Summer Relaxation and Adventure
Watching the lapping waters of the lake from a cottage porch or the town beach is a great way to relax during the warm days of summer. After all, summer is a time for taking it easy and slowing down.
But summer is also for adventure and exploring and anyone in search of birds will want to be out as much as they can be. After all, summer in the Adirondacks is a short opportunity which must be seized.
For starters, lake-watching birders can keep an eye skyward for Fish Crows which have been commonplace around Schroon Lake in recent years. Birders will also want to begin their days in the woods and the position of Schroon Lake is excellent for exploring habitats both to the west and east.
Finding Birds by Heading West
Birders heading west will head further into the Adirondacks where they can explore vast tracts of deciduous forest habitats – complete with Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Black-billed Cuckoos, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Least Flycatchers, Great Crested Flycatchers, Red-eyed and Philadelphia Vireos, American Redstarts, Hermit Thrushes, Veeries, Black-throated Green Warblers, Indigo Buntings, and Blackburnian Warblers, and birders can let their songs lead them along the trails and lakes.
Birders might also want to check out some of the boreal habitats to the west of town – including those in Hamilton County or the string of boreal sites which dot Route 28N as it drops towards Minerva. There the coniferous woods and bogs are home to Nashville, Magnolia, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Blue-headed Vireos, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Gray Jays, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Palm Warblers, Lincoln’s Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and Boreal Chickadees. In many years these forests also attract White-winged and Red Crossbills.
Birders can also use Schroon Lake as a base of operations for exploring the Dix Mountain Wilderness or the southern side of the High Peaks Wilderness – both to admire the view from the peak and to enjoy the birds along the way. Any direction they go, birders can wind on steep mountain trails through a variety of habitats until they climb into montane spruce-fir forest in their quest for Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Boreal Chickadee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Winter Wren, Blackpoll Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, and Bicknell’s Thrush.
Marsh Birds and the Diversity of Late Summer
Other birders will opt for paddling the area lakes, exploring the marshy edges of lakes like Cheney Pond, Rich Lake, or Schroon Lake itself, finding American Bitterns, Ring-necked Ducks, Virginia Rails, Swamp Sparrows, Marsh Wrens, and Green Herons in the process. Some of the biggest and best marshes lie in the Champlain Valley – a short distance to the east and a drop in elevation from Schroon Lake, and interested birders can check out the Champlain Valley website here.