Saturday, July 10, 2010

Northeast Kingdom-Vermont

Sorry for the lack of posts. Here is a trip I took back on Memorial day Weekend.

I went into this spring migration with the confidence I would be able to identify tons of warblers and migratory birds. I listened to calls nearly every day, and believed I knew everything. I had a humbling experience when My uncle brought me birding in Vermont. He is amazing with his calls and knowledge. He knew almost every call of every bird wether it be thrush, flycatcher,vireo,or warbler. Together with my knowledge and his, we ended the weekend with 98 species! It was awesome as I picked up 2 lifers. We started at a cabin in southern vermont where I had my post from last year. We had most of the same species as last year, except we picked up Olive sided flycatcher which has the infamous, quick three beers call. The road with the cabin has enough birds alone, to keep me busy for a weekend. There were black throated green,black throated blue,blackburnian, and chesnut sided warblers all over the place. Here are some of my shots!!

After a day of birding around the cabin we made a 4 hour drive up to the Northeast kingdom. The Northeast kingdom is a part of the boreal forest which jets down into vermont. Because of this, it gives a unique chance of seeing rare birds, not normally seen breeding in the U.S. Our target spot was Moose Bog. It is well known for boreal species including spruce grouse,boreal chicadee,black backed woodpecker, and other warblers,magnolia,nashville, canada. We got magnolia, nashville, black backed woodpecker(lifer). It was awesome. the habitat is completely different than that of westchester NY. There were all sorts of cool mosses and plants.The next stop was silvio O conte NWR. It was a huge reservation with tons of birds. We ate lunch listening to a mourning warbler. We walked down dirt roads, with fir and spruce trees on both sides. There had to be thousands of nashville and magnolia warblers. Along one of the roads,we had boreal chicadee which is another lifer bird. We also got good looks at a canada warbler. One of my favorite birds, but always elusive. It was one of the best birding weekends I've had, and looking forward to next memorial day to do it again. Still need that Cape May for life list!!!!!!Hopefully my Uncle will read this and decide to bring me to Arizona my senior year!!!

This is a picture I took at Moose Bog. This was where the Black Backed Woodpecker was hanging out.

This blue headed vireo was in the heart of the bog. You can see lichens growing on the trees.
On the last day of the trip we headed up to Okemo Mountain. Commonly known as a skiing destination in the wintertime, Okemo becomes a wonderful place to bird in the spring. All birds are habitat specific making them unique to different areas. For example worm eating warblers like wooded slopes. Hooded warblers like thick understory, and there are birds that call mountains their home. For example the Bicknells thrush. That was our target bird for the Okemo expedition. Unfortunatelly for me, but fortunally for my uncle, he would have to wake me up at 5 to get their early to possibly hear the bird. Uncle Michael likes to make waking up an eventful and fun process. Anyways we got to the mountain early and started walking to the top. You can drive up making it a lot easier than hiking the whole way. As we started walking we heard many birds, including magnolia warbler,winter wren, purple finch,sapsuckers,but no thrushes. Another cool addition to the list of the weekend was a Blackpoll warbler which is another bird of high altitude. Its always nice to see birds in their habitat. My uncle also taught me how to tell the purple finch apart from a house finch call. It was alot of fun :)