Happy New Year to everyone!
Numbers of Red and White-winged Crossbills continued to increase in December with lots of singing now. From Red Crossbill recordings I've sent Matt Young, he has documented Type 1, 3, and 10 so far. Pine Siskins are abundant (Sadly, I've observed several road-killed already). Purple Finches and Amer. Goldfinches are still here in the central Adirondacks - unusual in winter. (150 Amer. Goldfinches are visiting our feeders each day - lots of seed consumed! There are small numbers of Pine Siskins visiting our feeders.) Also unusual this winter: There are still small flocks of American Robins in Long Lake - in the village and at the inlet of Little Tupper Lake along Sabattis Circle Road. A flock of ~50 Cedar Waxwings has been feeding on fruit trees in Long Lake since 12/22/17 (not one Bohemian among them!). Dark-eyed Juncos are still feeding under our feeders and on the cracked corn we put out (there is a good snow cover with no open ground) - and they can still be found along Sabattis Circle Road. Blue Jays are here in good numbers for the 3rd winter in a row (un-caching Gray Jay food). Also, Amer. Crows are here in higher numbers than usual for winter. I haven't observed the tailless Gray Jay at Sabattis Bog in a couple weeks (since 12/15). (But it sometimes disappears for a while and then reappears, so I hope to see it again.) With a bumper food crop on just about every tree species in the Adirondacks, this will be a fascinating winter to observe where birds are feeding. Here is what I have noted so far: White Pine: Red Crossbill and Pine Siskin Red Spruce: Red and White-winged Crossbill Black Spruce: White-winged Crossbill Tamarack: Red and White-winged Crossbill (also Black-capped Chickadee and Red-breasted Nuthatch) Hemlock: Pine Siskin Balsam Fir: Pine Siskin Birch: Pine Siskin and Amer. Goldfinch White Cedar: Pine Siskin and Amer. Goldfinch Some sightings: 1/1/18 Long Lake (Hamilton Co.) Ruffed Grouse - 4 (3 locations along Sabattis Circle Road - all eating buds in deciduous trees) Gray Jay - 8 (2 along Route 30, 2 at the Round Lake Trailhead, and 4 at Sabattis Bog) Boreal Chickadee - at least 2 along Route 30 (at a location where I stopped to listen for crossbills) American Robin - in the village of Long Lake and at the inlet of Little Tupper Lake along Sabattis Circle Road Cedar Waxwing - small flock in a fruit tree near the Post Office Purple Finch - many; lots of gritting in the roads Red Crossbill - calling near the inlet of Little Tupper Lake along Sabattis Circle Road (this is where they grit - they have been singing near the outlet (which is also the inlet of Round Lake)) White-winged Crossbill - calling at the Round Lake Trailhead and singing all around Sabattis Bog Pine Siskin - everywhere! Gritting in the roads in large flocks. Amer. Goldfinch - many Dark-eyed Junco - many 12/31/17 Long Lake - White-winged Crossbills were singing near a marsh along Route 30 where I have been feeding Gray Jays for several years. 12/30/17 Saranac Lake Christmas Bird Count (owling, Route 55, Oregon Plains & Bigelow Roads, and Bloomingdale Bog to the Gray Jay feeder) Mary Beth Warburton and I found 19 species in our boreal section of the Saranac Lake CBC. The temperature ranged from 18 below to 1 above! It was brutal to be hiking! (Foot and hand warmers saved us.) Here are some of the species found: Pileated Woodpecker - 1 Black-backed Woodpecker - 1 female along Route 55 Gray Jay - 3 on Route 55 Boreal Chickadee - 3 along Bigelow Road Brown Creeper - 4 Golden-crowned Kinglet - 9 Dark-eyed Junco - 7 Purple Finch - 23 Red Crossbill - 1 along Route 55 White-winged Crossbill - 27 along Route 55 (one flock of 17 all eating Tamarack cone seeds) Lots of singing! Pine Siskin - 265! 12/26/17 Long Lake - 2 Amer. Tree Sparrows showed up - 1 at Sabattis Bog and 1 at our home (both stayed for just a few days) 12/25/17 Long Lake - 6 Snow Buntings near the inlet of Little Tupper Lake and one eating cracked corn at our home. I also found 6 Red Crossbills along Rice Road in Long Lake (when they irrupt, they always seem to nest along this short road). 12/24/17 Long Lake - a Northern Saw-whet Owl called outside our home at 3 a.m.!!! 12/23/17 Long Lake - 4 Mallards on the outlet of Little Tupper Lake was an unusual sighting in winter! (just a very small section of open water) On 12/16/17 and 12/18/17, a Common Raven barked like a dog along Sabattis Circle Road. I've heard the dog whine vocalization, but I've never heard actual "barking" - it was wild! The raven is part of an adorable pair. They fly over my car when they spot it and follow me to the Round Lake Trailhead where they know I put food out (for Gray Jays)! They wait for me to drive away before flying down to the food. This is pure speculation (which is never a good thing to do!), but I was lingering - listening for the White-winged Crossbills on 12/16/17 and I believe the dog bark vocalization was meant to scare me away because they wanted the food (or maybe there was some other reason for the raven to imitate a dog!). They saw me 2 days later near the Little Tupper Lake inlet and the raven barked again! It seems as if Common Ravens have an endless variety of vocalizations. 12/15/17 Minerva (Essex Co.) - a Red Crossbill was singing near the Lindsay Marsh Trailhead 12/11/17 Long Lake - 2 adult Bald Eagles and 13 Common Ravens were feeding together on a male deer carcass out on Long Lake - the ice had just formed and it appeared that the deer didn't make it across the lake. 12/9/17 Long Lake/Newcomb/Minerva/North Hudson (Hamilton and Essex Counties) Out with an ornithology class from St. Lawrence Univ. we found 19 species in boreal habitat. Here are some of the birds found: Black-backed Woodpecker - 2 (male in N. Hudson and female in Minerva) Gray Jay - 8 (2 at the Round Lake Trailhead, 5 at Sabattis Bog, and 1 heard near Sand Pond Marsh in N. Hudson) Boreal Chickadee - many in North Hudson! Red-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper Golden-crowned Kinglet American Robin Purple Finch Red Crossbill - several heard calling at Sand Pond Marsh in N. Hudson White-winged Crossbill - pair observed at the Round Lake Trailhead feeding on Red Spruce cones Pine Siskin Amer. Goldfinch Dark-eyed Junco We also observed Bobcat tracks! 12/4/17 Long Lake: Mammals: Coyotes howled outside our home. 4 Muskrats observed on Little Tupper Lake (2 at the inlet and 2 at the outlet). 3 River Otters running on the ice on Long Lake and fishing in open water. 12/3/17 Minerva and North Hudson I fed a friendly Gray Jay in Minerva. Near the Sand Pond Marsh in N. Hudson, I found a male Black-backed Woodpecker and a flock of over 15 Boreal Chickadees near sunset - this is the largest flock I've ever found and I suspect it was several groups that came together just before sunset (earlier, I found 3 Boreal Chickadees in the same location). There was a lot of chasing (the commotion attracted the Black-backed Woodpecker also!). I also found a flock of over 20 Red Crossbills. 12/2/17 Piercefield (St. Lawrence Co.) I drove to Horseshoe Lake and had a really memorable morning. I observed 3 River Otters interacting, running across the lake, vocalizing, popping up through the ice - exciting! I also spent over an hour observing 2 female Red Crossbills foraging and gritting in the road. Sadly, there was a dead Muskrat in the middle of Route 30 on my drive. 12/1/17 Long Lake - a Barred Owl gave its rare scream call twice (you could never sleep through this vocalization!) The scream lifted me out of bed over the baby monitor we use to bring in outside sounds. I've posted a number of photos on my Facebook page (including the River Otters!). Joan Collins 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://firstname.lastname@example.org/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/ --