Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 95

tundra goose crp

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 95

Spring sprung yesterday right on cue, with temperatures reaching near fifty and even higher today and with freezing temperatures at night; the sap should be running pretty well. A place where we would get on South Bay of Lake Champlain was right by a person boiling sap outdoors. He and his two daughters would come out fishing not far from us and we talked about the maple syrup process. He had a helper to stoke the fire so he and his daughters could go fishing while the ice was still safe. We got on the north shore and the sun would melt this first and we would take the sport-pal canoe to get out to the good ice. The last day my dad and I went, we took the canoe right with us across to the other side. We caught a sled full of saugers, quit at noon and pulled the tip-ups, which had been there for about two weeks as the ice was getting black. It was a little mushy getting back to the open water and then to shore by canoe. That was the last trip for that year, ‘64. We cleaned fish for a few hours the next day. 

When the snow melted away from the house, the daffodils were already up a couple inches under the snow, and they seem to be doing ok even with these cold nights. One crocus had bloomed under the snow and the yellow flower laid there when the snow went away; talk about an early bloomer. 

My friend Stacy Robinson, who lives over near the Crown Point Banding Station, where she and her husband Mark help out setting up and taking down, plus taking some birds out of the nets, has become a rare bird chaser. When a rare bird is reported on the E-bird website, she is off and running a great many miles: sometimes across the state, even out of state, and out of the country into Canada a few times. Just last week a Tundra Bean Goose was reported down by Saratoga Lake and away she went. The first day, she missed seeing it, but not by much. In that first trip she saw a couple Cracking Geese, some Snow Geese and a Pink Footed Goose. It was again reported the next day, not far from where it was the day before so off, she went again. Down the Northway and part way down, it was reported that the bird had gone missing again, but she continued down as she was close to Saratoga. She got a new report that it was in Fish Creek at the outlet of Saratoga Lake, and she was only about six minutes away from there at that point. She got there and the bird was among some Canada Geese, which flushed from an open field into the outlet. She only got to see it for about fifteen minutes, and she took a few pictures. It flushed along with the flock of Canada Geese headed north not to be seen again. As she explained, this was really a wild goose chase. 

Being so nice yesterday, at about noon I put up my bird net, as there were several birds working at the feeders. There also was a Red-tailed Hawk on the carcass down on the dam of the pond. While putting up the net, I heard some loud tapping on a beech tree not far away and there was a big Pileated Woodpecker pecking out some big chips. Just around the trunk was another one working on the same tree. With the amount of chips on the snow under the tree, it is a wonder the top of that tree didn’t fall over. I got my camera and took some photos of both birds. The first bird could just about hide in the hole he had made and the other one had made several holes, so there must have been something good to eat to waste that much energy just to chop wood.   

Birds started hitting the net right away and I caught three new Black Capped Chickadees and three older banded ones, one from 2015, one from 2017, but not the old guy from 2009. He may be too smart and he has been in the net many times and may just fly over it now. I also got a Red Breasted Nuthatch male, two new Downy Woodpeckers, and another one that I banded a couple years ago. 

I’ve had a few Evening Grosbeaks each morning, but they don’t get anywhere close to the net. I had a Slate Colored Junco all week also and a few Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds, but caught none of these. With these warmer temperatures, many of the half-hearty birds will be moving north, not knowing they still need a snow shovel to find food in much of the Adirondacks.

The Forest Fire Lookout Association NYS Chapter held their first meeting at the Northern Logger in Old Forge in 1991 with a photo taken of the group there. Attached is that photo and everyone named but one person, if you know who that is let me know, thanks. 

gary lee rangers

First Meeting of the NYS Chapter of Forest Fire Lookout Association 1991


Starting from the left Chris Haartz- NH director, Roy Schweiker- Pa enthusiast, Mark Clark-Last DEC Observer on Rondaxe and at the time NYS DEC Assistant Forest Ranger, Henry Isenberg, Mark Haughwout, Ellen Dill Isenberg, Steve Cummings, Bob Spear, young man with black hair behind Bob-Unknown, Fred Knauf and Dave Quam. 

Several locals are headed south for a couple weeks for some fun in the sun, but that’s another story. See ya. 

Photo top: Tundra Bean Goose 

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