Friday, July 24, 2009

Week in the Adirondacks- Part Four

Bloomingdale Bog (picture) is located just to the north of Saranac Lake, NY. The entrance to the trail (picture), which is an old rail bed, is located on County Rt. 55 west of the hamlet of Bloomingdale. As a location for birding, it is outstanding for it's varied habitat; the wide, dry, flat trail (picture); and the overall scenery encountered. The railroad bed continues to the north to Bigelow Rd. and beyond, and this is also a good area, especially for boreal species.

We arrived at 9:00AM, strapped on the gear, and set out in partial sunshine. There is a power line cut (picture) a short ways in, and we scanned in both directions for birds using the poles/wires as a perch, without luck. We did see two Mourning Doves, which I would not mention other than the fact that these were the only two seen or heard the entire week. On the same subject, we did not see a single cardinal the entire time, either.

The birding picked up pace rapidly thereafter. Two Pileated Woodpeckers doing a flyby got things going, with American Crows squawking in the distance, and Hermit Thrushes singing periodically. As we continued southward, we came to an area that had an extreme amount of bird activity, with most of it centered on a single tamarack (larch). Chickadees (no, not boreal) and R.B. Nuthatches were darting all around, and we counted five Yellow-rumped Warblers (one adult, four juveniles) in the mix as well. Don't know what about that particular tree was enticing, but they sure loved it. A short walk further down the path, what we expected would be a somewaht routine Yellow Warbler sighting turned out to be a Palm Warbler with his rusty headgear.

At a quiet, more wooded spot just before the bog opens up to a very wide, distant viewing area (picture), we scared up a predator bird. He glided from his perch low to our right, slowly disappearing from our view. Gray on top, white under the rump, somewhat pointed wings, and accipiter-type overall impression- a Northern Goshawk.

At the open bog, there are low bushes and small saplings along the edge of the railbed, and to a lesser extent scattered into the water. Here we saw and heard Yellow-bellied and Alder Flycatcher, Cedar Waxwing, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and White-throated, Song and Swamp Sparrows. On the way back to the vehicle we heard the distinct chattering sounds of a Gray Jay, but it stayed it's distance from us.

Bloomingdale Bog is a great place to be, and I suspect I will return here at least annually. On the way back to Long Lake, we stopped at Paul Smiths VIC (Black-throated Blue and Green Warblers, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet), and the Tupper Lake marsh, where we saw 3 Great Blue Heron, 10 Canada Geese, Red-winged Blackbird, Tree Swallow, and a Broad-winged Hawk. A long satisfying day of birding. The next day would be the last of our trip, and I figured we'd give the bog on Sabattis Circle Rd. one more shot.

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