Birding Bog Meadow Brook
Due to its varied habitat, this trail has great potential
for migrants and residents alike. More intensive birding
could prove this site to host an impressive number of species and may confirm use by some less-common species.
|The Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail is a two-mile trail following an abandoned railway through open marsh, wet meadow, and forested wetland habitats. There is a parking area on either end of the trail and benches and interpretive signs along the way. The diverse habitat, level terrain, and accessible location make for a very pleasing half-day of birding.|
Spring hosts both Rusty and Red-winged Blackbirds, along with Common Grackles which may be found in the marsh areas and wooded edges. Gray Catbird, American Robins, and European Starlings are common throughout, as well as Song and Swamp Sparrows. Baltimore Orioles add their brilliant color to the shady woods. Resident Canada Geese, Mallards, and Wood Ducks can be seen in the open water. They are joined by Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks when the water level is high. When the water is very low, Solitary Sandpiper and Spotted Sandpiper can be seen probing for food in the mud. Warblers found in spring have included Wilson’s, Nashville, Mourning, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Palm, Tennessee and Canada – 22 species in all! American Woodcocks have been seen performing their courtship flights from the trail. Also, American Bittern has been heard in the grassy area 100-200 feet from the north trailhead off of Rt. 29.
During summer Turkey Vultures can be seen soaring overhead. Woodpeckers can be seen and heard throughout the trail; they include Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Pileated, and Northern Flicker. Over the larger bodies of water Tree Swallow and Barn Swallows can be found catching insects in flight. Belted Kingfishers will perch on a dead tree and plunge head first into the water for a meal of fish. Look for both Great Blue Heron and Green Heron while walking along the bog. Also seen during summer are American Kestrels.
As fall approaches American Goldfinch and Cedar Waxwings can be seen flying about. Look for Eastern Phoebes and Eastern Wood Pewees perched on low branches on the water edges. Also be alert for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds making their way south for the winter and Ruffed Grouse which may be flushed while walking the trail. American Tree Sparrows will soon be seen as they move into the area to spend the winter months.
Resident Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, and American Crows can be observed during the winter, as well as other times of the year. As the snow begins to fall, Dark-eyed Juncos join the Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and White-breasted Nuthatches among the trees. In late winter be on the lookout for Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Summary: Plotter Kill Preserve is a nature preserve near Rotterdam, NY. The Plotter Kill, a tributary of the Mohawk River, flows through a very rugged gorge. The forest here contains a mix of hardwoods and confiers. There are three beautiful waterfalls. The Upper Falls is 60 feet; the Lower Falls and the Rynex Creek Falls are both 40 feet.
Start on the red trail near the kiosk. Take the side trail (blue) which will take you to lookouts over the Upper and Lower falls.
Continue on the red trail which crosses the Kill on a foot bridge. You will pass by the Upper and Lower falls. The trail goes down a switchback taking you to the top of the falls on the Rynex creek. Cross the creek here.
If you have ample time, you can follow the red trail to the end of the preserve near the Thruway. There is a cascading waterfall there. I opted to turn around shortly after crossing the power lines for this trip.
Trailhead: Take Interstate 90 (Thruway) to Exit 25A (Interstate 88). Take first exit ramp right after the toll booth. At the light, turn left onto NY Route 7 (East). After about 1/2 mile, turn left onto NY Rte 337 (North). Turn left at next light on NY Route 159 (West). Drive for 3.5 miles to parking area on the right – just past Coplon Rd.
Trail Guides for Plotter Kill Preserve:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Schenectady County Planning Department (518) 386-2225
Westfield woman dies in hiking fall at same N.Y. spot where Westfield teen died
HUNTER, N.Y. — A 56-year-old Westfield woman died when she fell 100 feet into a ravine Friday while hiking in the same Catskills destination where a Westfield teenager fell to his death last month.
New York State Police Senior Investigator Pete Kusminskey identified the woman as Marcie Yates, according to the Register-Star. Kusminskey said Yates fell off a trail near Kaaterskill creek and was pronounced dead on the scene, according to the report.
“They were hiking on a line along the trail,” Kusminskey said. “It was very narrow.”
The report says Yates was staying with two other people at a campground nearby.
On July 27, Westfield teen Ezra Kennedy died when he slipped and fell 50 feetwhile hiking the Kaaterskill Falls, which are fed by the Kaaterskill creek.
Two women also fell and died in the area in the summer of 2014, and public access was restricted last summer while $450,000 in upgrades and safety improvements were made to the popular tourist destination, according to The Daily Freeman.
Backpacking is a fun and enjoyable way to spend your weekend outdoors while getting some exercise. Unfortunately, packs can put quite a bit of strain on the body if they are not used properly. Hauling heavy loads can lead to unnecessary pain in your neck, hips, and of course, your back. Fortunately, there are things that you can do in order to prevent pack strain, allowing you to have fun in the outdoors without regretting it for the next few days.
One of the most common issues faced by backpackers who carry heavy loads is neck pain. Neck pain as a result of backpacking is usually caused by leaning forward while carrying a large load. This causes you to fight against the straps of the backpack, forcing your head into an awkward position often referred to as “turtle necking.” This can cause not only neck pain, but headaches and a bad sense of balance. In order to take the pressure off of your neck, you need to actually keep your head leaned back while you are walking. Leading with your chest instead of your head will take some of the pressure off of your neck. Another thing that you should do is adjust the load lifting straps on your backpack to about forty five degrees. Lower angles cause the top of the pack to pull backward.
Another issue that many backpackers can find themselves confronting is tingling fingers. This is the result of decreased blood flow to the arms. In 2007, the University of California, San Diego performed a study which found that packs with weights as low as twenty five pounds could have a significant impact on blood flow to the arms. This can not only lead to tingling and pain in the hands and arms; it can also make you feel tired and sluggish, give you less control over your arms and hands, and cause your hands to become cold during the winter. In order to prevent this from happening, backpackers should adjust the back so that it puts more weight on their hips instead. In addition, they should put the sternum strap just above the height of their armpits. They should then tighten it so that the shoulder straps are pulled inward. This takes strain off of the veins in your shoulders. Another thing that you can do is use your thumbs to pull the straps away from your shoulders while you are backpacking in order to take the strain off of your shoulder veins.
Finally, backpackers often suffer from hip and lower back pain. In 2008, a study was conducted that used MRI scanners to take pictures of people’s backs while they were carrying packs. They found that carrying only ten percent of your own body weight was enough to compress your lumbar spinal disks. A single hike will only cause some mild nerve irritation and sore muscles, but wearing a pack improperly for decades can eventually lead to chronic pain that will not go away as a result of degenerative back disorders and disc compression. In order to prevent this from happening, you must ensure that the pack’s hip belt sits firmly on top of your hip bone. The pack should be worn in such a way that the vertical bars on the internal frame of the pack should curve along with your spine in such a way that they do not press against your sacrum. The lumbar pad should sit comfortably against the pad of your lower back. Professionals can help you adjust your pack in the store so that it is set up properly in order to prevent back problems. Many stores will do this for free.
It is a good idea to stretch both before and after backpacking. The best way to do this is to stand with your feet apart at the same width as your hips. You should then bend forward, keeping your upper back straight. You should keep reaching until your palms rest on the floor next to your feet. If this causes you to feel uncomfortable, bend your knees.
By following these simple steps you can beat pack strain when you are hauling heavy loads, preventing pain and the possibility of long term problems.
Source The Backpacker