I was going to open this story with some overused idiom about how spring is finally here when we see American Robins around. Truth be told, I’ve been seeing robins in the Lake Champlain Region all winter. (On Valentine’s Day I was actually photographing them in Westport.) While the robins may not be an entirely accurate signal of spring, there are still plenty of other birds who will be making their way back to the region as the days get longer and the landscape greens up.
Birding in the spring is exciting. During the winter, our birding goals are not so much about diversity seen on each trip, but locating irruption species, like Evening Grosbeaks or Hoary Redpolls, or finding rarities among the yearly winter resident birds. In spring, though, species diversity begins to increase and us birders flock to the Lake Champlain Region, which acts as a funnel for birds on their way north.
For me, one of the most iconic spring birds is the Red-winged Blackbird. These birds are some of the earliest to return from their wintering haunts. Their classic songs echoing across wetlands surely can translate to “spring is here!” Red-winged Blackbirds can be found throughout the region; look (and listen) for them around wet, marshy areas. Other blackbirds, like Baltimore Orioles, Bobolinks, sought-after Rusty Blackbirds, and Common Grackles, can be found in the region, too.
Species of blackbirds aren’t the only ones returning to the area this spring. We welcome the return of Ospreys, Green Herons, Savannah Sparrows, Caspian Terns, Belted Kingfishers, Broad-winged Hawks, and, of course, more warblers and shorebirds than we can count! Whether you are going out birding for an hour or a full-day, this Adirondack Wayfinder trail will help get you to the action! Ten stops are highlighted from Port Kent to Ticonderoga, and they all present unique opportunities to see different species this spring. If you’re new to birding or even if you're an expert, there’s a good chance you can add to your life-list this spring in the Lake Champlain Region!