Spent the past couple days up in the Adirondacks, camping with a friend of mine and of course birding (also getting hailed on during a storm) to target the boreal species I'm still missing - which is to say all of them. I started on Whiteface Mountain, with no shortage of Winter Wrens - had them at both the summit and trailhead 3000 feet lower. Also had some Bicknell's Thrushes, but in classic Bicknell's fashion they never wanted to get all that close or even a look. The Bicknell's were best heard from the same rock we had this view from so not all was lost:
On the way down I got a quick glimpse of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, another one of my targets, most likely visiting a nest. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37853514
We took a midday nap at our lean-to and then began another two hour hike up hoping to see a Bicknell's this time. Instead, about halfway through the hike we hear distant thunder; I look up to see the southwest side of the sky uniformly dark gray and text my mother to see what's going on. She checks the radar and advises we head back down, curbing our chances of seeing Bicknell's but also curbing our chances of getting caught in the storm. Not long after, a piece of ice falls into my hand and realize it's hailing; a few minutes later the trail looked like this:
This morning my friend and I woke up at 3:30 to headed out to Bloomingdale Bog for other boreal treats. It was not more than 5-10 minutes after exiting the car that a couple Gray Jays flew in and investigated us. I took out some pecans we still had, put a couple on my hand, and lo and behold one of the jays landed on my hand and took their snack. The other jay soon followed when my friend put his hand out holding a couple tantalizing nuts.
Since we were a bit pressed for time we moved on, although the jays followed us for a bit. Not long after I heard and located a Black-backed Woodpecker, which gave nice views for about 30 seconds and then flew off. There wasn't too much else of note in the bog; I probably would've had more success if I could have stayed beyond 8:45 but I'll take hand-feeding Gray Jays any day. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37852796