Blackpoll Warbler (Photo: Phil Fowler)
Focus: Bicknell's Thrush and high-elevation spruce-fir birds
Season: Available (end of) May - July (taking reservations for 2019)
Description: This tour is for serious and focused birding, primarily in pursuit of Bicknell's Thrush and other high-elevation, spruce-fir forest birds. Time on this trip is emphasized toward viewing Bicknell's Thrush. If no Bicknell's Thrush seen, receive 1/2 price voucher for a future Bicknell's Thrush tour. Other species frequently observed include Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Swainson's Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Pine Siskin, and more.
Tour Options: Options for hiking and driving tours are described below. Typical start time is 6am, but negotiable. 3 persons minimum needed to run the Open Tour (see below). Private tour start times and locations are negotiable.
What to Expect: Blackflies and mosquitoes can be challenging. Bug spray will be available for your use. At rare times in June, a head net may be needed (available for purchase $5) depending on your tolerance. Typically, the morning air is cool (50F-60F) and welcoming, but may climb to low 80s by mid-day. A light raincoat is recommended to layer against cold, wind, and rain exposure.
What to Bring: Binoculars, camera, hat, sturdy footwear (no flip-flops or sandals), rain gear, drinking water, sunscreen. A backpack to carry your gear.
White Mountains National Forest Option
Hike: 3 mile round-trip; Difficulty: Intermediate-Hard
Time: 4 hours
Note: This trip requires intermediate to hard trail hiking up to 3.0 miles round trip. Non-hikers should book this as a Private Tour, because the trip could take longer than 4 hours or choose the NH North Country (non-hiking) tour option (see below)
Open Tour (being scheduled for June 22 and 23)
Size: 3-6 persons (three person minimum to run trip). If you do not have the minimum persons, use the interest form to the right, so I can try to combine interested individuals into enough persons to run the trip.
Fee: $99 Adult / Youth $59 (10-15yo)
Fee: $150 per person for 4 hours; $50 for each additional hour
Deposit*: $100 deposit required
INTEREST FORM - Complete this form to submit your information and availability for a future open tour. I will use this information to build group tours to meet the minimum participants requirement.
Trail Conditions: Portions of this trail can be very muddy and wet granite rocks are slippery. There are no major stream crossings. Portions of the lower trail are moderately steep. Individuals should be able to hike at a sustained walking pace needing a break only every 30 minutes. (Breaks are frequently taken anyway to look for birds). Individuals out of hiking shape and likely to require more time than the allotted 4 hours, should book the private tour (call for a consultation).
Bicknell's Thrush (Photo: Anita DeStefano)
Bonus Bird - Gray Jay
*Non-refundable deposit reserves the tour date on the OWE calendar and secures your spot on the tour. In the event of a tour cancellation due to weather or OWE issues, the ticket holder can elect to have a full refund including any deposits, or to have any payments applied as credit toward any future OWE event.
NH North Country Option - Private Tours only
Hike: None; this is a driving birding tour; carpooling is an option (call for inquiries); walking is localized.
2 hrs from North Conway, NH and Lincoln, NH
3 Hrs from Portland, ME, Burlington, VT, and Montreal, CA
4 Hrs from Boston, MA and Quebec City, CA
Possible Carpool Locations North Conway, NH; Rochester, NH; Concord, NH; Bethel, ME; Lancaster, NH(call for inquiries)
Base Fee: $350 for up to 4 hrs
Add: $50 for each additional person
Add: $40 per person for each additional hour
Deposit*: $100 deposit required
Description: In addition to spruce-fir birds, this trip provides easy driving access to habitats supporting other exciting birds in the area including, Northern Harrier, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Rusty Blackbird and more.