Or is it???
Lifers indicated in bold.
If you remember from my last post, I had just barely passed Noah Strycker by the time I got back from Montauk, and by the end of February, I was running out of new birds, though I had just added Peregrine Falcon that month.
We left for the Adirondacks from Syracuse around 4 PM. Along the way, we had talked about birding opportunities, jobs we've had (surprisingly I had none), young birder camps (which only I had done), the field guides we use, and other things. The next morning, we drove to Alan Belford's house to meet him and his dog Wren. When I walked in the door, he was more surprised to see me than I was that he still had my notebook from Field Ornithology. We would then follow him around to the best local birding hotspots.
The first stop we birded was Bloomingdale Bog, a reliable spot for many boreal specialties, Pine Siskins flew over and a pair of Black-capped Chickadees visited a seed feeder left by dog walkers. Shortly after, a pair of Gray Jays came in and flitted around us, providing good photo opportunities, but didn't take any of the raisins we offered them. We couldn't find either Boreal Chickadees or Black-backed Woodpeckers this time, but Gray Jays don't disappoint.
Later we tried Bigelow Road for Boreal Chickadee, but we only saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch and a White-winged Crossbill. After hearing gunshots from a person hunting, we concluded it was best to turn back.
We later tried another spot for Black-backed Woodpecker with no luck at first. As we were headed back, I heard the "pick" call that could only be that of a Black-backed Woodpecker! While we were eating lunch at a McDonalds, Alan gave us two choices: we could either go back to the places we had previously tried for Boreal Chickadee to hopefully find one, or we could look for Northern Shrike in Lake Placid and Pine Grosbeak in Keene Valley. I opted for the latter option. We first tried for the shrike, to no avail.
By the time we got to the spot in Keene Valley that had the Pine Grosbeaks, it was almost too dark to bird, but we searched the area anyway. As we were heading back to the cars to leave for Syracuse, I had heard the flight calls of a Purple Finch, then a Pine Grosbeak. My only regret is that we were not able to get any Boreal Chickadees, Bohemian Waxwings, or Evening Grosbeaks; but since I am planning to come back to the Adirondacks for Bicknell's Thrush and Spruce Grouse, I will probbly get the chickadee and grosbeak then. The waxwing, however, I decided to cut my losses on.
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