Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mt. Monadnock Hike 6/10/07

Looking West, from the Marlborough trail, toward Perkin's Pond

Sunday afternoon my friend Laura and I hiked up Mount Monadnock, via the Marlboro Trail on from the west. The trail head is off Shaker Farm Road, a dirt road that can be traveled in a passanger car with a reasonable amount of caution. In the parking lot there was a hand full of cars so we did not expect too much "people" traffic until we approached the summit.

From near the parking lot a few species of woodpeckers were heard...Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy and a Pileated. Other species such as Red-eyed vireo, Ovenbird and Blackburnian were heard. Black-throated Blue (from mountain laurel) and Black-throated Green Warblers (from hemlocks) were heard along the trail before the mature forest gave way to scrubbier trees, as we neared the tree line. These higher elevations with stunted trees had several Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows and a few Eatern Towhees and Nashville Warblers. Bird song was minimal on the way up, in mid-afternoon, one could imagine at sunrise you'd be completely surrounded by the songs of Junco, White-throats and Towhees.

Purple Finch

At summit there was a dozen or Turkey Vulture soaring and a Northern Raven (one was carrying a food item), these ravens could probably make a decent living off spilled food from hikers. There was a few dozen people on the summit and dozens more on the way to and from the top, but nothing like autumn.

Interesting, on the way down I heard a Junco singing a 2 parted song, the first part the typical trill and second part was 2 or 3 additional "deeper more musical" notes spaced further apart.

Dark-eyed Junco

Our time to reach the summit was about 2 hours, but we took several stops to enjoy the view and laura now knows that birders make for slow hikers.

The bird list:
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker...1
Hairy Woodpecker...2
Pileated Woodpecker...1
Eastern Wood-Pewee...4
Red-eyed Vireo...8
Blue Jay...2
Common Raven...1
Black-capped Chickadee...5
Nashville Warbler...2
Black-throated Blue Warbler...5
Yellow-rumped Warbler...3
Black-throated Green Warbler...4
Black-and-white Warbler...1
Eastern Towhee...1
White-throated Sparrow...3
Dark-eyed Junco...15
Purple Finch...1
American Goldfinch...5

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