Monday, June 25, 2012

Barn Swallows (Gardner)

While checking on a Great Blue Heron colony in Gardner, on 6/24, this Barn Swallow nest was seen on the side of nearby building. Back in the late 1990's there were two Cliff Swallow nests in the same area of this building, those were a "one season wonder" and they did not re-nest during subsequent years. However, it was nice to observe this family of Barn Swallows through the scope.
There appeared to be 4 young packed in tightly to the nest.

Parent Barn Swallows showed a few times during the visit,
these hunger birds were wanting more.
The Great Blues Herons appeared to have abandoned this nesting sight, 5 to 6 years back there were 8 nests, which dropped to two a few years back and now none. The dead trees they nested in have weakened and collapsed leaving too few "buildable" nesting sites. Perhaps they've relocated to a larger colony adjacent to High Ridge WMA in Westminster.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

White Mountain Hike/Birds 6/9 + 10

Karin and I spent the weekend of 6/9 and 10 in the Woodstock area of New Hampshire, for some hiking and camping. On the saturday of our stay we did two smaller hikes, one to Artist Bluff and over Bald Mountain. The modest 1.5 mile loop yielded fine views from this scenic peak. Afterwards, we drove a few miles down the road to hike the Greenleaf Trail, in hopes of finding a rock outcrop called the Eaglet, one the largest free standing rock spires in the East. While missing that we had fine views from Eagle Pass, with a unique view of Cannon Cliff.

Looking from Bald Mtn toward Mt. Lafayette

The view of Cannon Cliff from Eagle Pass, along the Greenleaf Trail

What looks to be a recent slide near Eagle Pass.

Sunday Karin dropped me off at the North Twin Trail, where I would climb North Twin and later decided to take the spur trail over to South Twin Mountain. The three river crossing were not an issue as water level in the Little River were modest at best.
Near the first river crossing along the North Twin Trail
North and Middle Sugarloaf Mountians, I recall great views from each,
 when we climbed them back in 2010

I spent an hour at a ledge near the summit of N. Twin,
the raven show was one of the best I've seen, and the
back-drop couldn't have been better. White-throated Sparrows, Winter Wrens,
Bicknell's Thrushes (3), Blackpoll Warblers and juncos were all signing.

Looking toward the presidential range from S. Twin

Back toward North Twin from South Twin

Mt. Garfield with it's "shark- tooth's" profile.

Another look at the Presidetial Range from just north of N. Twin

Mts. Tom, Field and Willey

This metal rim was along the trail, the tree must have grown through it many years ago.

This precariously balanced rock perched above the little river, I am not sur ehow long it
has been there. But. I wondered if it was a result of Hurricane Irene?

While I didn't bring along the binoculars, I did bird by ear along the hike, the list: Species Count Turkey Vulture...1 Broad-winged Hawk...2 Red-tailed Hawk...1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher...3 Blue-headed Vireo...3 Red-eyed Vireo...8 Common Raven...9 Red-breasted Nuthatch...3 Winter Wren...12 Golden-crowned Kinglet...5 Bicknell's Thrush...6 Swainson's Thrush...12 Hermit Thrush...4 American Robin...5 Ovenbird...4 American Redstart...2 Magnolia Warbler...4 Blackburnian Warbler...3 Blackpoll Warbler...15 Black-throated Blue Warbler...6 Yellow-rumped Warbler...15 Black-throated Green Warbler...8 White-throated Sparrow...8 Dark-eyed Junco...6 Purple Finch...1 Pine Siskin....10