Harlequin Duck - Saratoga Lake


I found the male Harlequin Duck this morning around 8:30 at the south end of Saratoga Lake in the usual area between the pump station and the mailboxes.  I sometimes think of this beautiful duck as the diving duck counterpart to the Wood Duck.  I met Megan there who was also looking for it but unfortunately she left right before I found it.  I posted one pic for i.d. purposes only on this website.

John H.

eBird Report - Saratoga Lake, Nov 21, 2017

Ronald Harrower

Restored self confidence in birding skills, though it really was bad luck. Beautiful bird. Will process more photos, but wanted to get the report out with the star.

Saratoga Lake, Saratoga, New York, US
Nov 21, 2017 7:30 AM - 8:50 AM
Protocol: Traveling
6.0 mile(s)
Comments: I started my 4th day of looking for Harlequin Duck behind the mailboxes at Stoney Pointe Rd and Rte 9P. First thing of not was a flock of at least 600 gulls on sandbar. I scanned and started taking photos of all rafts of Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes. I also checked out outliers that could be a lone duck. To be honest, I wasn't sure I'd seen it until I got home and looked through photos. It was near a raft of Buffleheads coming out of little cove on Stoney Pointe Rd. It turned up again a bit closer with Common Goldeneyes up near the pump house half an hour later. A Red-throated Loon was out a ways from pump house as were Long-tailed Ducks and all three Scoters.
23 species

Canada Goose 250
Mallard 140
American Black Duck 20
Lesser Scaup 6 all females. One with Buffleheads in cove, the other 5 near marine below Nostalgia Restaurant
Harlequin Duck 1 Have spent many hours i last 4 days looking for this bird, well documented by others. Seen first near raft of Buffleheads, later in the midst of Common Goldeneyes.
Surf Scoter 3
White-winged Scoter 5
Black Scoter 6
Long-tailed Duck 12 I took many photos and counted them
Bufflehead 107 Yes, I counted them!
Common Goldeneye 135 Yes, I counted them too. The main rafts were near south end of lake, but a large raft of males were seen in middle of lake. (later seen from Silver Beach more directly)
Hooded Merganser 34
Common Merganser 2
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Red-throated Loon 2 One off south shore. One in Fish Creek outlet near boat launch in North
Common Loon 5
Mourning Dove 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 15
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Eastern Bluebird 2
American Goldfinch 1

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Brant - Farm Pond near Tomhannock Reservoir

Jackson Mesick

Hi everyone,

My dad and I birded Tomhannock Reservoir this afternoon. In general we had the expected: common goldeneyes, common and hooded mergansers, mallards, buffleheads, a couple ruddy ducks, and about 1500 Canada Geese. We did have a single common loon from the northern end of the lake as well as a few active pileated woodpeckers.

We also went looking for the golden eagle that Naomi and co had on November 4th, and although we did not find it, we did find a BRANT in a small farm pond on Croll Rd. amongst a group of ~50 Canada geese. I'm including links to the ebird checklist for the spot (with bad photos) as well as the location of the pond in google maps. I'm happy to provide further details on where it is if these links aren't enough and someone wants to chase it.

Have a good evening and good birding!

Jackson Mesick
East Greenbush, NY

Harlequin Duck continues

Alison Van Keuren

The Harlequin Duck continues in Saratoga Lake.  Seen at 8:45 AM.  I was below the mail boxes at intersection of 9P and Stony Point Road.  The bird was with a flock of Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead.

Alison Van Keuren

Harlequin Duck - YES


A group of us were looking at the male Harlequin Duck from the pump station on the south end of Saratoga Lake around 9:30 am.  Earlier I ran into a woman who proceeded to chase away 4 duck hunters near the pump station because they had parked in her driveway.  The Harlequin Duck initially was by itself but close to a raft of Common Goldeneye and easy to see in the scope when it was up.  Later it joined the string of Goldeneye.  The flock moved further out in the lake and became harder to see. There also was a string of White-winged Scoters and another of Long-tailed Ducks.  Other birders present were David H. Zack, Lindsay D., and Mark F. 

Altogether it was not the best birding conditions because of rain, wind, and cold. 

John H. 

Saratoga Lake- Harlequin Duck


Nancy Kern

Saratoga Lake, Saratoga, New York, US
Nov 18, 2017 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Overcast, some intermittent light rain
3 species

Canada Goose  10
Harlequin Duck  1     by itself, diving, nearest ducks were Common Goldeneye, seen by 4 others, some took photos
Common Goldeneye  20

Bird Calendar - local artist - gift for your favorite birder?

John Loz

Hi Fellow HMBirders!

I thought I'd pass along a 'birding gift find' to get yourself or a gift for your favorite birder, a really incredible 2018 bird calendar from a young artist out of Delmar. I found out about this from chatting with her at the Troy Farmer's Market where she only does a limited run of this calendar through pre-order. I just received the link today and after finally seeing the images, I was blown away by her work.

I just pre-ordered my own and one as a gift. Here's the link she sent me:

Happy Thanksbirding!


eBird Report - Saratoga Lake, Nov 16, 2017

Ronald Harrower

Saratoga Lake, Saratoga, New York, US
Nov 16, 2017 3:20 PM - 3:30 PM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments: Stopped by Solver Beach to see what was there. Immediately picked up Horned Grebes.
5 species

Canada Goose 2
Mallard 2
Bufflehead 4
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Horned Grebe 15 13 in photo, at least two more farther away to left. Probably more total as they were diving a lot

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

eBird Report - Galway Lake, Nov 17, 2017

Ronald Harrower

Galway Lake, Saratoga, New York, US
Nov 17, 2017 12:15 PM - 1:25 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 mile(s)
Comments: John Hershey and I braved the incredibly cold wind while doing our best to observe tons of waterfowl at Galway Lake. Canada Geese predominated, but there were significant numbers of Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks and Buffleheads. I few Scaups of both species, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck and Gadwall were also present. A less windy day and perhaps earlier when sun isn't silhouetting the ducks in some views would be better.
19 species

Canada Goose 1200
Gadwall 4
Mallard 110
American Black Duck 9
Green-winged Teal 12
Ring-necked Duck 36
Greater Scaup 2
Lesser Scaup 4
White-winged Scoter 1
Bufflehead 18
Common Goldeneye 2
Hooded Merganser 180
Common Merganser 6
Ruddy Duck 2
Ring-billed Gull 4
Downy Woodpecker 1
American Crow 4
Black-capped Chickadee 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

eBird Report - Lake Desolation SF, Nov 17, 2017

Ronald Harrower

Lake Desolation SF, Saratoga, New York, US
Nov 17, 2017 9:20 AM - 11:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 mile(s)
Comments: John H and I headed across Lake Desolation/Fox Hill Road in search of Winter finches. We didn't find any, but had some good looks at birds, including 2 Brown Creepers. Cold wind was a serious problem at times despite the sun.
13 species

Common Merganser 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 7
American Crow 12
Black-capped Chickadee 11
Red-breasted Nuthatch 5
White-breasted Nuthatch 4
Brown Creeper 2 These two birds were a mile apart. I haven't actually seen a creeper for two years, so it was exciting to have two on the same trip
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Dark-eyed Junco 2

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

harlequin duck Saratoga lake


still present near southwest shore mingling with c. goldeneye. best viewed by walking on shoulder north about 50 yards  from pump station pull off to area free of brushy growth. 

Gregg Recer

Harlequin Duck, Saratoga Lake

zach schwartz-weinstein

Just received the following text message from Stacy Robinson:

Good morning!
Gary and I found a male Harlequin Duck on Saratoga Lake. We last viewed it from a small pull off in front of Sewage Treatment Plant gate on the south side of the Lake just a little north of Nostalgia Restaurant.
Zach Schwartz-Weinstein
203 500 7774

Northern Shrike, Coxsackie Grasslands- 11/18


Colleen and I observed a juvenile Northern Shrike at the Coxsackie Creek Grassland Preserve late this morning. We watched it perch atop a group of trees behind the farm silos visible from the pull off area at Garland Rd. & Technology Dr. It briefly chased a small bird that landed in an adjacent tree. This is likely the same bird found by Rich Guthrie at this location on Nov. 5th. Other species noted included Horned Larks, a Northern Harrier, and a heard-only Eastern Meadowlark.

Tom Williams


eBird -- 77 Louden Road, Ghent, New York, US (42.285, -73.597) -- Nov 17, 2017


77 Louden Road, Ghent, New York, US (42.285, -73.597)

Nov 17, 2017

4:01 PM


0.26 miles

3 minutes

All birds reported? Yes


Temperature 37 F sunny breezy

12 Mallard

2 American Black Duck

1 Great Blue Heron (Blue form)

1 Blue Jay

Number of Taxa: 4

Sent from my LG Mobile

Cattle Egret not seen ...Montgomery County

Peter Doherty

Today, 15 Nov, the Maring Road Cattle Egret was not seen during three visits at 0730, 1100& 1600. Peter Doherty

, Northern Shrike. Coxsackie Grasslands Nov. 17, 2017 IMG_5592.JPG

Richard Guthrie

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

Vischer Ferry - Dabbling Ducks


I walked west along the towpath at Vischer Ferry Preserve this afternoon and found a better collection of ducks than on the Sunday field trip.  The ice in the ponds is all melted again.  I estimate the following numbers of dabbling ducks: American Wigeon - 20, American Black Duck - 30, Green-winged Teal - 50, Northern Shoveler - 5, Northern Pintail - 12, Wood Duck - 5.  Also, many Mallards and Canada Geese but no diving ducks.  I also counted 6 Eastern Bluebirds. 

John H.

November 15 Birdline


Birdline summary for week ending November 15:

15 reports; 63 species reported


Best of the week:

CACKLING GOOSE: Schuylerville 11/10

LONG-TAILED DUCK: Tomhannock 11/11 (19); Queechy Lake 11/12

RED-THROATED LOON: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (2), 11/14 (2)

RED-NECKED GREBE: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (2)

CATTLE EGRET: Canajoharie 11/14, 11/15

BONAPARTES GULL: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (2)

SNOW BUNTING: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (25-30)

RUSTY BLACKBIRD: Vischer Ferry 11/12


Other notables:

Northern Pintail: Vischer Ferry 11/12 (5)

Ring-necked Pheasant: Kinderhook 11/12 (2)

Common Loon: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (8); Tomhannock 11/11

Pied-billed Grebe: Tomhannock 11/11; Crescent 11/12

Horned Grebe: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (10)

Bald Eagle: 6 reports

Northern Harrier: Fort Edward 11/10

American Coot: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (30)

Greater Yellowlegs: Waterford 11/12

Dunlin: Waterford 11/12 (2); Cohoes Flats 11/14 (2)

American Kestrel: Fort Edward 11/10

Carolina Wren: Saratoga Lake 11/9 (2)

Marsh Wren: Vischer Ferry 11/12

Pine Siskin: Glenville 11/15


Thanks to Larry Alden (Tomhannock), Peter Doherty (Canajoharie), Alan French (Glenville), John Hershey (Vischer Ferry), Nancy Kern (Austerlitz, Canaan, Queechy Lake, Kinderhook), Bill Lee (Saratoga Lake), Gregg Recer (Waterford, Crescent),  Scott Varney (Schuylerville, Fort Edward) and Tom Williams (Saratoga Lake, Cohoes Flats, Canajoharie)

Morning Visitors


Three Bluebirds, 2 males and a female, and a lone Pine Siskin.

Clear skies, Alan

Cattle Egret continues, Montgomery County, NY

Peter Doherty

At 0800 Egret seen off Maring Road in wet area on South side ~40 yards beyond unopened agbag. Peter Doherty

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