremolo vocalization, and a mink was briefly visible near one of the ponds.  I was entering data into the ebird app when I heard some slight rustling behind me; I turned around and saw the mink walk by, too mesmerized by the experience to immediately think of a photo (probably too close for my telephoto tp focus anyway). It went back to the edge of the pond and disappeared, not to be found again. You never know what you will see in nature!! 
    - Scott Stoner, Loudonville


    -----Original Message-----
    From: do-not-reply@...
    To: scottjstoner@...
    Sent: Mon, May 24, 2021 4:23 pm
    Subject: eBird Report - Five Rivers EEC, May 24, 2021

    Five Rivers EEC, Albany, New York, US
    May 24, 2021 7:08 AM - 10:09 AM
    Protocol: Traveling
    1.79 mile(s)
    38 species

    Canada Goose  17
    Mourning Dove  3
    Black-billed Cuckoo  2
    Killdeer  1
    Common Loon  1    heard; flyover
    Turkey Vulture  1
    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
    Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
    Northern Flicker  1
    Alder Flycatcher  3
    Willow Flycatcher  1
    Eastern Phoebe  1
    Eastern Kingbird  3
    Blue Jay  1
    Black-capped Chickadee  1
    Tree Swallow  6
    House Wren  3
    European Starling  2
    Gray Catbird  7
    Eastern Bluebird  1
    Wood Thrush  1
    American Robin  8
    House Sparrow  6
    American Goldfinch  14
    Chipping Sparrow  3
    Field Sparrow  1
    Song Sparrow  1
    Eastern Towhee  6
    Baltimore Oriole  2
    Red-winged Blackbird  3
    Brown-headed Cowbird  1
    Common Grackle  4
    Ovenbird  3
    Blue-winged Warbler  4
    Common Yellowthroat  8
    Yellow Warbler  2
    Chestnut-sided Warbler  4
    Northern Cardinal  2

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S88891392

    This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)


    Century Run

    kmcgrath@...
     
    Edited

    I did a solo Century Run on Saturday May 15 with walking stops at Black Creek, Papscanee Island, my property in Nassau, Pebbles Island, Cohoes Flats, Vischer Ferry, Saratoga Battlefield, Lock 4 Park in Schaghticoke, and Schodack Town Park with drive-by stops along the way at Round Lake, Saratoga Lake, Luther’s Forest, Wright’s Loop, Knickerbocker Loop, Tomhanock Reservoir, and Nassau Lake.  It was a long day covering 140 miles by car traversing an enormous loop across 4 counties with 13.5 miles on foot that yielded 119 species for the day.It was a near perfect beautiful day but like most of the other runners  I spoke with it was a slog.  Most of the birds I saw were permanent or returned migrant residents  with an occasional small flocks of mixed migrants passing through.

     

    The morning started with the Barred Owls in my neighborhood calling as I head out for Black Creek for a pre-dawn run on the tracks.  I was in and out before sun-up to pick-up the specialties I had scouted two days before.  I was surprised that American Bitterns were not calling but the Least appears to have staked claim to the area immediately east of the pond on  the south side and was audible.  The March Wrens, Swamp Sparrows, Sora and Virginia Rails were also calling but overall the marsh was quieter than I expected.

     

    Arriving at Papscanee about 6 am, it was much nosier than I had heard it earlier in the week but not more productive.  The highlight of the day came when my wife called to tell me that the flock of seven Evening Grosbeaks (1 male and 6 females) that had visited my feeders earlier in the week had reappeared at my feeders so I ran home at 7:30 am from PI and found all seven on the back deck.  While watching them I heard the field sparrows and grasshopper sparrows in the farm fields behind the house and walked up the fields to see them and nearly stepped on a pair of Wilson Snipe.

     

    Heading out again about 9ish I ran to Troy for the Peregrin at the Hoosick Street Bridge on my way Cohoes Flats and Peebles Island.  A nice sized mixed group of Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipal Plovers, and Least Sanpipers, were close in-shore behind the U-Haul but I didn’t stay long to scope the area as there were several groups fishing the flats (and more arriving at the time).  PI was already crowded when I arrived but the trails were mostly empty.  A short way out from the parking area I ran into my first and best mixed flock of the day with a very active mixed group of about 30 birds working the over buds and berries.   Within a couple minutes I had Redstart, Palm, Cape May, Parula, B&W, Nashville, Yellowthroats, BTG, and BTB as well as Warbling and Red Eyed Vireos.  I walked the perimeter loop trail and the interior cross trails to find almost nothing new (best birding is always in the parking lot!).

     

    From PI I head up the river road along the Mohawk, over the river and out to VF.  Parking at the eastern Cluett Dry Dock parking area I walked the main trail to Whipple Bridge adding a few new birds for the day the highlight of which was a pair of Wood Duck and a lone Cedar Waxwing along River Road about 100 yards from my car (after a 2 hour hike!).  I did not have a real plan for the afternoon and after checking the list I was already over 100 and had seen almost everything I had scouted out over the previous six days.  My best chance for more species appeared to be waterfowl and/or shorebirds so I made the mistake of deciding to go north.

     

    Round Lake and Saratoga Lake were a bust with dozens of pleasure boaters and fishermen enjoying the beautiful afternoon.  The battlefield was very nice and I was greeted upon arrival by a Hermit Thrush (1st for the year) working over the picnic area by the Visitors Center.  The fields were full of Field and Savannah Sparrows, Bobolink, Meadowlarks, and Goldfinch but nothing exotic appeared (where are the Uppies??!).  Wright’s Loop was a dustbowl.  Knickerbocker Loop was similarly dry but I did catch a pair of American Mergs on the Hoosick River just upstream of the confluence with the Hudson.  Hoping the Mergs meant more waterfowl might be found on the River, I ran up to Lock 4 park but got nothing but Canada Geese and Mallards.

     

    I didn’t have much energy left or hope for more waterfowl but decided to go home via the Tomhanock and Nassau Lake and was rewarded with a Loon on the Tom.  The last seen bird of the day was the Mute Swan’s at Nassau Lake at about 8 pm.  After a shower and some dinner, as I compiled my list, I finished the day as I had started by listening to the Barred Owls in my back yard.

    Kevin McGrath


    Last Call for Century Runners

    Larry & Penny Alden
     

    I have reports from the following people who did a Century Run on Saturday, May 15:

     

    Recer

    Harrison

    White

    Glines

    Lowery

    Suozzo

    George

    Edwardson

    Lloyd

     

    Anyone else have a report for me to include in Feathers?  If so, please get it to me by the end of the day tomorrow.

     

    Larry Alden


    Re: Boice Family Park Note

    rob snell
     


    Above is a map of the park. The main parking area is just off Rock City Rd.  This area of the orange trail is where the steepness mostly occurs. A better entry is the parking area on Creekside Dr., as Susan mentioned.  From the main entry continue down Creekside, and make the next two right turns. Creekside dead ends, and you can park there.  A nice loop is the blue trail south, then right on the red trail. There is a short steep section as you approach the steam, but it has a rope “railing”.   Hope this helps. 

    Rob


    On May 23, 2021, at 12:50 PM, Susan <smbeaudoin1@...> wrote:

    
    After having been contacted by a member who was discouraged by the steep path at Boice and decided to leave, I thought it might benefit the group to describe this site, especially since Rob had a Olive-sided Flycatcher there, and others may want to pursue it. The first time I went, after reading one of Lindsey's posts, I too was surprised by the park. The name would indicate an area with picnic tables and a playground, but there are no amenities except the trails.
    The trail at the parking area at 2-10 Creekside Drive, just off Rock City Rd is very steep and leads down to the creek, following it, and then going steeply upward through deciduous woods. Last Friday the entrance to this trail  was obscured by tall plants, some of them stinging nettle. Volunteers keep the paths clear.
    Fortunately, there is an alternate access point. If you drive down Creekside Dr you'll come to an area that, if I remember correctly, has a guard rail and a stop sign. Beyond those is a dirt road that looks like it was meant to be a continuation of the development. You can park here and can access the trails from either side. As you face the dirt road, take the road to your right. This is a level trail, and there is a map about a quarter of the mile in. From the map area you can either go straight or turn left to access the creek. If you go right, you'll go back to the area with the steep trail to the parking lot.
    Susan Beaudoin



    Boice Family Park Note

    Susan
     

    After having been contacted by a member who was discouraged by the steep path at Boice and decided to leave, I thought it might benefit the group to describe this site, especially since Rob had a Olive-sided Flycatcher there, and others may want to pursue it. The first time I went, after reading one of Lindsey's posts, I too was surprised by the park. The name would indicate an area with picnic tables and a playground, but there are no amenities except the trails.
    The trail at the parking area at 2-10 Creekside Drive, just off Rock City Rd is very steep and leads down to the creek, following it, and then going steeply upward through deciduous woods. Last Friday the entrance to this trail  was obscured by tall plants, some of them stinging nettle. Volunteers keep the paths clear.
    Fortunately, there is an alternate access point. If you drive down Creekside Dr you'll come to an area that, if I remember correctly, has a guard rail and a stop sign. Beyond those is a dirt road that looks like it was meant to be a continuation of the development. You can park here and can access the trails from either side. As you face the dirt road, take the road to your right. This is a level trail, and there is a map about a quarter of the mile in. From the map area you can either go straight or turn left to access the creek. If you go right, you'll go back to the area with the steep trail to the parking lot.
    Susan Beaudoin



    Re: Nighthawks

    Robert S Pastel
     

    Sounds like a good topic for a doctoral dissertation 

    Robert S. Pastel


    On May 22, 2021, at 4:52 PM, scottjstoner via groups.io <ScottJStoner@...> wrote:

    
    continuing this theme...similarly in central Iowa, they were a constant presence on summer evenings circa 1980, flying low, calling, over the outdoor athletics courts at dusk. Scott Stoner, Loudonville



    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


    -------- Original message --------
    From: Ron <igolfnbird@...>
    Date: 5/22/21 16:22 (GMT-05:00)
    To: BERNARD GROSSMAN <bgrossman4@...>
    Cc: hmbirds@groups.io
    Subject: Re: [hmbirds] Nighthawks


    When I was a kid growing up in Indiana we saw and heard Nighthawks during every night baseball game. Everyone called them Ballbats, back then. 😂 
    On Sat, May 22, 2021 at 4:19 PM BERNARD GROSSMAN <bgrossman4@...> wrote:
    We used to see Nighthawks flying above downtown Schenectady in the '70s and '80s. Chris used to see them when she taught night school at SCCC. One theory for their disappearance from the downtown was the slow conversion away for gravel covered flat roofs on the buildings to rubber membranes, which weren't as hospitable for roosting/nesting.


    Re: Nighthawks

    scottjstoner
     

    continuing this theme...similarly in central Iowa, they were a constant presence on summer evenings circa 1980, flying low, calling, over the outdoor athletics courts at dusk. Scott Stoner, Loudonville



    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


    -------- Original message --------
    From: Ron <igolfnbird@...>
    Date: 5/22/21 16:22 (GMT-05:00)
    To: BERNARD GROSSMAN <bgrossman4@...>
    Cc: hmbirds@groups.io
    Subject: Re: [hmbirds] Nighthawks


    When I was a kid growing up in Indiana we saw and heard Nighthawks during every night baseball game. Everyone called them Ballbats, back then. 😂 
    On Sat, May 22, 2021 at 4:19 PM BERNARD GROSSMAN <bgrossman4@...> wrote:
    We used to see Nighthawks flying above downtown Schenectady in the '70s and '80s. Chris used to see them when she taught night school at SCCC. One theory for their disappearance from the downtown was the slow conversion away for gravel covered flat roofs on the buildings to rubber membranes, which weren't as hospitable for roosting/nesting.

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