Embedded thumbnail for Celebrating birds, trails and hiking this week!
With sunny summer weather apparently finally with us, this week should be great for getting out and enjoying the multitude of events around the area. Start off your weekend with the 3 day Paul Smiths VIC's annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration which kicks off on Friday May 31st. The annual event attracts birders from all over the country with lectures, workshops and field trips, one of which ventures all the way to Lake Champlain and parts in between in search of migratory birds. Some of the events require pre-registration.   In Mineville on... continue reading
Tom Peck Pond is a great place to go chill, watch wildlife and have a picnic. The seclusion of this pond is magnificent and the quiet you will experience is almost deafening. The only problem is, finding the start of the path that leads to the pond if you are not familiar with its start location.For a large portion of the year, in particular three of our solstice season; winter, spring and mud seasons, the road to Connery Pond is closed and gated. So I started from the Route 86 trailhead. The first section is a spur trail that leads off from the parking area to Connery Pond Road near the gate... continue reading
All across the region, birders are discussing how slow the beginning of this year's migration seems to be. I birded at Intervale Lowlands in Lake Placid earlier this week and found things to be fairly slow in terms of migrants there - as has been case in the other locations I've been. Yellow-rumped warblers have been around for weeks now, and they were in good numbers. We also found quite a few Nashville warblers and a variety of other resident birds and early migrants. Highlights also included nesting American kestrels and hooded mergansers as well as a broad-winged hawk.But otherwise there... continue reading
It doesn't matter where I go in the park, I always feel like home. It doesn't always mean that I have my bearing in the woods but it also means that most everyone I run into that's local to that area, seems to feel I must be too. Do you think it's the plaid fleece I wear? Maybe it's my rustic middle aged charm. Whatever it is, it always whets my taste buds to explore more of the park and spread out a bit. The trails here in the High Peaks Region are bit worse for wear with mud and the occasion reminder of winter, but the southern Adirondacks seem to almost be in summer mode. So this week I... continue reading
As fronts from the south continue to bring the warmth of spring to us, they are also bringing with them birds. Many species like red-winged blackbirds and common grackles showed up weeks ago. But most migrants are just beginning to arrive and just this week I heard my first yellow-bellied sapsucker and ruby-crowned kinglets of the season. And while the major influx of warblers and other neotropical migrants (early arriving species such as yellow-rumped warblers and palm warblers are starting to show up) will be coming in May, now is the time for sparrows to bring spring to the North Country.I... continue reading
Wren and I took a spring walk on the Bloomingdale Bog Trail the other day under a beautiful clear sky. The day was rapidly cooling as the shadows spread across the trail, but it was great weather for walking. Patches of snow and ice still remained in the woods, but the trail was mostly dry, with a few soft places and a few puddles courtesy of the work of the resident beavers.The marsh at the south end of the trail is always productive, and almost immediately after stepping outside of the car I heard an American bittern pumping. I stopped to listen to it advertise for a mate amidst the din of... continue reading
The other week while I was watching a great gray owl as the shadows of evening fell, I heard the tell-tale peent of an American woodcock. A few days later another birder found a woodcock while hunting through the woods for the great gray owl in Tupper Lake. They were almost after thoughts to the furor created by the owl.But in usual circumstances the arrival of woodcocks – also called timberdoodles - is one of the most anticipated events of the birding calendar. It is not only one of the earliest signals of spring, but the male woodcock arrives with a great deal of flair, performing an event... continue reading
This morning brought Corenne and I to the realization that we just cannot kick this sinus thing we have going on, but we had to get out and enjoy the spring air before it snowed again tomorrow. I can't kick this cold any better than the Adirondacks can kick winter, I ain't gunna lie - I'm ready for spring, the wildflowers, the morning song birds, my boat to be on my car and not in storage, oh, and the warm weather so I can break out my pasty white legs.That brings us to our half day outing in the woods. We decided to visit the Wickham Marsh Trail. We had been there this winter once, for a... continue reading
The arrival of spring birds starts with a trickle in the North Country. Little by little more and more species return adding life to the cold forests and frozen wetlands of the region. It doesn't take long before it feels like spring, and it is surprising how a few species can change the complexion of an entire landscape.The movement starts with waterfowl along Lake Champlain, and they have also been showing up further west in the park as well. Two weeks ago I was watching skeins of migrating snow geese heading north day after day despite the continued cold. Ducks too have been arriving – I'... continue reading
As our weather is straddling the line between winter and spring and cross country skiing and snowshoeing has slowed, I've recently taken Wren a few times to walk along the Lake Colby railroad tracks. As ice moves out with warming temperatures, the railroad will soon be lined with fishermen and I generally avoid going there at that time of year with Wren – there is fishing line and leftover bait she can get into.For now the lake is still largely frozen, but there are a few small gaps in the ice on the backside. As those grow, migrating ducks may choose to use them. On our hikes the local... continue reading


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