Monday, February 22, 2010

Northern NH in Winter

As much as I love coastal NH birding, one thing is for sure... in winter things are stagnant! While this doesn't mean that there isn't a lot to look at, it does mean that the same routine gets a bit dull after a while.

For example, things like Common Goldeneye abound, and while pretty, seeing them in the same place day after day gets a bit old as we all need a change in our routine.

Northern Pintail also overwinter in south-eastern NH; however, they are never "common". This is one that has been hanging around Seabrook in a duck pond for some time now.

Glaucous Gulls are another "unusual" find - especially when so close to adulthood. Young birds are much more common and can be seen across the state particularly at landfills, water treatment facilities, etc. This near-adult has over-wintered in Seabrook Harbor for the second year in a row. Hopefully it will return as a full adult.

While these birds are always fun to see, the routine got to me (and others) recently which spurred a spike in trips to the northern part of the state; Coos County. In winter, Coos County is pretty much left for snowmobiles and snowmobilers. This is so much the case that border patrol was particularly suspicious of our activities and questioned us this past Thursday when I was in Pittsburg with Mike and Jason. So why go to pittsburg? Why treck into the true north country? ... these little guys:

...also known as White-winged Crossbills. These, along with Red Crossbills and other winter finches abound in Northern NH in the winter. Although, finches aren't the only thing to be searched for. Gray Jays, Evening Grosbeaks, Common Ravens, and Boreal Chickadees can still be found in winter (although Boreal Chickadees are way more common in summer!).

Here are the Pittsburg, NH area totals from a trip on Thursday:

Gray Jay - 4
Blue Jay - 30
Common Raven - 37
Black-capped Chickadee - ONLY 27
Boreal Chickadee - 7
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 27
Purple Finch - 117 (!!!!)
White-winged Crossbill - 16
Evening Grosbeak - 45+
American Goldfinch - 55


forestal said...

Great photos, some neat birds. Maybe sometime i'll take a trip further north to see some of those guys


CarolNH said...

I love your photos...!!! Thanks for sharing them...