I spent a couple of days camping at Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire. I stayed at one of the five cabins available in the campground. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice they were. I decided to read the book: "The Big Year" while camping and later saw the movie. They were quite different from each other but I enjoyed them both. The book gave more character background background than the movie did. The movie wasn't perfect but it was great that they even put a movie out with the main subject matter revolving around birding. If every birder sees the movie at least three times then maybe Hollywood will put out another movie about birding!They are very simple inside with 2 sets of bunk beds, 1 couch and 1 table. It also had electric lighting and an electrical outlet. Nothing fancy, but perfect for camping. Both Vermont and New Hampshire have a number of state parks that offer cabin rentals that range between $46 for a single room cabin to $80 a night for larger cottages. This includes Brighton State Park which is in an area where boreal species can be found.
I spent most of my time exploring the trails within the parks 5,500 acres. There were many small ponds and marshes within the park which afforded nice views of the foliage.
This is a picture of Burnham Marsh which was designated as a wildlife viewing area. If only the wildlife would pay attention to the signs. I did have a stunning view of a female Belted Kingfisher perched in a dead tree. As I was viewing the bird, two onlookers stopped by to have a look at the bird through the scope. They were impressed, saying the kingfisher looked like an exotic woodpecker to them.I underestimated the length of the trails I went hiking on and neglected to pack proper supplies (as usual). I can imagine the headlines-"Body of a man discovered in the woods with an empty can of orange-dry soda and an apple core by his side." "Friends and family said that he died doing what he loved to do." No thanks, I'd rather live. I caught a glimpse of what looked like a coyote sneaking into the woods about 5 miles in. It seems that the beavers were setting up booby-traps by chewing through 95% of a tree and leaving it standing.
There is something special about the fall season. Summer is the season that I feel confined or almost imprisoned by the weather at times. Once the cool fall air hits I feel free again. There's nothing like the stunning colors of New England color and the smell of birding. The flames in this fire have a shape that reminds me of the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character. Can you see it?
On the way home from the trip I stopped at a Massachusetts Audubon. These turkeys must be smarter than the average turkeys.With Thanksgiving soon to arrive, what better place for turkeys to hang out than the protected land of an Audubon Center?I was glad to make it back in time to join Birders who Blog Chirp and Tweet outing. We had a great time meeting up with each other as usual. (photo of Savannah Sparrow)
We probably did more chatting and eating than we did birding but that's what makes these events fun. We did see a nice array of sparrows including White-crowned (above) and Vesper. One of the highlights of the day was when Kathie found a Dickcissel! It was the first time I've had a view of one. I also learned of a new Internet Radio birding website: birdcallsradio (thanks Mardi). The archives include interviews of Luke Tiller who led our trip, and Mark Obmascik , author of the book "The Big Year".
It was kind of funny that I went camping for 3 days and couldn't come up with any photos of birds then I went to an event with 16 birders and didn't get any people photos. I believe we saw this Peregrine Falcon at our last stop which was Sherwood Island.
All in all it was a good day of birding and a great time getting together with my fellow bird bloggers!