A few days ago I wrote a post "Are the Birds EARLY or LATE This Spring?" and determined that most of the spring migrants in my yard returned EARLIER than their average return date. One of the earliest was the Rose-breasted Grosbeak that returned on April 26. This was TEN days earlier than the average return date and the earliest return date ever in my yard.
Unexpectedly, a female returned first, and two males appeared later in the day. I read the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club Birdline emails, and at that time, I didn't remember having seen any reports of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks yet.
The New York State Ornithological Association Kingbird publication lists earliest reported return dates for migrating birds throughout the state, so I looked back 6 years to research the earliest return dates for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Region 8 - Hudson-Mohawk.
2005 April 24 Lansingburgh Rensselaer County
2006 April 27 Niskayuna Schenectady County
2007 April 17 Claverack Columbia County
2008 April 27 Colonie Albany County
2009 April 26 Palenville Greene County
2010 April 25 Brunswick Rensselaer County
So it appears that my April 26 return date is fairly early, especially from my location in northwestern Saratoga County (all these earlier dates are in counties south of Saratoga.) I reported the sighting on eBird just in case my girl grosbeak was the earliest sighting of 2011 in Region 8!