The Red Crossbill irruption is widespread and I encounter them just about everywhere I go. The White-winged Crossbill irruption is the second largest I've observed since living in the Adirondacks (the largest was the 2000-2001 irruption). Crossbills are paired up and singing. I've found them in locations in Hamilton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence Counties. Purple Finches are also singing. Pine Siskins continue to be abundant and American Goldfinches are still around.
Ruffed Grouse and Wild Turkeys have been regularly displaying since January. Twenty-seven Wild Turkeys live outside our home - when it is cold, they roost and just wait for cracked corn. They often come up the back steps and look in our glass door when we don't get the corn out on time. They have also become comfortable hanging out on our front porch to eat the birdseed that gets dropped - and some fly up to the porch roof and walk up to my office window to look in at me! They regularly peck our cars and they gobble when a car drives in. They have come to associate cars driving in with being fed (usually by me), but they are not smart enough to learn specific cars like a Gray Jay (& all other corvids) can. Similar to dogs barking, their gobbles over the baby monitor alert us to visitors! Gray Jay pairs are becoming territorial. I've only found a pair at Sabattis Bog the past few days (down from the 6 to 8 birds during most of the winter). Bald Eagles are very active (lots of reports about the eagles in Long Lake over the past week). Recent sightings: 2/21/18 Long Lake & Tupper Lake (Hamilton & Franklin Co.) I had to be in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid today, so my trip through Sabattis Circle Road was quick. I found 6 Gray Jays - 3 pairs at 3 different locations (1 pair along Route 30). A Red Crossbill sang near the outlet of Little Tupper Lake and White-winged Crossbills called. Both species called at Sabattis Bog. Two Pileated Woodpeckers called - one was chased by a Merlin. An adult Bald Eagle was observed flying over Kickerville Road in Long Lake and a juvenile Bald Eagle was observed on Tupper Lake. 2/20/18 Long Lake Two pairs of Red Crossbills gritted in the road near the triangle intersection near the Little Tupper Lake inlet and outlet. This was a rainy day so I didn't linger! 2/19/18 Long Lake An adult Bald Eagle was observed in Long Lake. A Boreal Chickadee called along Route 30. Four Red Crossbills were found at the inlet of Little Tupper Lake. Out boreal birding on February 17 & 18, 2018 we found the following species by visiting locations in Long Lake, Tupper Lake, Piercefield, Newcomb, Minerva, and North Hudson (Hamilton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, and Essex Counties): Ruffed Grouse - Horseshoe Lake Rd. and Sabattis Circle Road Rock Pigeon Hairy Woodpecker - Tahawus Road Black-backed Woodpecker - 3! (a pair at a marshy area along Sabattis Circle Road, and a male at Sabattis Bog along the same road) Pileated Woodpecker - several Gray Jay - at least 10! (Route 30 in Long Lake, Round Lake Trailhead and Sabattis Bog along Sabattis Circle Road - the tailless Gray Jay was at the bog and still tailless!) Blue Jay - many, over-wintering for the 3rd year in a row American Crow - over-wintering for the first time Common Raven Black-capped Chickadee Boreal Chickadee - at least 4 in the Sand Lake Marsh vicinity along the Blueridge Road (town of North Hudson) Red-breasted Nuthatch Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1 heard near Sabattis Station and a likely bird along the North Point Rd. European Starling - Tupper Lake (no starlings or Rock Pigeons in Long Lake..yet anyway!) Purple Finch - many Red Crossbill - everywhere! White-winged Crossbill - many at Long Lake locations Pine Siskin - large irruption American Goldfinch - many American Tree Sparrow - at Sabattis Bog (first winter that several have been observed over-wintering in Long Lake and Newcomb locations - including my home!) Dark-eyed Junco - at feeder areas (many overwintered this year, which is unusual) Lunch was at Larkin's in Tupper Lake on Saturday and we had lunch at the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb on Sunday (with Adirondack Trading Post paninis delivered by my husband George!). Twenty-one people participated in the NYS Ornithological Association's Winter Weekend on February 10 & 11, 2018. Thanks to Kathy Schneider for organizing the weekend! Matt Young gave a fascinating presentation on Red Crossbill types on Saturday afternoon and we had a fun group dinner at the Adirondack Hotel that night. Matt and I led the field trip on Saturday and Mary Beth Warburton co-led with us on Sunday. We found the following 21 species by visiting areas in Long Lake (Route 30, Sabattis Circle Road, and North Point Road), Newcomb locations, Minerva (Boreas River Bridge on the Blueridge Road), and the Sand Pond Marsh area in North Hudson: Wild Turkey Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Black-backed Woodpecker - 2 males (Sabattis Bog and North Point Road - this male was at the edge of the road about head height and we watched it forage for a long time - and left it still in the same place!) Pileated Woodpecker Gray Jay - 9 all in Long Lake (1 along Route 30, 2 at the Round Lake Trailhead, and 6 at Sabattis Bog) Blue Jay American Crow Common Raven Black-capped Chickadee Boreal Chickadee - 1 at the Sand Pond Marsh vicinity along the Blueridge Road in North Hudson Red-breasted Nuthatch Golden-crowned Kinglet American Robin Purple Finch Red Crossbill - many! (including a male that sang for a long time from the top of a White Pine near the triangle intersection along Sabattis Circle Road) White-winged Crossbill - many! (estimate was a couple dozen - Route 30 and many locations along Sabattis Circle Road) Pine Siskin American Goldfinch American Tree Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco (We also briefly saw a probable female Rose-breasted Grosbeak at a feeder location outside of Newcomb. I will keep an eye out and try to get a photo if I spot it again.) Lunch was at the Adirondack Trading Post in Long Lake on Saturday and at the Long Lake Diner on Sunday! We were fortunate to have a member of the NYS Young Birders Club attend (a 9th grader) with an adult birder from Rochester. They were staying over Sunday night, so we kept birding after everyone headed home. He had missed the Saturday field trip - and didn't get to see White-winged Crossbills or a Black-backed Woodpecker yet that day. We headed back to the WWCR locations in Long Lake and found many - singing right up until dark! Just before we left Sabattis Bog, a male Black-backed Woodpecker flew across the bog to a dead snag not far from us and the we had wonderful scope views! I was really happy that he got to see all the species he'd hoped to find that day! 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/ --