Return to New Michigan
The Red Crossbill is my arch-nemesis. I devoted more time to looking for this bird than any other species and it has still eluded me. I have looked in places where it is regularly seen. I have talked to people who have "just seen it!" only to find silence when I hustle to the spot. It is my Atlantis, my bigfoot...and I'm sick and tired of it.
The target location for these birds has been the New Michigan State Forest
in Pharsalia, NY. This large forest of white pine plantations and scattered spruce stands has been reliable year-round territory for red (and, often, white-winged) crossbills and was also, coincidently enough, one of the forests that I had to cover in my summer job as a wildlife photographer for the NY DEC
(Resulting in the The New Michigan link, above). It seemed to be destiny.
But it wasn't. I searched the forest looking for crossbills, with good directions from local crossbill experts, FOR 7 MORNINGS without luck. Once I saw a few birds take off from the top of a spruce, I'm sure they were crossbills, but they left before I could identify. Another time, I came upon another birder who was 'just passing through' on her way to Syracuse and had just had great looks at the birds. Still, they eluded.
This is all a long way of saying that I'm going to be back at New Michigan this Sunday. Back, with a vengeance. I'm visiting Kate at Hamilton and Pharsalia is hardly out of the way. I will not be denied. Wish me luck.