HomeHUDSON-MOHAWK BIRD CLUB

Building the birding community in New York's Hudson-Mohawk Region

Field Trips

    • 25 Aug 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Albany

    Sunday, August 25 through Thursday, August 29, 2018, COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/25-8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/28-8/29)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.

    • 26 Aug 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Albany

    Sunday, August 25 through Thursday, August 29, 2018, COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/25-8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/28-8/29)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.

    • 27 Aug 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Albany

    Sunday, August 25 through Thursday, August 29, 2018, COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/25-8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/28-8/29)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.

    • 28 Aug 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Albany

    Sunday, August 25 through Thursday, August 29, 2018, COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/25-8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/28-8/29)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.

    • 29 Aug 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Albany

    Sunday, August 25 through Thursday, August 29, 2018, COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/25-8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/28-8/29)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.

    • 31 Aug 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Rensselaerville

    Saturday, August 31, HUYCK PRESERVE/MYOSOTIS LAKE (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinator: John Kent 518-424-2234 jwkent@fastmail.fm

    We will walk the shore of Myosotis Lake looking for migrating warblers, vireos, kinglets, and flycatchers in the shrubby habitat of the Lake Trail. Bald Eagles, all three local falcon species, and several species of hawks have been seen on some of the past years' trips. Depending on the water level, the mudflats at the north end of the lake often host migrating shorebirds. It may be necessary to walk through some mud to get a view, so be prepared. From there we will continue through the woods to Lincoln Pond, where we will check for waterfowl and herons. The total walking distance is around 1.5 miles.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. at New Scotland Town Hall on Route 85 for carpooling. Parking at Myosotis Lake is limited.

    • 7 Sep 2019
    • 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Menands

    Saturday, September 7, ALBANY RURAL CEMETERY (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinator: Tristan Lowery 646-323-8914 tristanlowery@gmail.com

    Albany Rural Cemetery in the Town of Colonie is one of the most historic burial grounds in the United States – and it’s also a great place for birding in a beautifully-landscaped, park-like setting.

    We’ll visit Albany Rural Cemetery at the very onset of the peak weeks for fall songbird migration, so a variety of southbound warblers, vireos, kinglets, and flycatchers may be possible, in addition to many year-round species. Depending on where the birding takes us along the cemetery’s meandering trails, we may also find ourselves by the graves of such national and local luminaries as 21st President of the United States Chester A. Arthur, Erastus Corning and Erastus Corning 2nd, Daniel Manning, Erastus Dow Palmer, Stephen Van Rensselaer, and Thurlow Weed.

    Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the cemetery chapel and mausoleum. From Broadway (NY-32) HEADING north through Menands, turn left onto Cemetery Avenue at the prominent Albany Rural Cemetery gate. Continue west on Cemetery Avenue, keeping right at the St. Agnes Cemetery gate and continue past the Albany Rural Cemetery office to the chapel. There is adequate visitor parking at the chapel.  

    • 8 Sep 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • New Lebanon

    Sunday, September 8, HAND HOLLOW CONSERVATION AREA (Columbia County; morning)

    Coordinator:Marion Sole 203-710-9096 mrnsole7@gmail.com

    Columbia Land Conservancy owns and manages 433 acres at Hand Hollow Conservation Area for the protection of wildlife and open space. The property has an active beaver pond and two lakes, and trails that pass by ponds, creeks, wet meadows and a hemlock ravine. We will be looking for migrant songbirds as well as lingering residents.

    Meet 8:00 am at the parking lot. From the intersection of Route 22 and 20 in New Lebanon, take US 20 4.5 miles to CR 9. Take CR 9 south 1.2 miles and turn west (right) into a parking lot at the farmhouse just past the pond.

    • 9 Sep 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Boght Community Firehouse, 8 Preston Drive, Cohoes (Colonie)

    Speaker: Sarah Walsh

    Come learn about Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC), who we are, what we do and more about our public and private lands. In 2018, MHLC expanded our volunteer programming to include citizen science initiatives such as wildlife cameras and eBird surveys of our lands. Learn about these initiative and how HMBC members can help us do more for birds in the Capital Region. 

    Bio:  Sarah is Conservation Director for MHLC, responsible for oversight of land stewardship and assisting with property acquisitions. Sarah brings nearly ten years’ experience in habitat restoration initiatives for bird habitat, riparian and wetland areas as well as experience in protection of conservation lands, non-profit program development, and trail planning. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science from SUNY ESF and her Master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Albany in 2012. Sarah is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys back-country skiing, mountain biking, hiking, paddling, sailing, and bird watching.


    • 14 Sep 2019
    • 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    • East Berne

    Saturday, September 14, HAWK WATCHING AND SONGBIRDS AT THACHER STATE PARK (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinator: Gary Goodness 518-862-9260 goodness@nycap.rr.com

    We will be looking for migrating Broad-winged Hawks that use the warming air thermals along the face of the escarpment to continue their migration south. Other raptors may be seen using the thermals for similar reasons. Osprey, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, Sharp-shinned and Coopers Hawks are among those that can be seen soaring over the Helderbergs. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds also migrate over the escarpment very low and fast, and sparrows and warblers can also be found along the trails around the overlook.

    Meet at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Key Bank at the southwest corner of Routes 20 and 155 in Guilderland.

    • 15 Sep 2019
    • 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Albany

    Sunday, September 15, FALL MIGRANTS AT ALBANY PINE BUSH PRESERVE (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinators: Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176 trwdsd@yahoo.com

    We will explore the Karner Barrens East unit of Albany Pine Bush Preserve, via the "yellow" perimeter trail, and "blue" dune overlook trail. We will be looking for warblers, vireos, and flycatchers. The dune overlook trail has a moderate climb and descent. This is approximately a three-mile loop. Take proper precautions to avoid ticks.

    Map: http://www.albanypinebush.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/1-KBarrensEW-2-pages.pdf

    Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center parking lot, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany.

    • 21 Sep 2019
    • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Stillwater

    Saturday, September 21, SARATOGA BATTLEFIELD (Saratoga County; morning)

    Coordinator:Marne Onderdonk marne37@icloud.com

    This popular trip features beautiful foliage and a good chance to see hawks, woodpeckers, sparrows, bluebirds and late migrants as we walk the woods and grasslands of the battlefield. You never know what will turn up. There is no longer a fee for use of the trails.

    Meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot near the park’s visitor center off SR 32.

    • 22 Sep 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Saratoga Springs

    Sunday, September 22, SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK (Saratoga County; morning)

    Coordinator: Ron Harrower 518-744-2637 rharrower@nycap.rr.com

    Picnic table graveyard? Hardly! Explore this very productive area at the south end of Saratoga Spa Park. From weedy brush lot to capped landfill, and through woods, this spot has earned attention as a haven for migrants in its many edge habitats. Expect warblers, sparrows, flycatchers and vireos. The path is level and mostly gravel.

    Meet at 8:00am at the Carlsbad parking area. From Rt. 50 or Rt. 9, take East-West Road through the south end of the Park. Carlsbad parking lot is just west of the Peerless Pool lot. Admission is charged after 8:30 so please be prompt.


    • 28 Sep 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Stuyvesant

    Saturday, September 28, NUTTEN HOOK (Columbia County, morning)

    Coordinator: Kathy Schneider 518-248-8665 fallline@nycap.rr.com

    Nutten Hook is part of Stockport Flats, a Hudson River Estuarine Research Reserve site in Colombia County. The area includes the remains of the largest ice house on the Hudson as well as a loop trail that borders the river for a quarter mile. The return path cuts inland through oak woods, abandoned farmland, and tidal marshes. Bald Eagles and early fall migrants are expected.

    Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking area by the pavilion, which is west of the railroad tracks, and the buildings on Ice House Rd. Ice House Rd. is off Route 9J in Stuyvesant.

    • 29 Sep 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Schenectady

    Sunday, September 29, WOODLAWN PRESERVE (Schenectady County; morning)

    Coordinator: Bill Lee 518-374-3426 bileej@hotmail.com

    The Woodlawn Preserve is in the Southeast corner of Schenectady County abutting the western edge of the Pine Bush. The area contains a flood control pond, forested sand dunes and general wetland habitat. Trips in prior years have seen migrating warblers and sparrows. The pond may attract various waterfowl.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. in front of Petsmart in Mohawk Commons at the corner of State Street and Balltown Road (Balltown Rd. side). We will carpool the short distance to the Preserve.

    • 7 Oct 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Boght Community Firehouse, 8 Preston Drive, Cohoes (Colonie)

    Birding in Northern India

    John Hershey

    In this program John will share experiences and photos he took on a birding tour and safari in northern India in March 2019. Some of the beautiful birds that will be illustrated include Indian Peafowl, Red Junglefowl, Ruddy Shelduck, Painted Stork, Crested Serpent Eagle, Great Hornbill, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Rufous Treepie, Indian Paradise-flycatcher, Indian Roller, and many more. In addition, he will show safari photos of some of India’s endangered and charismatic mammals including Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, and Indian Rhinoceros. There should also be time for a few photos pertaining to the rich culture of India as well as its people.

    John is a former Secretary and Director for HMBC. He has been leading HMBC field trips to Vischer Ferry Preserve, Peebles Island, and Fox Hill Road for many years. Birding has led him to travel throughout North America and more recently to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, and India. He has presented a number of HMBC programs on some of his favorite birding trips. He is semi-retired and works part time as a psychologist in private practice.



    • 12 Oct 2019
    • 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Colonie

    Saturday, October 12, THE BIG SIT! AT ANN LEE POND (Albany County; all day)

    Coordinators: Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176trwdsd@yahoo.com

    We will have registered a count circle for the 2019 Big Sit, which will be conducted from the open picnic area at the north end of Ann Lee Pond in Colonie. If you aren't familiar with the Big Sit, you'll find more information here:

    About the Big Sit

    The idea is for a group of birders to observe as many species as possible in a 24-hour period from a 17-foot diameter circle set up in a strategically located spot. We will only attempt to do the daylight hours for our purposes. A small group of us will set up the location at 7:30 a.m. and staff it until noon. Anyone who wishes to come by at any point during the day is welcome!! Even if you can only stay for an hour, that will enable others to leave the circle for a short time to forage for food and facilities at nearby businesses. Bring a portable chair, your binoculars, and some snacks and drinks. If you want to stretch your legs, there is a nice loop trail around the pond, too. We hope to see you there! Map is here:

    Ann Lee Pond information

    • 13 Oct 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Delmar

    Sunday, October 13, FIVE RIVERS EEC (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinator: John Kent 518-424-2234 jwkent@fastmail.fm

    We’ll walk about 2 miles over generally flat terrain with some small hills, passing through a variety of habitats. Migrating sparrows are often abundant at this time of the year, with a good chance of Lincoln’s and White-crowned as well as more common species. Both species of kinglet may be present, as well as Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler and Blue-headed Vireo. A late Nashville, Black-throated Green, Blackpoll or Magnolia Warbler might be found. Wood Duck and other waterfowl are possible, as well as Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and Merlin. Wet grass and muddy spots may be encountered, so waterproof footwear is recommended.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot at Five Rivers EEC in Delmar.

    • 25 Oct 2019
    • 6:00 PM
    • Rhode Island

    Friday, October 25, DEADLINE FOR RESERVATIONS, Rhode Island Coast/Sachuest NWR

    Field trip is November 8-11

    Coordinators: Gregg Recer and Cathy Graichen 518-330-4552(GR, c), gregg.recer@gmail.com

    RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Contact the coordinators by October 25th for reservations and logistics details.


    • 26 Oct 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Scotia

    Saturday, October 26, COLLINS LAKE (Schenectady County; morning)

    Coordinator: Bill Lee  518-374-3426 bileej@hotmail.com

    We will visit Collins Lake to view late migrating waterfowl from the beach and the east side of the lake. We will also take a wall east along the north side of the Mohawk River for fall sparrows. Fox Sparrows have been seen in previous years. Foliage will be off the trees to make finding LBJs (Little Brown Jobs) a bit easier.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. near the western end of the Gateway Bridge at Jumpin’ Jacks in Scotia. Bring a scope if you have one.

    • 2 Nov 2019
    • 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Raymertown

    Saturday, November 2, TOMHANNOCK RESERVOIR (Rensselaer County; morning)

    Coordinator: Naomi Lloyd 518-596-5964 naomi_kestrel@yahoo.com

    Join us for a morning trip around the Tomhannock Reservoir. We hope to find a variety of waterfowl as resident and migrant passerines and possibly shorebirds. Rarities have turned up at the Tomhannock in the fall and we often find Bald Eagles.

    Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the parking area at the intersection of Lake Shore Dr. and NY Route 7 at the west end of the causeway. Bring a scope if you have one.

    • 3 Nov 2019
    • 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Clifton Park

    Sunday, November 3, VISCHER FERRY NATURE AND HISTORICAL PRESERVE (Saratoga County; morning)

    Coordinator:John Hershey 518-371-3114 hersheyj@nycap.rr.com

    On this trip we’ll be looking for migrant waterfowl and winter residents. Rusty Blackbirds are often observed at this time of year. We will start at the main entrance to the Preserve. We will also explore some of the lesser known areas of the Preserve, such as Ferry Drive and the area around the Vischer Ferry Power Plant where Bald Eagles and migrant waterfowl are often seen. The new hike/bike trail from the Clamsteam Tavern location to Ferry Dr. is completed, and this will open new areas to the east of the Whipple Bridge. The leader may choose to go in this direction.

    Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the VFNHP main entrance, at the intersection of Riverview and Van Vranken Rds. in Clifton Park.

    • 8 Nov 2019
    • 7:30 AM
    • 11 Nov 2019
    • 6:00 PM
    • Rhode Island

    Friday-Monday, November 8-11, RHODE ISLAND COAST/SACHUEST POINT NWR (Out-of-area trip)

    Coordinators:Gregg Recer and Cathy Graichen 518-330-4552 (GR, c), gregg.recer@gmail.com

    This trip to the Rhode Island coast will focus on late fall migrants and wintering loons, grebes, gulls, waterfowl and shorebirds. Sachuest Point NWR generally hosts large numbers of wintering Harlequin Ducks, along with scoters, eider, goldeneye and long-tailed duck, and is usually a good spot for purple sandpiper and great cormorant. We’ll also cover other coastal locales such as Pt. Judith, East Providence and Galilee searching for white-winged gulls, wintering hawks, open-field birds and alcids. We plan to leave early Saturday morning and stay 2 nights in the Newport area. There will be a limit of 10 participants (including the coordinators) for this trip.

    RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Contact the coordinators by October 25th for reservations and logistics details.

    • 14 Dec 2019
    • 4:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Schenectady area

    Saturday, December 14, SCHENECTADY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

    Coordinator/Compiler: Larry Alden 518-861-6087 overlook@nycap.rr.com


    • 28 Dec 2019
    • 4:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Southern Rensselaer County

    Saturday, December 28, SOUTHERN RENSSELAER CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

    Coordinator/Compiler: Naomi Lloyd 518-596-5964 naomi_kestrel@yahoo.com


    • 4 Jan 2020
    • 4:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Troy & Vicinity

    Saturday, January 4, 2020, TROY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

    Coordinator/Compiler: Larry Alden 518-861-6087 overlook@nycap.rr.com





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