Day 1, Friday June 2, 2023, after a long drive with very warm weather, everyone reached Gorham NH and began birding the 38-mile Gorham – Errol Road (Route 16). At Gorham’s MacDonalds many of the group met our birding leader, Charlie Nims. There were the boom piers in the Androscoggin River, the huge ski jump, and Milan Bridge with nesting Cliff and Barn Swallows. At Pontook Reservoir we saw our first Bald Eagle, some Ring-necked ducks, and a wonderful marsh. Continuing north there was a Common Loon in the Androscoggin River, and for some a surprise. A young moose raced beside our car, on his side of the fence.

Soon everyone reached Errol, turned right, and found the Errol Motel just past the church. At 5 p.m. there was a Happy Hour in Room 10, then we all went to the church for a wonderful turkey dinner prepared by a team of ladies from the church. After ordering our bag-lunches for the next day, everyone went upstairs for a talk by Dana Duxbury-Fox. Dana has become an expert on the area’s most famous birder, William Brewster, and she talked about his adventures a century ago. Bob Quinn, who has led many trips in the area, gave a short talk about the Umbagog area.

Day 2, Saturday, June 3, 2023, began at 6:15 a.m. with an early cold breakfast at the church so we could reach the high areas on the Dixville Turbine Road by 8 a.m. for the best birding. The elevation is about 3,200 feet; its elevation favors more spruce-loving northern breeding species. Charlie led the four-car caravan first to the road’s end, then we birded back down the road making several stops for special birds. The cool weather was a challenge. Some of the birds seen and heard at the top included Bicknell’s Thrush, Blackpoll Warbler and Fox Sparrow. As we descended our attention also turned to ferns and early flowering plants. We paused beyond the junction for Lincoln’s Sparrow, Philadelphia Vireo and Mourning Warbler.

We ate our lunch at the Dixville Notch State Park, then crossed the road to the beautiful Dixville Flume, a waterfall where Bob gave a short talk on the geology of the Dixville area.

The trip through the Notch was beautiful and soon we left the highway entering the Northern Grasslands, an area of rolling hills, fields, and old farms in some disrepair, Bobolinks and other species.

Soon it was time to return to Errol, our Happy Hour, and a lasagna dinner at the church.

Later some participants headed north on Rt. 16 to look for moose.

At 8:45 p.m. Charlie, Bob, Cliff Cook and Emily Szczypek headed back on the Dixville Notch road for some night birding including getting a picture of a Woodcock and hearing a Whip-poor-will and winnowing Wilson’s Snipe.

Day 3, Sunday, June 4, 2023, began again at 6:15 (early coffee in room 10). We headed west on Rt. 26 to the southern end of Lake Umbagog, the only spot where you can view much of the lake. We then back tracked to Mollidgewock Rd., a dirt road with varying habitats including bogs, eskers and a gravel pit. While we could have stayed here longer, we rushed back for a hot breakfast at 8:00 a.m. We spent a few minutes checking out and packing cars for our trip home.

After breakfast we drove to the Errol Androscoggin Dam on the east side of the river where we had great looks at a Blackburnian Warbler, Spotted Sandpipers, and a family of Canada Geese. Then we returned to Errol and went north for 5 miles on Route 16, to reach a good boreal bog where we saw many bog plants and a Palm Warbler. We paused at the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge eadquarters, and then went still further north to the Dartmouth Second College Grant property and our interests expanded with us checking out plants and ferns as well as seeing a new group of birds.

Just south of the Dartmouth College grant road found us checking a field with bird houses everywhere where we saw an Eastern Bluebird. By noon we were having a picnic lunch in the church and off for the long drive home.

Our trips on Saturday and Sunday were greatly enhanced using walkie talkies that each high clearance vehicle in our caravan had. These were donated to Dana by a participant from last year, Moe Molander.

Thanks to Charlie for his great birding leader skills and keeping the eBird lists. As a group, from Gorham, we saw a total of 84 species including 18 species of warblers. The link to Charlie’s eBird trip list summary from Gorham is included below. Also, so is the link to Groups 1’s Google photos. Please add yours. They bring back some wonderful memories. I just want to note that the two combined trip lists saw a grand total 127 species. Amazing that each had do many different species.

This was our fifth June trip to the Umbagog area, and we found it amazingly cold, damp and troublingly devoid of bird song. Let’s hope it was just the weather. Please refer to my “Areas We May Bird” for descriptions of where we birded and maps of the areas. You were all great sports and lots of fun to be with. May our paths cross again soon.

Dana and Bob

The e-Bird Trip Report details for June 2-4:

Everything you’d ever want to know about eBird trip reports:

Google Photos: