Monday, March 7, 2011

Adirondack Birding - Saving the Best for Last!

Gray Jay eating food from Joe's hand.
The next day we returned to the area where Joe had the Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis). We had walked in a few yards when I turned around and spotted a Gray Jay flying in behind us. I quickly took out some birds seeds and threw it on the ground. In a matter of minutes we had 4-5 Gray Jays coming in. I gave Joe some seeds and a curious Gray Jay came right in and took some from his hand. We were stoked!!! We headed back out to try the other side of the trail for Boreal Chickadees and I put out more food. Eventually, we had at least 10-12 Gray Jays coming in to get the food. Joe and I took turns holding food in our hands and had Jays eating out our hands. It was the coolest thing!!! The Gray Jay was a life bird for me, so I soaked up the views. Joe by then had started to look for Boreal Chickadees (Poecile hudsonicus) and had walked in a little on the other side of the trail when he yelled, “Boreal Chickadee”…I hurried over and got my bins up in time to see 2 Boreal Chickadees flying in to see what the Jays were fussing over. We were estatic!!!! 2 more target birds picked up in matter of minutes, we were on a hot streak! I looked over at Joe and said to him, “seeing as how we are riding this hot streak, how about we try again for better looks at the Bohemian Waxwings(Bombycilla garrulus). Joe was in agreement so we headed out to try once again for the Bohemians. On our way, we made one stop to try another area for Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus), which we did not get but we did get to see 2 more Boreal Chickadees. We arrived at the area where the Bohemian Waxings were seen on day 1 of our trip and in a matter of minutes, Joe had the birds. I got my scope out and soaked in the birds. I watched them flying in and out over the tree line and suggested that we walk back up the hill to get a better look.
Bohemian Waxwings!
I had a hunch that there were birds perched or moving around nearer the ground around the tree line that offered better looks. The gamble paid off, as soon as I was half way up the hill I picked out Bohemian Waxwings perched on a tree. I quickly waved Joe on and had the birds in the scope for him to view once he got to where I was. In watching the birds, swoop around the bushes, I wondered if we would get lucky with them coming in closer. Again the gods smiled on us as the Bohemian Waxwings began circling and coming in closer to us. I was so excited that I almost forgot that we were on a hill with incoming traffic. I was able to digiscope and photograph the birds and then we safely walked back down the hill and then on our way to Fort Edwards the last stop before heading home. At Fort Edwards, we picked up several target birds, many of them for Joe as I already had these birds for the year. Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus) and Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) were easy, but the most difficult of the the 3 the Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) was not to be seen. We summed up our trip on the way home as a very successful one but wished we had a few more of our friends to share the moments with.  Maybe next year?

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