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Showing posts from June, 2012

Birds of the Boreal Woods

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A Weekend Excursion to the North Country

I always enjoy spending time in boreal forests. The powerful aroma of black spruce and tamarack can barely be recreated. Lichens dangle from old snags, sphagnum moss carpets the forest floor and the cool, moist woodland sets the stage for an unforgettable experience in nature. This has always been the case since I've visited the many boreal forest areas in New York's Adirondack Park. Even when the black and deer flies are in heavy pursuit, I arrive prepared and accept their place in the forest. It's no wonder that Yellow-bellied Flycatchers thrive in this habitat. You can hear their bills "snapping" as they hawk aerial prey. One last deer fly to breach my defense.

The photo on the right was a digiscope shot taken at Bloomingdale Bog, south end near the first powerline cut. I'd encounter several more Yellow-bellied, just not as photogenic, in the general vicinity. My Flicker link cont…

Birds of the Rockies and Prairies - Birding with David Sibley, Keith Hansen, John Carlson, Jeff Wohl & Nikki Mann

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On May 26, 2012, I landed in Great Falls, Montana. It was 33 degrees Fahrenheit and the snow was falling. While I didn't pack for winter weather I was prepared with the right gear to feel comfortable. "Spring in Montana" is what John Carlson and the other local folks would say with a slight chuckle. Despite the unexpected snow, and dry Montana cold, I was ready for a week of intense birding. I traveled with friend Mike Scheibel who shares the same dedicated passion in finding and observing birds. We were picked up in Great Falls by Nature Conservancy staff and volunteers and headed to Pine Butte Ranch. The ranch is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy's Montana Chapter. The ranch is located about an hour west of Choteau (pronounced sho-toe) on the south bank of the Teton River at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. This would be our base for the next 6 days from where we would travel to various locations within the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front.