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Bicknell's Thrush, Adirondacks


Skull Guy
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We are looking to take a trip this spring/summer for Bicknell's thrush in the Adirondack Park. I have done some research and seems that they are above 3,000 feet and most actively and easily found pre-dawn or shortly after. Whiteface Mountain has a lot of ebird hits and looks like a good place to start. The reason for asking here is if anyone has done a trip specifically for Bicknell's and if the road up Whiteface is open early in the morning (in general and with Covid). There is no information on the website for Whiteface Mtn. We don't mind hiking but will have a 4 year old and 6 year old, so getting up at 3 AM and hiking is not a welcomed idea! We are open to other ideas or mountain hikes that give us a shot later in the day, and something "easier" we might be able to hike with the kids.

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3 hours ago, Skull Guy said:

We are looking to take a trip this spring/summer for Bicknell's thrush in the Adirondack Park. I have done some research and seems that they are above 3,000 feet and most actively and easily found pre-dawn or shortly after. Whiteface Mountain has a lot of ebird hits and looks like a good place to start. The reason for asking here is if anyone has done a trip specifically for Bicknell's and if the road up Whiteface is open early in the morning (in general and with Covid). There is no information on the website for Whiteface Mtn. We don't mind hiking but will have a 4 year old and 6 year old, so getting up at 3 AM and hiking is not a welcomed idea! We are open to other ideas or mountain hikes that give us a shot later in the day, and something "easier" we might be able to hike with the kids.

I have no experience with Whiteface, but I do have experience with Bicknells on Mt Mansfield in VT.
 

Mansfield has options for hiking in the summer, which would most likely be the only option for getting up to the top for sunrise. The mountain does also have a toll road, that I think, if I’m remembering correctly, opens at 8? It might be 10, though Stowe Resort probably has the correct times on their website. I was able to be at the top of the road for sunrise on Mansfield, only because I was on a team of bird banders researching the Bicknell’s Thrush. There is a large population! They are definitely most actively singing in the morning, though they do sometimes sing in the evening and call throughout the day. Blackpoll Warblers are also singing through the the day.

The Toll Road does have a toll to use, but it gets you up most of the mountain, right below the “nose”. From that parking lot you can hike to the summit, or the “chin”. If you do want to be up for sunrise, you could email Stowe Resort and ask if you could camp out in parking lot, as our team was doing. They don’t want people that hike camping out, since it is a protected area of alpine habitat, but it couldn’t hurt to ask! The hike isn’t too technical, or too steep, as you are mostly hiking a ridge line. 
 

You could also contact the people I was banding with, as they are very enthusiastic in bringing on visitors, especially kids! COVID made things tricky this year, but we were able to get visitors up. Here’s the website page for the project: https://vtecostudies.org/projects/mountains/international-bicknells-thrush-conservation-group/

Edited by Avery
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Avery - Thank you! I have been to the top of Mansfield several times, we have family in Waterbury and Colchester VT. I have only been there in late fall and winter though. Maybe we'll have to think about driving a little further to visit VT instead of the Adirondacks. I'll contact the banding folks, my kids would absolutely love that.

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40 minutes ago, Skull Guy said:

Avery - Thank you! I have been to the top of Mansfield several times, we have family in Waterbury and Colchester VT. I have only been there in late fall and winter though. Maybe we'll have to think about driving a little further to visit VT instead of the Adirondacks. I'll contact the banding folks, my kids would absolutely love that.

Well, if you’ve got family in Colchester, and you do go visit them, check out some of the hotspots in that area! I’m in the Waterbury area myself, and I frequently go bird Delta Park, Colchester Causeway, and several other spots that are great for certain species. Happy to help!

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