Greetings All,
  The seventh annual Ulster/Dutchess (NYUD) Christmas Bird Count was conducted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017.  We’ve been fortunate, for continuity sake, to hold this count within a three day window from 12/26-12/28. 41 birders in 14 field parties along with two feeder watchers observed a new high total of 95 species (+2 cw species) for the NYUD CBC.  The 20,792 individual birds counted were nearly 3000 more than our average for the previous six counts and represented our second highest total (23,039 in 2011). Of the species that have appeared three or more years on this count seventeen species were recorded at a new high number and six species at a new low total.  To illustrate how complete a team effort this year’s count was an outstanding seven species were added to our composite NYUD list from seven different sectors!  This raised our composite total after seven counts to 120 species. Exceptional finds included a soaring Golden Eagle in Sector E, a vocalizing Long-eared Owl in Sector G, an unexpected Red-headed Woodpecker in Sector J, two cooperative Lapland Longspurs in Sector D, and a female White-winged Scoter in Sector F.  Two species, a House Wren in Sector B and an Iceland Gull in Sector I moved from “CW” historical status to join us on count day.

  Temperatures ranged from 2 degrees at 6:00 a.m. (having dropped from 8 degrees at the start of our nocturnal effort at 4:00 a.m.) to a balmy 26 degrees mid-day.  Luckily diurnal birders basked in a sun-filled day with calm winds.  Standing bodies of water were iced over but the Hudson and it’s tributaries within the circle remained open and definitely helped field parties locate a very respectable 16 species of waterfowl.  Three inches of a powdery snow cover was rare for the NYUD and surely helped to consolidate sparrows roadside and maybe even aid in our record number of Snow Buntings.

   A big “thank you” as always to Steve Chorvas for inputting and arranging all the data for this count and to all those who cooked, baked, and cleaned up to lessen the load for my now very pregnant wife.  Also a special thanks to Dave Hayes for providing a beautiful facelift to our sector maps.  Finally, to all those in the field (as listed below) congratulations and thank you on our most productive and successful count yet.  Included with participants are notable bird species from each sector.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark DeDea
co-compiler NYUD CBC


Sector A (West Saugerties) 41 species  2,048 individuals
Corey Finger, Vanessa Lane, George Moxham, and Mary Moxham
Rusty Blackbird, Winter Wren, Field Sparrow, and Hermit Thrush

Sector B (Saugerties) B1N 48 species  1,674 individuals  B2S  48 species  925 individuals
B1N Alan Beebe, Doreen Beebe (fw), and Steve Chorvas  B2S Gilbert Thomson and Tyrell Thomson
Mute Swan, Cackling Goose, Northern Pintail, Snow Bunting, House Wren, Gray Catbird, 10 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Great Black-backed Gull

Sector C (Cheviot)  44 species  2175 individuals
Greg Esch and George Steele
Black Vulture, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and 336 American Robin

Sector D (Kerleys Corners)  53 species  3224 individuals
Susan Fox Rogers and Peter Schoenberger
Lapland Longspur, Purple Finch, White-crowned Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Horned Lark, and Snow Bunting

Sector E (Woodstock) E1 26 species 388 individuals  E2 38 species 614 individuals
E1 Allan Bowdery and Dan Porter  E2 Dixon Onderdonk, Loren Quinby, and Dan Spencer
Peregrine Falcon and Golden Eagle

Sector F (Lake Katrine)  44 species  1708 individuals
Lynn Bowdery, Lin Fagan, and Jane Simmons
White-winged Scoter,  Northern Pintail, Snow Goose, and Horned Lark

Sector G (Annandale-on-Hudson) G1 58 species 1895 individuals G2  16 species  262 individuals
G1 Jim Clinton, Jess Prockup, Jim Prockup, and Mathew Rymkiewicz  G2 Doug Bean, Carol Fredericks, and Ken Fredericks
Long-eared Owl, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Black Vulture, Field Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbird

Sector H (Red Hook) H1N 38 species  1022 individuals  H2S  34 species  606 individuals
H1N Adrienne Popko and Chet Vincent  H2S Barbara Butler, Jim Closs, Ginny Collins, Roberta Dopson, and Dominic Sherony
Chipping Sparrow, Rough-legged Hawk, and Ring-necked Pheasant

Sector I (Kingston)  61 species  2952 individuals
Charlotte Adamis, Mark DeDea, Annie Mardiney, and Donna Seymour
Snowy Owl, Iceland Gull, Killdeer, Eastern Towhee, Red-breasted Merganser, and Great Blue Heron

Sector J (Rhinebeck) 52 species  1299 individuals
Dave Hayes, Rodney Johnson, Deb Kral, and Wendy Tocci
Red-headed Woodpecker, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Canvasback, Fish Crow, Greater Scaup, and Peregrine Falcon

Rusty Blackbird, Winter Wren at VF

Steve Mesick

A delayed report, (sorry pretty booked the last two days) but at Vischer Ferry (and other places in our sector of the Troy CBC, we had several good birds. Most notably, at one tiny spot with some open water along the towpath east of the fireman’s entrance we had a Rusty Blackbird, a Swamp Sparrow and a Hermit Thrush. On that same section of towpath a little further east there was a Winter Wren.

The water in general made some birds more scarce (first time since I have done it when there have been no ducks, geese or gulls of any kind) but the fact that there was so little open water meant birds were concentrated, the location above being the best spot. We also had two other Winter Wrens on the count, 2 Great Blue Herons, a Merlin, a Belted Kingfisher, 4 (possibly 5) Rough-legged Hawks, a Red-winged Blackbird, 2 Screech-owls and a Great Horned Owl, and, of all things, a Ring-necked Pheasant!

Crazy but extremely cold day enjoyed by me, Jackson, Richard White, and 2 new birders, Dave Luck and Chris Saffron.

Steve Mesick, East Greenbush, NY

Carolina Wren


Had a Carolina Wren on my suet off and on for most of the day yesterday. 

Heidi Klinowski 

Rough-legged Hawks

John Kent

I saw 6 or 7 Rough-legged Hawks on a drive around Coxsackie today. First I saw one hunting on both sides of River Road in Coeymans, near the LaFarge conveyor. At River Road Grasslands in Coxsackie, there was one dark morph perched in a tree well southwest of the viewing/parking area. At Industrial Parkway, there was one hunting the fields on the west side of the road. Next I found one on Flint Mine Road near 9W, then another in a field on the east side of 9W about a mile north of Flint Mine. Then I saw two more over the fields behind Save A Lot and Serta. I think one of those, a dark morph, might have been the same one I saw earlier from River Road. Otherwise, it was pretty quiet. I only saw a couple of Red-tailed Hawks, and no harriers or anything else of note.

John Kent

New Year's Day Bird Count at Five Rivers EEC- summary


Approximately thirty birders braved the frigid weather at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar this first morning of 2018, and recorded thirty-one species, including a Merlin that blasted across the parking lot in pursuit of a Cooper's Hawk as our group was dispersing. Other notable species observed included Northern Flicker, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Winter Wren. Many thanks to the staff at Five Rivers for hosting this fun annual event once again, and especially to Kitty Rusch and director "emeritus" Craig Thompson for leading our two groups.

Tom Williams 

Re: New Year Surprise


I had a flicker on my suet this morning too.

West Charlton

---- "'Mona Bearor' conservebirds@... [hmbirds]" <hmbirds-noreply@...> wrote:

Watching my feeders for Project Feederwatch I was surprised to see a male
Northern Flicker on the suet! I always worry when I see one of these in the
dead of winter; it was -20F when I got up at 6.

Mona Bearor

South Glens Falls

New Year Surprise


Watching my feeders for Project Feederwatch I was surprised to see a male Northern Flicker on the suet!  I always worry when I see one of these in the dead of winter; it was -20F when I got up at 6.


Mona Bearor

South Glens Falls



Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph 12.31.17

Michelle J

Currently viewing a beautiful Rough-legged Hawk (Dark Morph) from the The Bank of Greene County parking lot on 9W Coxsackie.

Michelle J.
Greene County

Troy CBC - December 30, 2017

Larry & Penny Alden

The Troy CBC was run for the 69th consecutive year yesterday.  The weather outside was frightful (in some ways), but seven field parties braved the cold (-3F to +14F) and preliminarily netted 70 species, two above the ten-year average of 68.


Highlights were:


Snow Goose – 8

Mute Swan – 2

Ring-necked Duck – 3

Common Goldeneye – 211

Hooded Merganser – 35

Ring-necked Pheasant – 1

Great Blue Heron – 2

Bald Eagle – 23 (may be some duplicates)

Rough-legged Hawk – 6

Iceland Gull – 1

Eastern Screech-Owl – 6

Great Horned Owl – 6

Barred Owl – 1

Belted Kingfisher – 2

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 13

Merlin – 4

Peregrine Falcon – 4

Fish Crow – 67

Common Raven – 2

Horned Lark – 170

Winter Wren – 3

Carolina Wren – 11

Golden-crowned Kinglet – 13

Hermit Thrush – 1

Cedar Waxwing – 42

Snow Bunting – 100

Yellow-rumped Warbler – 2

Eastern Towhee – 1

Swamp Sparrow – 1

Red-winged Blackbird – 2

Rusty Blackbird – 1

Brown-headed Cowbird - 26

Purple Finch – 1


This list is remarkable in that there are good numbers of “half-hardy” species eking out a tenuous existence on the northern reaches of their winter ranges.  This may prove to be a fatal gamble for many of them as food stocks dwindle through the winter.  For the waterfowl, open water was at a premium, and as this cold snap continues, they may be driven south to open water.


Thanks to all who took part and happy birding in the new year.


Larry Alden



Black Vulture & Robins - 5 Rivers

Alan Mapes

Walked to the big field late afternoon. 3 black vultures flew over the north end of the field, headed toward Voorheesville. At least 1000 American robins went over, headed east in the daily roosting flight.

Alan Mapes 

Northumberland - Snow Buntings, Horned Larks


I stopped at my favorite spot this morning for winter field birds at Williams Rd. and Wall St. in Northumberland (Saratoga County). There were none there but just north of King Rd. from Wall St. I found, I estimate, 200 each of Snow Buntings and Horned Larks.  I tried very hard to find a Lapland Longspur in the mix but to no avail.  

John H. 



I've been grabbing glimpses of a kinglet at my  place in Queensbury for a while now but couldn't get to my binoculars fast enough before it moved on. I assumed it was a golden-crowned. Today, it came to my suet and I clearly saw that it was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. 

Happy New Year to all.
Imagine if Americans switched from pounds to kilograms overnight. We would have mass confusion!

Barb Putnam 
barbolink2 AT

Salem, NY area birds

Scott Varney

I canvassed the Salem area today (in hopes of a Snowy dice) and had 1 Bald Eagle and the highest single-afternoon counts ever of Juncos, Horned Larks, and White-throated Sparrows. Best of the day was a Belted Kingfisher perched on a telephone wire, overlooking the small, but rapidly flowing Creek that parallels Chamberlain Mills Road in Hebron.

Scott Varney
Salem, NY

Albany County Christmas Bird Count - Highlights

Alan Mapes

A belated report for the 32nd annual Albany County Christmas Bird Count, held this year on Sunday, December 17. Thanks go to all of the 23 participants who spent the day tramping and driving all over the count circle, tallying the birds.

We found a total of 71 species, besting our all-time average of 68. Highlights included White-winged Scoter (1), Red-shouldered Hawk (2), Rough-legged Hawk (2), Horned Lark (18), White-crowned Sparrow (2 – second time ever on the count), Rusty Blackbird (2 – second time on the count), Snow Bunting (16) and Pine Siskin (30).

Species found in relatively high numbers included Common Goldeneye (64 – 2nd highest ever for the count), Rock Pigeon (1054 – highest ever), Mourning Dove (2nd highest), Golden-crowned Kinglet, White-throated Sparrow (2nd highest), Red-winged Blackbird (52 -highest ever), and Pine Siskin (2nd highest).

Species found in relatively low numbers included most waterfowl, gulls, Northern Harrier, Ruffed Grouse (none), Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch (none), Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird and American Goldfinch.

I hope even more of you can join us for the 33rd annual count on December 16, 2018.

December 27 Birdline


Birdline summary for week ending December 27:

13 reports; 56 species reported


Best of the week:

REDHEAD:  Saratoga lake 12/23 (4)

SNOWY OWL: Albany Airport 12/23, 12/24

NORTHERN SHRIKE: Coxsackie 12/26

AMERICAN PIPIT: Kinderhook 12/27

RUSTY BLACKBIRD: Vischer Ferry 12/27


Other notables:

Snow Goose: Valatie 12/26 (2); Coxsackie 12/27 (2)

Red-breasted Merganser: Saratoga lake 12/23 (4)

Common Loon: Saratoga lake 12/23 (2); Coxsackie 12/25

Great Blue Heron: Vischer Ferry 12/27

Bald Eagle: Saratoga lake 12/23 (4); Coxsackie 12/25 (2)

Northern Harrier: Northumberland 12/21 (2); SRCBC; Coxsackie 12/26

Rough-legged Hawk: Northumberland 12/21; Coxsackie 12/26 (3), 12/27 (3)

Eastern Screech-Owl: Saratoga 12/24

Merlin: Northumberland 12/21; Vischer Ferry 12/27; Kinderhook 12/27

Eastern Phoebe: Selkirk 12/23

Horned Lark: Ghent 12/26 (8); Kinderhook 12/27 (20)

Winter Wren: Vischer Ferry 12/27 (2-3)

Golden-crowned Kinglet: SRCBC (5)

Northern Mockingbird: Northumberland 12/21; Kinderhook 12/27

Yellow-rumped Warbler: Coxsackie 12/25 (2)

Swamp Sparrow: Coxsackie 12/27; Vischer Ferry 12/27 (2)

Eastern Meadowlark: Kinderhook 12/27


Thanks to Ron Harrower (Northumberland, Saratoga Lake, Saratoga), Brenda Inskeep (Coxsackie), John Kent (Selkirk), Nancy Kern (Ghent, Valatie, Kinderhook), Jackson Mesick (Vischer Ferry), Stuart Nelson (Albany Airport) and Robert Pastel (Albany Airport)


Vischer Ferry Today - Rusty Blackbird

Jackson Mesick

Hi everyone,

I birded some of the eastern portions of Vischer Ferry this afternoon and had a really nice (if cold) day. Highlights were 2-3 winter wrens, two swamp sparrows, a merlin, a flyover great blue heron, a calling raven, and best of all, a single winter male rusty blackbird in a small area of running water. The light was nice enough that I could even make out the rusty edgings to the feathers on the wing. Overall, quite a good day!

Good birding!

Jackson Mesick
East Greenbush, NY / Chicago, IL

eBird -- 451-621 Eichybush Road, Kinderhook, New York, US (42.409, -73.738) -- Dec 27, 2017


451-621 Eichybush Road, Kinderhook, New York, US (42.409, -73.738)

Dec 27, 2017

3:09 PM


4.08 miles

39 minutes

All birds reported? Yes


Temperature 19 F sunny. Calm clouds 4 inch snow cover

135 Canada Goose

1 Merlin

4 Blue Jay

4 American Crow

20 Horned Lark

1 Northern Mockingbird

50 European Starling

1 American Pipit

14 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)

3 White-throated Sparrow

2 Savannah Sparrow

1 Eastern Meadowlark (Eastern)

Number of Taxa: 12

Sent from my LG Mobile

Coxsackie Rough-legged Hawks

Brenda Inskeep

I have been watching 3 Rough-legged Hawks working the fields near the "Save a lot" building off of Rt 9W in Coxsackie. They have been hovering, circling, sitting on snags offering excellent views. There are 2 dark and 1 light phase birds. A good place to park is at Technology Dr & Garland Rd near Bank of Green County. No sign of the Shrike this morning. At the grassland off River Rd this morning I had a Swamp Sparrow feeding in a patch of open ground, a Song Sparrow and 2 flyover Snow Geese.

Brenda Inskeep
in Coxsackie



eBird Report - Acland Blvd, near Saratoga Airport, Dec 24, 2017

Ronald Harrower

Acland Blvd, Saratoga, New York, US
Dec 24, 2017 8:30 PM
Protocol: Incidental
Comments: Was driving back after dropping my son off. On Acland Blvd there is a stretch of evergreen trees between two main developments. I stopped and was looking for Screech Owl call on y phone, when a real one called instead! Pretty cool.
1 species

Eastern Screech-Owl 1 Calling in evergreen woods on Acland Blvd, (on far side of Saratoga County Airport than where birders usually observe.

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Valatie- Snow Goose


Nancy Kern

Valatie, Columbia, New York, US
Dec 26, 2017 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Temperature 23 F, sunny and clouds, windy. Birds on the Kinderhook Creek east of the Rt. 203 bridge and dam. Most of the water was iced over except back near the rapids and rocks.
3 species

Snow Goose  2     sleeping on the ice, light gray color.
Canada Goose  300
Mallard  5