To join Greg on one of these tours visit BigYearTours.com or call 888-875-9453

In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA, while trying to hold down a full-time job, aspiring to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. "The Big Year," a novel by Mark Obmascik detailed his travails alongside two competitors. The book was later turned into a movie of the same title that starred Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Maine Day 5

lupines along the side of the road in northern Maine
lupines along the side of the road in northern Maine – photo by Greg Miller

 

BRRRRR! What a chilly start! Blustery winds were blowing down over the Hudson Bay and brought frigid air into northern Maine. It made birding for boreal species very tough. We got just over 30 species on the day and we were all chilled to the bone. But it was still a rewarding time.

Rewarding? Yes. A moose sighting is always special! It happened so fast I didn’t get any photos. But a moose! How can that NOT be a great day??!?!

Moose Bog in Vermont
Moose Bog in Vermont – photo by Greg Miller

 

We drove north out of Lancaster, New Hampshire to Moose Bog. This is part of Wenlock Wildlife Management Area in Vermont. Yes, Vermont. Moose Bog is a wet spruce bog. This is home to the boreal slam: Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Spruce Grouse, and Gray Jay. Locals refer to this as the Northern Kingdom. I can see why. The area is a rich, beautiful boreal display. I cannot wait to return.

Between the wind and the cold, the birding was difficult at best. We did turn up a few Canada Warblers, Nashville Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush. Hermit Thrushes and Winter Wrens were both common. The bird highlight of the day was a group of Gray Jays at our second (and last) stop along Boy Scout Rd near Rangeley, Maine.

pond along Boy Scout Road near Rangely, Maine
pond along Boy Scout Road near Rangely, Maine – photo by Greg Miller

 

The trip total now stands at 118 species and the year total has bumped up to 384. Not bad. Not bad at all.

If you want to do one of my Big Year Tours with Wildside Nature Tours check out bigyeartours.com. You can follow along on each trip at bigyearblog.com. And you can watch the species list grow at Big Year Tours Species Totals.

To date we have raised more than $2500 for the American Birding Association’s Young Birders. Thank you! Aspiring young birders need your help and support. Consider making a donation this month. More info is at 2016 Nesting Season Appeal.

Tomorrow we are making a long drive south and east to Bar Harbor to catch a Whale & Puffin tour to make up for getting weathered out on Monday. We’ll get an early start so I am headed to bed soon. It will be a long (and hopefully exciting) day tomorrow. I never tire of seeing Atlantic Puffins. I think of it as the quintessential Maine bird.

[dreaming of little pudgy birds with big colorful beaks all around our boat…]

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