Harriers Hike the White Mountains

A White-throated Sparrow, bringing food home to little ones along the Nancy Pond Trail in Crawford Notch
Photograph by Aiden Moser

By Aiden Moser, Harriers Photography Editor

This week my mother and I traveled north to Crawford Notch for a camping trip with the NH Young Birders. The first part of the trip was a hike up the Nancy Pond Trail just north of the notch. The 7.1 mile hike traversed brooks and took us up past cascades. During the hike we heard the songs of several Swainson’s Thrushes, warblers, Winter Wrens, and many more. On the descent we ran across a flock of birds and discovered three fledgling Golden-crowned Kinglets sitting together midway up a tree, and two Boreal Chickadees being a lot more shy than their typically tame cousins. When the hike was over we were all tired but I did enjoy the hike and it was interesting exploring new terrain.

Boreal Chickadee, Cannon Mountain
Photograph by Aiden Moser

After spending the night at Lafayette Campground we went to Cannon Mountain to take the Tram to the top. Before boarding the tram we spotted a Black Bear with two cubs on one of the ski slopes, a Merlin soaring above us, and at least three Broad-winged Hawks putting on a show soaring and screeching. Riding to the summit of the mountain without having to hike at all was a nice change of pace compared to the grueling day before and I had a good feeling that we were going to see some nice birds. After walking around the summit for a few hours we decided to leave early so we could bird at Trudeau Road in Bethlehem for a while. Some of our highlights at Cannon was Boreal Chickadees, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, a couple of Bicknell’s Thrushes, several species of warblers, and one or two White-winged Crossbills. I think we all had a great time at Cannon with nice birds and beautiful weather.

Our final stop of the day was Trudeau Road, located in Bethlehem, north of Crawford Notch. This is one of the best spots in the area to see Black-backed Woodpeckers; a northern species that inhabits cooler climates. We saw a pair feeding chicks last year at this location on a different young birders trip. During our hike we observed Nashville Warblers, Canada Warblers, Hermit Thrushes, Brown Creepers, and many Common Ravens making all sorts of strange calls. And finally after we had all said our goodbyes and as we drove back my last bird of the trip crossed the road in front of us; a Ruffed Grouse.