New Hampshire: Skiing, Waxwings, and more…

Ski Slopes can hold interesting birds...

This was a skiing trip, not a birding trip.  It also wasn’t a place for boreal specialties, even if we were birding.  But still, the area beneath the White Mountains can hold interesting stuff.  On Sunday I was on the slopes all day, but kept my eyes out for any birds in the surrounding woodland.  Nothing materialized until a Pileated Woodpecker flew across the path.  I stopped the skis (CHHHSHH) and tried to relocate it in the pines.  But I couldn’t find it, and I started getting dirty looks from other skiers, because I was in the middle of the path.  That was the only interesting bird on the mountain besides a lone Hairy Woodpecker.

On Monday we went to visit an artist friend of my dad’s, Cindy House, and her husband, Eric.  On the way we saw a couple Common Ravens over the road.  Once we met up with them they led us to see some reported Bohemian Waxwings, a scarce bird south of the White Mountains, and a species I really wanted to see.  We searched in vain for a while, through back roads and once through a college campus, but the only thing we could find was a flock of Wild Turkey.  But at last we saw a flock of foraging birds in a low tree by a houses feeder.  A look through the binoculars showed the brown/gray feathers, yellow tail-tip and wing stripe… they were Bohemian Waxwings!  We watched as these birds (there were about 30)  flew into a farther tree, and we tried to get the scope on them, but the whole flock took off and disappeared over some pines.  We couldn’t relocate them.  But I had seen a life bird, and a beautiful one at that.  We then thanked Cindy and Eric and set off home- for a (grumble grumble) shortened week of school (making up for time lost to snow days!), not a vacation.

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