Some Atlas Blocks In The Capital Region that need more attention
As we're coming up on the Big Atlas Weekend, I wanted to highlight some blocks that need more attention in our region and that offer what is sure to be great atlasing/birding. The catskills, southern adirondacks, and the taconics are all very underatlased at the moment, and I'll try to periodically send out suggestions of blocks to visit as the atlas progresses. All three of these blocks have some pretty unique mixes of habitat and a lot of really cool breeding species.
The first block i'll highlight is Lexington CE -- This block includes West Kill, Rusk and East Rusk mountains and half of the spruceton trail up Hunter Mountain - (the actual peak of hunter is in a different block) It's transected by Greene County Route 6 and part of the Devil's Path trail runs through it. There's plenty of great habitat in this block for all kinds of forest birds, but it hasn't been atlased very much at all. Only three species have been confirmed.
Ashland NW (Huntersfield State Forest)
This block, which has not been atlased yet, contains Huntersfield Mountain, the highest point in Schoharie County, as well as almost the entirety of Huntersfield State Forest and a large portion of Ashland Pinnacle State Forest. The Long Path traverses the block, and there are several roads one can bird from as well. This should be great habitat for a number of mid-elevation breeders.
Canada Lake CE - Fulton County is one of the least atlased counties in the state. This block includes parts of several lakes and the Kane Mountain trail and firetower as well as several other trails and public roads. At present zero species have been confirmed, though that will hopefully change after this weekend's field trips. (I'm leading one at Nine Corner Lake at 7:30 AM on Sunday, for more information contact me or see Tom Williams' earlier email to this listserv.) This and other similar blocks in Fulton County, like Jackson Summit CE, are prime atlasing.
Those are three blocks that could especially use your attention this weekend and this breeding season, but if they're too far, you can always atlas closer to home! Head to a priority block near you, or atlas from your home or nearby park.
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