Washington County today
With a half-nod to Cornell's "October Big Day", I spent about 8 hours birding several locations centered on Ft Edward in Washington County (plus one stop just over the rt 4 bridge in Schuylerville). Sites covered included the newly renovated/expanded Champlain Canalway trail on foot from Ft Edward north to SR196, and then continuing north (via the new hike/bike tunnel under 196) for about a further mile on Towpath Rd. After returning to the FE trailhead, I covered portions of the FE grasslands and the Hudson in Ft Miller by car. A brief stop at the Schuylerville Dam overlook on US 4 topped off the route.
I ended up just barely over the half-century mark. The canalway trail was pretty birdy. Highlights included several groups of rusty blackbirds, 2 palm warblers (& many groups of yellow-rumps), all 6 woodpeckers, and 2 northern harriers. The highlights by car were 2 ring-necked pheasants (1 male, 1 female) and a half-dozen lingering eastern meadowlarks on Cary Rd. There were some large groups of canada geese gathering (~1500 on the river at Ft Miller). I had one group of 3 fly over that included a clearly smaller bird giving a higher-pitched sharp eeek/ik call unlike the typical canada flat honk. Cackling seemed a good possibility, but it was a quick flyover observation, and I wasn't able to make out any helpful structure or plumage features.