Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mount Greylock Hike 5/24

A friend and I hiked Mount Greylock on Sunday 5/24, while this was not a birding trip, I did listen during the trip. We started at Notch Road (from the north), hiking the Bernard Farm Trail for ~2.5 miles then connecting with the Applachain Trail (between Mount Williams and Fitch) and continued another ~2.5 miles to the summitt of Greylock. The trail was in good shape, crews had done an excellent job clearing the trails after this past winter's ice storm.

Judging from the pile of trees and brush at the parking lot, the road crews had plenty of work clearing the roads and trails.
We would gain about 1600' in elevation along the Bernard Farm Trail, which passed through mainly hardwood forest, where the most common species of bird was American Redstart. I didn't realize , before hand, this trail passes a plane crash (a small Piper) site, at 2450'. I tried googling information about the site, at home, finding one crash, from the mid 1980's, which involved a Piper aircraft in the North Adams area (perhaps this was it).

This site is along the Bernard Farm Trail about 550' below the summit of Mount Williams.
A different angle.

Once the "AT" was reached we only had another 500' of elevation to climb over the next 2.5 miles to the summitt. This being our first hike of the year, it was nice not having to work too hard over the last few miles of the accent.
The War Monument on the summit, approaching from the north on the "AT"

..another angle.
I find hiking in the fog can be as interesting as during clear weather.

With the weather being overcast, the crowd on the summitt was not too over-bearing, but a crowd was expected. The War Memorial is a beautiful monument, I had only seen it from a distance (through the scope from Mount Watatic).

I never realized the monument was first designed to be a lighthouse in Boston Harbor, but ended up on Greylock....and there hasn't been a shipwreck in Berkshire County since.
The weather did "break" and the town of Adams could be seen from the summit, but not much else.
After lunch, climbing the stairs inside the monument and relaxing , we took a return route along the "AT" for 1/2 mile, then down a steep trail with a several switch-backs", on the eastside of the mountain, which linked to the Bellows Pipe Trail, gradually "loosing elevation until we reached the trailhead. The total hike was about 9 miles The total time for the hike was about 7 hours, but we'd spent about 2 hrs loafing on the summit plus a few water (and bird) breaks. My GPS gave us an average speed of 2.4 MPH, while we were moving. Typically when I bird, on foot, I only average about 1 MPH.
Here is a bird list (rough estimates):
Mourning Dove....3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker....3
Downy Woodpecker....1
Pileated Woodpecker....1
Least Flycatcher....3
Blue-headed Vireo....2
Red-eyed Vireo....25
Blue Jay....5
American Crow....5
Black-capped Chickadee....3
Tufted Titmouse....1
Winter Wren....2
Hermit Thrush....4
Wood Thrush....3
American Robin....4
Chestnut-sided Warbler....1
Black-throated Blue Warbler....15
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)....4
Black-throated Green Warbler....10
Blackburnian Warbler....4
Blackpoll Warbler....6
Black-and-white Warbler....1
American Redstart....50
Common Yellowthroat....1
Scarlet Tanager....4
White-throated Sparrow....5
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)....5
Northern Cardinal....1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak....3
Purple Finch....3

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