14872
Raquette Lake
Feathers and Flora of the Northern Forest
Discover a birding haven at the former wilderness estate of the Vanderbilts. On expert-led walks through protected woods learn about rare birds, their songs and tips for identification.
Rating (4.33)
Program No. 14872RJ
Length
5 days
Starts at
545
Special Offer
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5 days
4 nights
11 meals
4 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrival and Check-in / Program Registration / Welcome Dinner / Orientation / Introduction to Sagamore
Raquette Lake, NY
D
Sagamore

Activity note: Check-in: Available from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00-6:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In Camp Sagamore’s Dining Hall, centrally-located in the middle of camp, the dinner buffet offers a changing variety of choices including salads, a hot entrée (possibilities range from selections such as creamed chicken over biscuits to veggie lasagna, pot roast, spaghetti and meat balls, roasted turkey, stuffed pork loin, or ham); potatoes, rice or pasta; a vegetable choice; bread or rolls; plus beverage choices including milk, juice, coffee, tea, and Sagamore’s pure water. Beer and wine are available for purchase. (Please refer to the FAQ section for further information about meals.)

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. During this session, we will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Birding field trips are planned at times with the greatest likelihood of seeing birds, which may be early morning. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. We’ll begin our educational adventure with an expert presentation on Great Camp Sagamore's history, preservation, and programs. Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks is the steward of Great Camp Sagamore and is dedicated to its use for education and interpretation.

DAY
2
IBA Field Trip / Evening Program with John and Pat Thaxton
Raquette Lake, NY
B,L,D
Sagamore

Activity note: Today's field trip segments will include walking approximately 2 miles total with several different short hikes to birding areas and other scenic stops.

Breakfast: Early in the Dining Hall. We'll also pack lunches to eat in between our visits to today's field trip locations. Options include cold-cut sandwiches, chips and crackers, cookies, fresh fruit, and juice bags.

Morning: Boarding the van by 6:00 a.m., we’ll depart on a field trip to Ferd's Bog, a black spruce bog, stream and bog pond surrounded by 50 acres of boreal forest, with a representative bird community, including Three-toed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, and Lincoln's Sparrow. We'll also examine some of the bog's unique flora, including numerous wildflowers and carnivorous plants, such as the Sundew and Pitcher Plant.

Lunch: We'll stop at a picturesque location to have the lunches we packed at breakfast.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll arrive at Cathedral Pines, a small stand of old-growth White Pine trees, some of which are several hundred years old. Then, we'll head to another excellent birding area: Brown's Tract Inlet. Here, we'll have a chance to see several of the species that inhabit Ferd's Bog, along with several others, like Wood Warblers, Song and Swamp Sparrows, along with Wood Ducks, Common and Hooded Mergansers, and Common Loons.

Dinner: In the Dining Hall.

Evening: Gary Lee — our lead birding instructor and co-author of “Adirondack Birding” — is also an expert on loons and a founder of the Adirondack Loon Project. Learn everything you wanted to know about the region’s Common Loon in a fascinating and entertaining presentation.

DAY
3
Sagamore Birding/ Explore Great Camp Sagamore / Loon Lecture
Raquette Lake, NY
B,L,D
Sagamore

Activity note: The camp is a 15-acre compound, with a wide variety of habitats. Terrain is slightly rolling, sloping gently up from the shore of Sagamore Lake. For optional early morning birding on the Camp Sagamore grounds, gather in the Dining Hall by 6:00 a.m., when coffee will also be on.

Breakfast: In the Dining Hall, the breakfast buffet offers a changing variety of choices including a hot dish (that might be blueberry pancakes, egg strata or scrambled eggs, French toast); hot and cold cereal with milk; and a variety of donuts, bagels, and pastries; plus juices, coffee, tea, and Sagamore water.

Morning: The list of bird sightings on this program is extensive and will be included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment. A few of the more unusual include the Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, and Three-Toed Woodpecker. For our first birding field trip, we’ll see what’s in and around Camp Sagamore itself. Gary Lee will guide you in identifying birds — like the many species of warblers common to the area — by both sign and sound. He'll also take the time to stop and identify any flora that are specific to the region, including plants, flowers, trees, and bushes. Remember your binoculars, guide, notebook, pencil.

Lunch: In the Dining Hall, the lunch buffet offers a changing variety of choices including salads (green, potato, cole slaw); sandwich meats, cheeses, breads, and condiments: a hot dish (such as soup or macaroni and cheese); cookies or granola bars; and a variety of fresh fruit; plus milk, juices or lemonade, coffee, tea, and Sagamore water.

Afternoon: We'll take an in-depth look at this “camp” of the gentry — ranging from the stately-but-rustic Main Lodge and private “boys' club” Wigwam, to the whimsical Casino/Playhouse, complete with its own bowling alley — all situated on a peninsula overlooking Sagamore Lake. The remainder of the afternoon is free to enjoy a you like. You may wander around the complex on your own with optional activities such as canoeing, hiking, Mrs. Vanderbilt's favorite game of croquet, or simply relaxing amid the beauty of nature.

Dinner: In the Dining Hall.

Evening: Learn more about birding in the Adirondacks and related issues. In addition to conservation of the Common Loon, Gary Lee is also involved in projects for the protection and habitat restoration of many other bird species. Depending on the year and local sightings, we might also have the opportunity to head out after dinner to see the American Bittern or enjoy the sky dance of the American Woodcock.

DAY
4
Kestral, Hawk & Owl Presentation/Raptors with Mark Manske
Raquette Lake, NY
B,L,D
Sagamore

Activity note: Evening Campfire following Raptor Experience

Breakfast: In the Dining Hall.

Morning: This morning, we'll be joined by Mark Manske, Director of Adirondack Raptors, a raptor rehabilitation facility in the northern Adirondacks. Mark will begin with a presentation on one of several projects he is involved with, including those the Kestral, Saw Whet Owls, and Northern Goshawk.

Lunch: In the Dining Hall.

Afternoon: Mark will then introduce several of his captive birds, the majority of which are in various states of rehabilitation. Though his charges tend to change as birds recover, species Mark might bring include the Barn Owl, Harris Hawk, Great Horned Owl, or Kestral. Here, you'll have the opportunity to see and hold raptors.

Dinner: In the Dining Hall.

Evening: To celebrate our last evening together as a group on this program, we'll enjoy a campfire at our historic Lean-to. Sing songs, roast marshmallows, and listen to loons and owls as they call in the evening quiet.

DAY
5
Wrap-up Session / Program Concludes
Raquette Lake, NY
B

Activity note: For optional early morning birding on the Camp Sagamore grounds, gather in the Dining Hall by 6:00 a.m., when coffee will also be on. Check-out is by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: In the Dining Hall.

Morning: We’ll wrap-up with a review and Q&A session with your Group Leader, and hand out lists of the birds seen on our program. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!