Birding and Wildlife

Except of report from Matt Medler, August 3, 2003

The fields and adjacent shrub lands at Migratory Haven are home to a number of noteworthy bird species that can be enjoyed by birdwatchers and non-birdwatchers alike. As spring begins to arrive in the North Country so do the Eastern Meadowlarks, singing their beautiful songs from the fields behind the farmhouse. In May, the Meadowlarks are joined in the fields by Bobolinks . Look for the striking, black-and-white male Bobolinks giving their spectacular bubbling flight songs as they fly over the fields on stiff wingtips. During the springtime evenings, it is likely that these fields also serve as display grounds for male American Woodcocks, whose incredible pesky dance is wonderfully described in Aldo Leopold in the classic Sand County Almanac. Behind these fields, there is a shrubby second-growth area that is home to Golden-winged Warbler. This striking warbler is becoming increasingly rare in New York State, where it is officially listed as a Species of Special Concern, due to competition from its close relative, the Blue-winged Warbler. (Although Blue-winged Warbler is still a rare species in Essex County, it is worth noting that Champlain Vistas (the neighboring bed and breakfast) was the site of the county’s fifth-ever sighting of this bird.) Other birds that can be found in the shrubby second-growth area behind the fields include Field Sparrow, Alder Flycatcher, and White throated Sparrow.

For the serious birdwatcher, a trip to nearby Noblewood Park is likely to be productive at any time of year. During the breeding season, the hemlocks and white pines there are host to Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Pine and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Ovenbirds are abundant there, as are Hermit Thrushes. A walk down to the sandbars at the mouth of the Boquet River during the summer months could yield migrant shorebirds, along with good numbers of Bonaparte Gulls. While Noblewood has not been birded much during the fall or winter, it should be a good vantage point for viewing migrant and wintering waterbirds on Lake Champlain. 

Contact Info

    Migratory Haven
    3311 Essex Road
    Willsboro, NY 12996