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August 17, 2017 – Palm Warbler

Yesterday we were driving back from Vermont after a short visit with our daughter Marita. To break up the trip (rationalism), I suggested we stop and do a little birding.

After scouring E-bird, I came upon Pondicherry National Wildlife Reservation in Jefferson, NH. Gray Jays, Pied Grebes, and a variety of warblers had been seen recently. So, Ingrid and I punched Pondicherry NWR into Apple Maps and set off.

After an hour’s ride and many back roads . . . Apple Maps brought us to a residential driveway. . that seemed to have no relationship to Pondicherry, what-so-ever.

Next we plugged the NWR into Google Maps, which brought us to a rough access road, next to the Jefferson Airport. We ignored numerous “No Trespassing” Signs, until they began to threaten us with death . . . before we decided we were in the wrong place.

Finally, Ingrid pulled up the directions on the Pondicherry Website, and after a few wrong turns we found the trailhead and kiosk.

Sometimes technology just doesn’t work.

The hike to Cherry Pond was beautiful but pretty much bereft of birds. We ended up hiking for 4 miles over 3 hours and didn’t get our Gray Jay or Pied Grebe. We did startle a Wilson’s Snipe (no photo) and get our first Palm Warbler since April in Texas . . . but it was a bit of a disappointing adventure.

But like much in life, birding is a gamble with no guarantees, and Pondicherry National Wildlife Reservation is a beautiful place. No birding venture is ever a loss.


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