Monday, June 21, 2010

Steele Hill

Eastern Phoebe on cell tower enclosure, Steele Hill Resorts, Sanbornton, NH

The woods of New Hampshire are bursting with indigo buntings and scarlet tanagers. Two steps out of the door of our Steele Hill Resort lodge and I had a bunting.

The next morning, five minutes into my walk I had a pair of tanagers two feet away (along with myriad counter-singing black-throated blue warblers, pine warblers, and other interesting songsters). [Here's my low light photo of the tanager]

I was planning more extensive bird hikes elsewhere in the Lakes Region but it quickly became clear that the red dot trail at Steele Hill would suffice. [Note: the trail map provided by the resort is not to scale and a bit inaccurate in places. It would be useful to note, for example, that the red dot trail is accessed via a utility road and that the trail-head is behind a cell tower facility (perch of phoebe above); the photo below is taken from what is effectively a dead-end, but not indicated as such on the map.]

The red dot trail goes right through wood thrush and hermit thrush territory. In fact, in spots you may have the uncommon privilege of hearing a chorus of
hermit and wood thrushes at once (along with ovenbirds, red-eyed vireos, and black-throated green warblers) [low light odd pose photo below].

And frogs, many frogs. Some accompanying chorusing
hermit thrushes, but some providing an astonishingly musical experience themselves.

The most memorable experience, though, was a brief encounter with a barred owl. My first.

Not this one--from Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.

This one, caught on low light video.

That red squirrel in the background is not happy.

1 comment:

Susan W. said...

Stunning shots! I'd love to see bunches of indigo buntings. I've seen 1 in my life. The scarlet tanagers are lovely, as well.