I had a number of email messages asking if I can describe the Blueridge Road location in North Hudson (Essex Co.) where there are both Red and White-winged Crossbills. Ill try a couple different descriptions of where I believe it is located. (& the next time I go, I will make a note of exact mileage) The habitat is a cross between a marsh and a bog (it is very wet!). The trees along the road are predominately White Spruce and Tamarack a terrific combination for attracting crossbills (a similar case on sections of the Tahawus Road in Newcomb, and areas off Sabattis Circle Road (Bog Stream and ½ mile in on the Round Lake Trail) in Long Lake both locations I plan to check again at dawn soon). I usually find Red Crossbills at this Blueridge Road location whenever they irrupt, but I dont often bird along this road. It can be difficult to pull off the road with little to no shoulder and there are continuous logging trucks zooming by at 65 mph. The crossbill location is a straight-away and you can safely pull off the road between 2 long stretches of guard rails. But it is safer to walk on the outer side of the guard rails. According to my TOPO map, the marsh is indicated on the Blueridge Road ~8.6 miles east of the intersection with Route 28N or ~9.9 miles west of the Northway. I can describe it another way the Blueridge Road from Route 28N is very twisty (lots of 35 mph turns) the marsh is located a short distance after a 25 mph turn where the road finally straightens out. If you park between the 2 long stretches of guard rails, walk to the eastern guard rail and the marsh is south of the road mid-way between the long guard rail (the road is much higher, so you can make out the marsh opening through the trees along the road). Matt Young and I birded by ear thru the windows on Sunday (making many abrupt stops!) and we heard all the White-winged Crossbill singing as we were mid-way along the guard rail. We were so excited that we left the car mostly in the road to jump out! (It was Sunday and there was almost no traffic at all and no logging trucks that day.) But we came to our senses after observing the White-winged Crossbills and moved the car to a safer location! Crossbills can make you temporarily lose your mind!
I would recommend visiting at dawn or very early in the morning when the birds are more vocal. Vocalizations fell off rapidly after 9 a.m. on Monday. The crossbills are spending a lot of time quietly feeding on Tamarack cones (making just very soft calls) and call loudly when they change trees. If you spend time walking along the guard rail early in the morning, you will likely see them along the road. It is a lot of fun to watch them feeding on Tamarack cones their bills are a mess and they hang in all different positions to feed! Watch for young expected any day now for Red Crossbills and it wont be long before there are White-winged Crossbill young also. (The juvenile birds are very tame.) The White-winged Crossbills tend to sing from dead snags (same case on Oregon Plains Road in Bloomingdale) there are dead snags in the marsh if you hear singing, scan the dead snags through the trees along the road. I noticed that both Red and White-winged Crossbills were using the dead snags in the marsh to quietly preen also. I dont know the status of the land at this location there are no posted signs, but I dont know if it is state land Ill try to find out. There are a couple private camps just west of this location with posted signs along the road. If you can manage to get Red Crossbill recordings during your visit, Matt Young would love to have them! Joan Collins President, NYS Ornithological Association Editor, New York Birders Long Lake, NY (315) 244-7127 cell (518) 624-5528 home http://www.adirondackavianexpeditions.com/ http://www.facebook.com/AdirondackAvian -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --