Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 130

red throated loon 1

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 130

We had several snow squalls during the last week, but most of that melted over night or during the next day when it got above freezing. It did get down in the teens a couple of nights, which put a coating of ice in the pond and started skimming over some of the higher shallow lakes.

Looking at many of the wet areas, roadside and along some of the rivers, you can see in places where it is nearly solid red with a fruit crop. These are Mountain Holly which are covered with berries this fall and a good source of food for birds passing through and some of the berries will stay on as a source of food during the winter. Once up in the wet area along South Inlet going into Raquette Lake, I found a whole flock of Bohemian Waxwings with a few Cedar Waxwings feeding on these berries. There were over one hundred birds and it’s the only time I’ve ever seen Bohemian Waxwings in Hamilton County. I did see some in Herkimer County once, on an Audubon Christmas Count right at the beach front in Old Forge, feeding on some small crab apples that grew there at one time. With all these berries around there is a good chance to catch these birds feeding in these areas again this year. You just have to be in the right place at the right time. There are a lot of these berries just below the bridge in Thendara, which would be a good place to watch if you are out for a walk along the highway there or on the foot bridge below there. 

My friend Ellie George found an adult Red Throated Loon in winter plumage on one of her loon lakes while out paddling last week and she got some nice photos of this bird. 

There appears to be a freezing blast coming just before Thanksgiving Day and then a nice weekend after that passes. The bucks have been seen chasing does and one nice eight- point buck was killed right by the Easy Mart while crossing the highway chasing a doe. Some hunters have reported seeing them trailing does and others said the does have just been eating alone with no bucks around. Many of the does I’ve seen have been feeding on ferns, which to me means there aren’t any nuts on the ground yet. Normally when the nuts are down, you will see large areas under the beeches with the leaves pushed around looking for nuts. The Turkeys will do the same thing. Yesterday I saw a nice flock of eight Turkeys feeding alongside the Big Moose Road. These were the first Turkeys I’ve seen in over a month.

With the beechnuts around this fall, the bears will probably still be out through the end of the big game season. I haven’t seen a track and I’ve covered a few miles in the last couple of weeks. Places where I saw tracks last year, I’ve seen none, so these bears may have been harvested. I did hear of three bears taken in the early bear season close to this area. 

I walked through a spot where I had spooked a bear out of its den a few years back, just yesterday, but no bear there this year. You don’t forget encounters like that, especially when you are only carrying an axe in your hand.

There is lots of debris down in the trails I’ve walked. Every storm that has come through has some high winds blowing before or during the storms which has brought down lots of small stuff, and in places, bigger trees and tops have blown down. I carry a pick stick which I’ve mentioned a few times. It is only three to three and a half feet long and that way I don’t have to bend over and pick these little things out of the trail. It is just a flick of the wrist, and the debris goes flying to the side. Most people just walk over this stuff, but when I walk in and out on the same trail, I hate to have to walk over this stuff, so just a flick of my stick and it will be gone when I walk back out. 

The folks out west in the coastal cities of the northwest got hammered with six to twelve inches of rain that flooded several small towns in that area. This also caused some mud slides in areas that were burned in the fires that occurred there earlier in the year. 

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends, but that’s another story. See ya.

Photo above: Red Throated Loon by Ellie George

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Mountain Holly by Twitchell Lake

 

 

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  • Cynthia lane 26/11/2021 1:03pm (2 days ago)

    we have tons of red berries on Old Piseco Road across from the Fire House...we always called them winter berries..they go quickly with the birds ...are not at all juicy...we always have called them winter berries but I am thinking holly berries ???? I would like to be able to name them correctly !!!!

  • Cynthia lane 26/11/2021 1:02pm (2 days ago)

    we have tons of red berries on Old Piseco Road across from the Fire House...we always called them winter berries..they go quickly with the birds ...are not at all juicy...we always have called them winter berries but I am thinking holly berries ???? I would like to be able to name them correctly !!!!

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