Sunday, July 5, 2009
Birdcouple is just back from our longest hike yet along the Appalachian Trail, 3 days and 2 nights starting just over the New York-New Jersey state line and heading south to High Point, N.J. On the Fourth of July, we walked through wonderful Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge (the only NWR that the AT passes through) and slowed our pace to enjoy the scenery and the birds, of course.
On this trip, we also saw our 100th species of bird along the Trail, adding at least three new ones - Yellow-Breasted Chat, Grasshopper Sparrow and Marsh Wren. Most of the birds we encounter as we hike are the expected woodland ones - Scarlet Tanagers, warblers, vireos, Wood Thrush and Veery, etc. But the trail also passes over mountaintops (good for raptors); along ponds, streams and canals; and through upland fields, where we get a whole different set of avifauna.
This hike's birding highlight was surprising a momma Wild Turkey and a half-dozen babies in an overgrown field near an old house where hikers stop to get water from a spigot. More soon about our adventure on Birdcouple's AT blog...