My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Return to the Adirondacks

Published July 25, 2015
Tags: Life List Happenings, Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay, Spotted Sandpiper, Hermit Thrush, Northern Waterthrush, Palm Warbler, Boreal Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

I didn't get enough of the wonders of the Adirondacks when I was there almost a month ago - so... I organized a return trip with 3 good friends: Celeste, Holly, and Bernie.  What a great trip - what a successful trip - and what great company!  It couldn't have been better!

Our primary targets were the Boreal Chickadee and the Spruce Grouse.  The chickadee would be a life bird for Holly and Bernie and the grouse would be a life bird for Celeste, Holly, and me.  It took a LOT of effort, but in the very last hour of the very last day - we got BOTH birds PLUS a few bonuses!

One bonus was a few looks at Black-backed Woodpeckers.  Two pairs plus another individual were seen over the 3 days we were there. We flushed a Ruffed Grouse, which was startling, to say the least, and we had loads of fun feeding the Gray Jays.  We saw a Lincoln's Sparrow, a Northern Waterthrush, and many other warblers, including Canadas, Black-throated Blues and Greens, Blackburnians, Nashvilles, Chestnut-sided, Northern Parulas, Magnolias, and others that I'm probably forgetting.

Another bonus was that the Spruce Grouse we found, a female, had two young ones with her. One of the chicks came out into the road and we were able to photograph it. The hen was from Maine, we found out later, by the fact that she was tagged (#35) and equipped with a radio transmitter. Apparently, there's a DEC relocation program that is helping to reestablish the dwindling Spruce Grouse populations in the Adirondacks by relocating birds from Maine and last August, they brought in 30 birds. It was exciting to know that "our girl" survived the relocation, found a mate, and had young!  Hopefully, the program will be a great success. By the way, we were asked to keep the location of the grouse under wraps for a while and will honor that to help this effort succeed.

After all was said and done, we had birded very hard for 3 long days and covered a LOT of territory.  Life birds, state birds, and county birds were gotten by all and it was a very merry and celebratory drive home!

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Female Spruce Grouse - a life bird for 3 of us!
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You can see her radio transmitter and antenna in this shot.
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There's her tag: #35
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Spruce Grouse chick
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Spruce Grouse chick
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Spruce Grouse chick
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Mom and chick
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Boreal Chickadee
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Boreal Chickadee
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Boreal Chickadee
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Hermit Thrush
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Solitary Sandpiper
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Northern Waterthrush (terribly backlit)
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Newly fledged Golden-crowned Kinglet
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Cedar Waxwing on nest (good eye, Bernie!)
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Young Palm Warbler - one of MANY!
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Gray Jay
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A young Gray Jay lands on Bernie's hand
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Holly patiently enduring the screams of a Gray Jay looking for more raisins
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Bernie feeds a beautiful adult with fanned tail
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Gray Jay
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Gray Jay
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Gray Jay
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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker working the same tree we saw last year! There were hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies this time too! The birds were enjoying the insects that the sap was attracting.