PROTHONOTARY WARBLER - Surrender March Trail

Lindsey Duval

About an hour ago I SAW a Prothonotary Warbler at the Surrender March Trail which is just south of Schuylerville. This bird has actually been here since 5/23 when I first heard the loud, ringing, clear "SWEET SWEET SWEET SWEET SWEET." A Titmouse on that day actually managed to sing something similar to me on that first day. Today I was tortured enough and fell down the steep hill to get a close view and there he was making territorial rounds around the swamp!

If anyone goes I think the new gravel south entrance may be shorter. The north entrance is across from Schuyler St. You have to go about a mile in. There is a wooded swamp across from a house on the canal side which is one story, brick red, with a pool. I think the bird May be visible from the trail, keep an eye on horizontal branches and tops of snags, it's a weird angle. 

I'll try to bang out a checklist on eBird too. (No internet access other than dying old phone.)

Re: Help with shorebird ID please.

Alan Mapes

I think you got it right this time!

On Sat, May 30, 2020 at 1:07 PM ConserveBirds <conservebirds@...> wrote:

You tube video here:


I was thinking Solitary Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs.  I have a 99% error rate with all shorebirds, so I welcome all comments!


Video taken in small pond in Gansevoort, NY on May 15.



Mona Bearor

South Glens Falls



Help with shorebird ID please.


You tube video here:


I was thinking Solitary Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs.  I have a 99% error rate with all shorebirds, so I welcome all comments!


Video taken in small pond in Gansevoort, NY on May 15.



Mona Bearor

South Glens Falls



Papscanee Cerulean

John Kent

A Cerulean Warbler is singing, audible from the Staats Islad Road parking area at Papscanee Island Nature Preserve.

John Kent

Five Rivers today - Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Sorry for the lateness of the report. Denise and I heard, and then saw, and both of us photographed - a Yellow-billed Cuckoo near the top of a large willow tree on the west side of the Beaver Pond, just south of the wooden footbridge over the pond, at the Five Rivers EEC, Delmar. Ebird report below; photos will be added soon. Scott Stoner and Denise Hackert-Stoner, Loudonville

-----Original Message-----
To: scottjstoner@...
Sent: Thu, May 28, 2020 8:42 pm
Subject: eBird Report - Five Rivers EEC, May 28, 2020

Five Rivers EEC, Albany, New York, US
May 28, 2020 6:18 AM - 10:47 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.65 mile(s)
Checklist Comments:    eastern cottontail about 10 including several young. eastern chipmunk, gray squirrel, frogs and dragonflies, tiger swallowtail, more TBD
46 species

Canada Goose  17
Wood Duck  1
Mourning Dove  3
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1    beaver pond area; heard doing full "song" then saw and photographed it. It was in a large willow tree on the west side of the beaver pond just south of the wooden pedestrian footbridge. photos to follow
Chimney Swift  3
Killdeer  2
Great Blue Heron  2
Green Heron  3
Turkey Vulture  1
Belted Kingfisher  2
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Eastern Wood-Pewee  2
Willow Flycatcher  3
Eastern Phoebe  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  2
Eastern Kingbird  2
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  1
Tufted Titmouse  1
Tree Swallow  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Wren  4
Carolina Wren  1
Gray Catbird  8
Eastern Bluebird  3
Veery  2
Wood Thrush  2
American Robin  12
House Sparrow  1
American Goldfinch  17
Chipping Sparrow  1
Field Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  6
Eastern Towhee  3
Bobolink  8
Baltimore Oriole  1
Red-winged Blackbird  7
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Common Grackle  2
Ovenbird  2
Louisiana Waterthrush  1
Blue-winged Warbler  3
Common Yellowthroat  6
Yellow Warbler  10
Northern Cardinal  3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Pileated woodpecker excavating stump in Colonie (video)

Rico Birdo

This pileated woodpecker was working hard at a stump behind an office building on Central Avenue. It was quite fearless and I was able to approach it both on foot and in my car to take photos with my cell phone.


Acadian flycatcher Rensselaerville state forest

zach schwartz-weinstein

Acadian Flycatcher singing south of State Preserve Rd 50 yards or so west of the intersection between Scutt Rd and the CCC road, Rensselaerville State Forest.--
Zach Schwartz-Weinstein
203 500 7774

American Redstart, Great Blue Herons, and Boblinks oh my

Sue Rokos

Wednesday we headed to Vischer Ferry after work, and found to our delight a small nest off the path to the river a sweet little bird landing in a nest, she would settle in, then leave and fly around while I searched through Sibley's....could she be a least flycatcher? But did not seem right, grey with a spot if yellow on each wing, and yellow side tail feathers....I looked through my Stokes book and was surprised to see an exact picture of her, a female American Redstart. Then, Thursday evening we took our scope down our Duanesburg road to the little rookery, and watched as Dad flew across the marsh, back with a stick in his mouth , and then tightrope walked over to the lower nest on the left and handed it over to the nest builder....we watched this back and forth for 15 minutes or so, then the middle nest parent got up and saw three baby heads Bob up. (We took the pix through the scope, still practicing) then on our way up the road back home saw this downy woodpecker on the reeds, pecking away. That was new! This morning we headed down our road and at the farm fields 2 miles down found Bobolinks galore, seemed like 100 of them! After we turned around to walk back home, we saw one poor or lucky female being chased by three males. We drive down Tonite and they seem to either be gone or hunkered down, and the redwinged blackbirds back in charge.

Very satisfying days.

Sue and Dennis Rokos

Re: 75th Running of the HMBC Guy Bartlett Century Run

Larry & Penny Alden

I have received Century Run reports from the following people:


If there are any more reports out there, please get them to me ASAP. I am starting my compilation so I may be contacting you if you didn’t provide me with your times, counties, and participants. 


On May 13, 2020, at 2:50 PM, Larry & Penny Alden <overlook@...> wrote:

Unlike the other HMBC field trips of late, the annual Century Run will be held this Saturday, May 16.  The weather is looking nice for a change.  We’re due for it! 


This “field trip” is on your own – go where you want, when you want.  But if you take part, please make a concerted effort to reach one hundred (or more) species. 


The link below has special HMBC guidance on COVID-19 and gives additional information on the Century Run.  Please click on it.



Send your results to the compiler (me) so I can tally our collective effort for Feathers.  As this is the 75th consecutive run, I promise a special write-up!


Good (and safe) birding.


Larry Alden



P.S. Consider entering your sightings on e-Bird to add to the NYS Breeding Bird Atlas III effort.



Bobolinks and Blue-winged Warblers at SNHP

Scott Varney

I cycled the 11 mile loop road today from 1:30-2:10 pm at SNHP (now that it is legal!). Blue-winged Warblers were calling from absolutely every stretch of the first 8 miles of the loop was almost distracting, as I was trying to listen for other species...a beautiful distraction.  

Highlight of my 40 minute ride was a Bobolink that perched on a 4 foot tall, blue pole about 10 feet from me at the 2.5 mile mark...and started into a full-on song...the kind of moment I hope for when I'm out recording bird vocalizations...and no human sounds to be heard!

Happy day,

Scott Varney
Salem, NY

Re: Saratoga airport


sorry **horned lark** display flight

gregg recer
malta NY

Saratoga airport


singing grasshopper and savanna sparrows seen in scope views. horned display flight heard. 

Gregg Recer

gregg recer
malta NY

Re: Little Blue Heron, Queensbury


Wow… I saw one in the pond at the Pineview Cemetery on Quaker Rd. in April 2009.  What are they doing coming up this way?  Good find, Scott!


Mona Bearor

South Glens Falls




From: [] On Behalf Of Scott Varney
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2020 3:39 PM
Subject: [hmbirds] Little Blue Heron, Queensbury


Viewed today in the little pond next to the ARC building on Quaker Road. Adult bird. 


Scott Varney

Salem NY

Little Blue Heron, Queensbury

Scott Varney

Viewed today in the little pond next to the ARC building on Quaker Road. Adult bird. 

Scott Varney
Salem NY

Least Bittern, etc. - Vischer Ferry


This morning I walked the usual 3-mile western loop at Vischer Ferry plus a short stretch east on the towpath.  Long overdue for me was the first Least Bittern of the year, calling frequently from the edge of the west pond.  I also heard a Virginia Rail calling in the pond east of the Water Authority road entrance.  The 3 common warblers that breed at the preserve were well-represented - Yellow, Common Yellowthroat, and American Redstart - but the other warblers that pass through quickly were very scarce.  I detected only a Canada Warbler, Chestnut-sided, and 1 Blackburnian.  Even the Northern Waterthrushes were quiet this morning and I found none.   A few other species present include: Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow-throated Vireo, Marsh Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood Thrush, Veery, Cedar Waxwing, and Scarlet Tanager. 

John H.  

Gray-cheeked/Bicknell's Thrush @ Normanskill Farm - 5/21

Tristan Lowery

Currently viewing another Catharus thrush at Normanskill Farm in Albany in a different location from my previous reports. This one is at the top of the bluff that overlooks the 14th hole of the Capital Hills golf course.

Tristan Lowery

Deer Mountain Nature Trail

Scott Varney

My sister and I followed up on a recent post about this nature trail in Coeymans. 
The birding was terrific!  I went for the sole purpose of getting audio clips and/or photographs of the Worm-eating Warbler. Audio recordings were readily available on both sides of the West trail along the very steep hillsides. However, these were probably the most difficult to photograph...extremely well-camoflaged and clearly not fans of humans. I eeked out a couple of ID-able photos, but they won't make my Facebook page!

Also, for anyone contemplating a visit, wear tall, waterproof boots. The majority of the West trail was a mudpit and the boardwalks ALL need to be replaced...they are in scary disrepair and horribly unsafe. 

....but the birding was fantastic!

Happy Day,

Scott Varney
Salem NY

New arrivals, West Charlton


While walking my dog this afternoon, I heard my FOS Eastern Wood-Pewee and, a short distance down the road, my FOS Great-Crested Flycatcher.  Also heard Red-Eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager (making its funny call note), and Ovenbird. 


Ellen P.

West Charlton

Bicknell's Thrush @ Normanskill Farm - 5/18

Tristan Lowery

As I reported to HMBirds that day, I found a Gray-cheeked/Bicknell’s Thrush at Normanskill Farm in Albany on Sunday morning, 5/17. I was able to get some photos and video of the bird (including an audio recording of the call but not the song), all of which I submitted with my eBird checklist.


I returned the next morning and was able to find what was presumably the same bird at the same location. This time, it wasn’t nearly as cooperative visually, but I was able to record it giving its song for over two minutes, which is generally considered the most reliable way to separate Gray-cheeked and Bicknell’s. I wasn’t sure my recording was of sufficient quality to nail down a species identification – nor did I trust my ears to discern the difference with absolute certainty - so I submitted it to eBird and the “Mysteries” section at xeno-canto.


As of today, I still haven’t gotten any responses at xeno-canto. But I finally had enough time yesterday at lunch to sit down with some field guides, process the audio file, and look at the spectrogram on my own. Not only does having this concrete visual representation on-screen really help in parsing out the sometimes ambiguous bits of birdsong on a lower-quality recording, it makes it easier to recognize patterns in a series. And, of course, it gives a better idea of duration, frequency, and other auditory characteristics.


After many listens, I began to feel confident that I could call the bird I recorded on 5/18 a Bicknell’s Thrush (I’ve left the 5/17 thrush identified as Gray-cheeked/Bicknell’s Thrush since it gave no diagnostic vocalizations). I’ve heard some agreement on the song fitting Bicknell’s Thrush and other have commented that the photographs from 5/17 (assuming it’s the same individual) present visual characteristics that lean toward the Bicknell’s side of this confusing species complex (though most field guides seem to caution against relying entirely on fieldmarks in separating these species).


Complete eBird checklist for the 5/18 thrush with photos, audio recordings, embedded video, and spectrogram screenshots at the link below:


It’s been an exciting May for rarities in Albany County: a Trumpeter Swan at Partridge Run, the Forster’s Tern Zach found at Coeymans Landing, two Golden-winged Warblers, and a Cerulean Warbler at Hollyhock Hollow.


Good birding —


Tristan Lowery


Birding board game "Wingspan"


I bought this board game and it is very detailed and fun but it isn't going to get much use in my house. Would any of you like it? It's brand new, all pieces.

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