Date: 7/16/20 6:41 pm
From: Charlie Nims <charlie.nims...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Spruce Grouse
Well, I have probably been taking up too much space on NH Birds with my hiking and boreal birding adventure reports but i have one more to share. Having a Zoom meeting at 1 pm, I could only do a relatively hike relatively close to home so I headed up to Crawford Notch to hoping for Spruce Grouse along the Webster Cliff trail from Mizpah Hut to Mt. Jackson. One had been reported in that area recently and I had 3 there in 2005. I was feeling optimistic until I met a woman hiker coming in the opposite direction whom I asked if there were anyone ahead of me . . . bad answer: yes, 2 young fellows and a dog. A bit later, I met a couple whom I asked if they had seen a grouse . . . yup, more than one . . . but on the other side of Mt. Jackson.

After thinking about turning around, I decided it was quicker to go over Mt. Jackson and down the Webster-Jackson trail. With the ledges at the summit in sight, all of a sudden, there was a Spruce Grouse on the trail in front of me. Tame as could be, it let me get my camera out and posed ;>) for photos. In reality, I am sure that there were young nearby as it was a female and while not a distraction display, it did not go far. As I walked up the trail after sating my photo desires, she flew up into a tree adjacent to the trail, typical Spruce Grouse behavior.

So, I was one happy (old) boy as this is not a species I get every year in NH. In general, the birding was quieter than it has been on my previous hikes with basically Blackpoll Warbler, a flyover pair of Red Crossbills and only one Yellow-bellied Flycatcher as the only other boreal species.

Finally, I have come to the conclusion that the Swainson’s Thrush is the Red-eyed Vireo of the boreal woods as they are so numerous and constantly singing during the day.

Full reports and grouse photos posted to eBird.

Charlie Nims
Bartlett, NH

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