(OK, the Thursday group went back out to Saratoga Co. today [1/26] while I was at home hacking a lung up, so I’m just gonna pretend this is what I did today. Because it’s what I’d much rather be doing.)
FBotD was an American Crow cawing as I scraped the windows on a clear frosty morning. First trip with the Thursday Group since my fall, hooray! Our destination was open water on the Hudson at Stillwater and points north, and the Ft. Edward grasslands. We headed upriver stopping at boat launches and shuttered fish-fry shacks, where among the Mallards and cross-breeds we saw wintering ducks. A Carolina Wren bubbled and giggled his oversized song.
How cold was it in the morning? I’ll let these frosted Canada Geese tell the tale.
At the dam in Northumberland five flashes of white caught our attention. Two were certainly Snow Geese, but the other smaller three raised a lot of debate. Snow Goose? Ross’s Goose? A crossbreed? They cruised in close formation with the two larger geese, leaving us with photos and questions.
Moving on to the grasslands, Rough-legged Hawks gave us excellent looks as did an immature Bald Eagle along the river. The highlights of the day for me were a huge flock of Snow Geese, several hundred at least, rising from the stubble, and the first Horned Larks I’d seen in over 20 years.
Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Herring Gull, American Crow, Canada Goose, Ring-billed Gull, Common Goldeneye, European Starling, Rock Pigeon, Carolina Wren, Bufflehead, American Robin, Greater Scaup, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Hairy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Snow Goose, Rough-legged Hawk, Bald Eagle, Eastern Bluebird, Horned Lark, Great Black-backed Gull, Northern Cardinal, American Black Duck, Mallard.
31 species, 10 new for the year, 1 new to this list.
(Oh man, I missed out on a Golden Eagle on today’s [1/26] trip. Rats!!)