Hudson Crossing birding: 16 warbler species!

Scott Varney

I went to Hudson Crossing today with my sister, Heidi,  to search for Warblers today and had the best day ever there...despite the dog Easter egg hunt (which was a really cool event for dogs). Kudos to the Hudson Crossing staff for organizing this "Get to know Hudson Crossing" 2-day event.

Here's my list of Warblers after reviewing photos:

American Redstart
Black and White
Black-Throated Green
Cape May
Common Yellowthroat
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Parula

Great Day,

Scott Varney
Salem NY

Swainson's Thrush, Canada Warbler, etc. - Vischer Ferry


I spent the morning between 6:00 and 11:00 am at Vischer Ferry Preserve, walking the western loop and the round trip from Ferry Drive to Lock 19.  About 2 weeks ago or less  I was listening intently for any hint of the song of Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Gray Catbird, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and American Redstart because these species were yet to show or hard to find, but by this morning all of these birds have become dominant vocalizers throughout most of the Preserve.  While finding it helpful to tune out the above singers as much as possible, I was able to hear or see all of the following:  Least Flycatcher (almost a candidate to tune out, also), Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Marsh Wren, Carolina Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, Wood Thrush, Veery, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula (surprisingly common), Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Wilson’s Warbler, Canada Warbler (heard on scout trail in the woods and along Canal east of Ferry Drive), and Scarlet Tanager.  I should also mention several Least Sandpipers and Spotted Sandpipers on the mud strip along the river where the main path ends, and a Solitary Sandpiper at  Ferry Drive east. 

Two disappointments were the lack of any rails or bitterns, and none of the 3 spruce budworm specialist warblers. Otherwise it was a pretty good morning for birds.

John H. 

Century Run: Normanskill Farm-only

Tristan Lowery


Like some others, I opted for a scaled-down “Century Run-in-place” this year. I decided to spend a good part of the day at my local patch, Normanskill Farm in the City of Albany. So, it wasn’t much different than any other day of spring birding for me - except I got up an hour earlier to try for nocturnal birds, and made two visits, instead of just my usual morning-only outing. I was under no illusions of getting to 100 species; as of Friday, I’d seen 102 species at Normanskill this month, but getting them all again on the same day seemed like a pretty tall order. In the end, I wound up with 81 species – so, a Four-Score-and-One Run?


The first good pickup for the day was American Woodcock, which I heard “peenting” down in the gully along Normanskill Drive at 4:35 a.m. I reached 75 species about six hours later and gave it another hour more before packing it in for the morning at 11:30. It was getting hot, the birds were quieting down, and the farm was filling up with gardeners and dogwalkers, so I went home for lunch and a sensible nap.


The real morning highlight was 17 species of wood-warbler, though they were mostly the same mix of birds I’d been seeing there for a few prior: Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler. I found all six expected woodpeckers, the four most common vireos, and the corvid four-pack. Great Crested Flycatcher must’ve arrived that day, but Least Flycatcher was my only Empidonax (Willow Flycatcher showed up Sunday morning, however). And while I found Swainson’s Thrush at Normanskill on Friday, and Swainson’s, Veery, and a Gray-cheeked/Bicknell’s this morning, the only thrushes yesterday were locally-breeding Wood Thrush, Eastern Bluebird, and American Robin.


Palm Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and White-throated Sparrow all disappeared just in time: I saw kinglets at Normanskill as late as Thursday, and the other two were both still present in decent numbers on Friday. But not on Saturday.


While it was a good morning of birding, there weren’t any real surprises, except for a flyover Northern Harrier around 10:30. Some other good birds that made appearances were White-crowned Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and Orchard Oriole.


After the hottest part of the day had passed, I returned to the farm in the afternoon to record another half dozen species (including some embarrassing near-misses): Rock Pigeon, Turkey Vulture, Cedar Waxwing, Blackpoll Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and Chimney Swift (in chronological order).


My two biggest misses were probably American Kestrel and Northern Mockingbird, but Common Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Green Heron, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Eastern=Towhee, and Indigo Bunting are other species I see with some regularity at Normanskill that decided not to show yesterday.


Being a creature of habit, I was back again this morning (Sunday), where the first bird I saw at sunrise was the Gray-cheeked/Bicknell’s Thrush I mentioned above. There are some blurry, low-light photos attached to this eBird checklist.


And finally, after being holed up at Normanskill for most of the weekend, I drove out to Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area in western Albany County this afternoon to see the previously reported Trumpeter Swan, which was still present at Tubbs Pond.


Good birding —


Tristan Lowery




The past 2 Day's I've been birding solo except for yesterday, I was with Donna Wright. In Vale Park/Cemetary we had, foy, Nashville Warbler,male and Female Scarlet Tanager, Blue-headed Vireo etc. Today I was up in The Woodlawn Preserve I got 10 year birds, Least Flycatcher, 2  of the following both seen and heard, Northern Parula, Wilson's Warbler,Chestnut sided Warbler, Blackthroated Green, Ovenbird multiple, Wood Trush, American Redstart, Red-eyed Vireo. etc. Just a heads up and reminder that RR tracks are private Property, and that if you get hit by a train it's your problem. Jamie Taft Schenectady

Golden-winged Warbler, S. Bethlehem

John Kent

A Golden-winged Warbler reported earlier on eBird by Chris McCarthy is still present at Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary in South Bethlehem. It periodically visits the apple tree by the pond. Thanks, Chris! 

John Kent

Great-crested Flycatcher and IBs Continue


Just saw my FOS Great-crested Flycatcher, a good reminder "bird every bird." Saw someone fly into a tree out back out of the corner of my eye from my seat at the dining room table. Almost went back to the email I was writing - the yard is pretty busy with the usual suspects - but grabbed my binoculars instead. Also good to keep them within reach!

After having three Indigo Buntings here Friday we had one or two off and on yesterday until dusk and they are still frequenting the feeders today. They do love the sunflower hearts. I've been putting a couple of handfuls in with the oil sunflower.

There are at least two male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds around and one has kindly started frequenting our new window mounted feeder, about two feet away when I sit at my desk and turn my head. Still no sightings of females.

Clear skies, Alan

Town of Colonie Big Day, 5/16


Colleen and I conducted a Town of Colonie Big Day on Saturday. We visited four locations within town boundaries, except for a small section of Albany Pine Bush that extends into the City of Albany. We thank them for the American Kestrel we found perched on a post at the closed section of the landfill. The day began around 5:30 a.m. at Albany County Airport, and our active birding ended at about 1:15 p.m. with a second short stop at Ann Lee Pond. We then passively observed our yard for additional species until 7:00 p.m.


Albany County Airport (6)- Savannah Sparrows, Bobolink and many singing Eastern Meadowlarks. A flyover Green Heron was a fortunate sighting as it was the only one we saw all day.


Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Karner Barrens East (68)- Three hours of methodical hiking yielded 68 more species. Some highlights included: multiple Orchard Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers and Indigo Bunting. Through-migrant warblers observed were Nashville, Cape May, Northern Parula, and a western Palm Warbler.


Ann Lee Pond (5)- Red-shouldered Hawk, Northern Waterthrush, Great Horned Owl, Cape May Warbler and Northern Parula.


Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, Latham (5)- Virginia Rail, many Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.


Incidentals and yardbirds (5)- female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (FoY).



We ended with a total of 89 species. Our prediction ahead of time was 80-90, so we did well. Without traveling to a large marsh, lakes, rivers and reservoirs, we pretty much eliminated any chance of hitting the century-mark. It was a fun day conducted at a more leisurely pace than normal, too.



Tom and Colleen Williams


Re: Century run info


Larry Alden

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: "roundywaves35 via" <roundywaves35@...>
Date: 5/17/20 12:28 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: [hmbirds] Century run info

Could someone remind me who I send my century run list to?  I can't remember.

Century run info


Could someone remind me who I send my century run list to?  I can't remember.

Century Run - Albany County only

Larry & Penny Alden

“Team ABC” (Alden, Bogardus, and Chorvas) ran our usual Albany County Century Run yesterday to pleasant weather. Our haul totaled 126 species.

We found a good mix of warblers throughout the day (20 species), although not in huge numbers, with the exception of yellow-rumps, which were abundant.

Bitterns and rails put on a good showing at Black Creek Marsh, but some late migrants haven’t shown up yet.

Highlights included surprise encounters of Caspian Tern on Alcove Reservoir, Eastern Whip-poor-will and Great Horned Owl calling from Black Creek Marsh, and a drop-in Hooded Merganser on the Normanskill.

Some species took a lot of work (Common Loon on Alcove comes to mind). We encountered only two Indigo Buntings and only a handful of Yellow-throated Vireos, Scarlet Tanagers, and Great Crested Flycatchers.

There were expected species which we missed: Fish Crow, Brown Creeper, and Bank Swallow. Through the years I’ve learned this is the nature of a Century Run.

And finally, we found a big ol’ pile of bear poop between the railroad tracks at Black Creek Marsh, proving that they don’t just do it in the woods!

I’ll be compiling results from all the teams or individuals who took part. (People who were out, please send me your info.) Look for articles in future issues of Feathers.

Larry Alden

'seabirding' at Saratoga lake.


visible now at Riley's cove, 7 red-breasted mergansers, about 15 common terns, 2 black terns among about 250 ring-billed gulls. white - winged scoters further north from Manning cove Rd. 

Gregg Recer

gregg recer
malta NY

Rotterdam yard migrants

John Shea

Our yard in Rotterdam, usually only host to common backyard birds, has become a migrant hotspot over the past week. The yard is relatively small, but we do have several large maple trees, with one in particular seeming to be the main draw. The highlight has probably been at least 4 Cape May Warblers, often visible at the same time in the same tree. Other warblers seen here throughout the week include Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Yellow, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided, and Tennessee. Other notable birds include Baltimore Orioles, Great-crested Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, and Red-eyed Vireo.

John Shea
Rotterdam, NY

Sora on Carter's Lake, Greenwich

Scott Varney

The access to Carter's Lake Is blocked from both directions today after yesterday's damaging 70 mph winds. However, Ferguson Road was completely open and I found a single Sora in the wetlands, calling intermittently for about 5 minutes. Also a single Virginia Rail calling. 

Scott Varney
Salem NY

Attn Chris & Kathy McCarthy re: Ceruleans

Naomi Lloyd

Hey guys, did you post something about Ceruleans in the campground at SISP? I swear I read it but now I can't find the message. I'm doing my usual bang-up job of preparing for tomorrow's Century Run.

Naomi Lloyd

Indigo Buntings and Eastern Kingbird


Our FOS Eastern Kingbird spent a lot of time kiting for insects out front today.

Just spotted two male Indigo Buntings our our back yard feeders.

The nesting Tree Swallows and Bluebirds are very busy out front.

Clear skies, Alan

Bonaparte's gulls - Saratoga lake


there's a substantial flock of bonaparte's neat the s. w. corner of the lake. I counted 57. 
somewhat obstructed view can be had from the little pump station pull off on ST9P just south of stony pt Rd. 

Gregg Recer

gregg recer
malta NY

Barred Owls at Five Rivers


A warm but cloudy morning at Five Rivers today culminated in a pair of barred owls displaying for each other in some pine trees around 10:30am. Other highlights included many migrating warblers and a conspicuously large number of wood thrushes.

Re: Bar-headed Goose

Jennifer Ford

Interesting.  Their was one outside of Altamont, NY, not far from the Watervilet Reservoir yesterday afternoon.  Did not have my camera with me - it was hanging out with a group of Canada geese.

On 5/14/2020 11:45 AM, tommyk2199@... wrote:
A friend reported a bar-headed goose in Rensselaer county. Picture is attached, presumably an escapee. I am headed to go observe it now.

white-winged scoters, round lake


group of 7 ww scoters visible from boat launch on SR9. 4 males, 3 females. nearly all the way across. really needs a scope. 

Gregg Recer

gregg recer
malta NY

Re: Brant flyover 5/14

Dan Leonard

Yes, and about 50 Brant flying low enough for us to hear the wingbeats In Scotia!

Sent from Dan’s iPhone

On May 14, 2020, at 8:54 PM, trwdsd via <trwdsd@...> wrote:

Just watched and heard a flock of approximately 200 Brant fly overhead from our yard in Colonie. They’re moving!

Tom Williams 

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