My favorite part of the trip was our stay at Claybrook Mountain Lodge, which is a sporting camp that welcomes anyone wishing to hunt, fish, bird, hike, canoe/kayak, bike, snowmobile, cross-country ski, or simply get away from it all and enjoy Maine’s beautiful western mountain region. The proprietors, Greg and Pat Drummond, are wonderful and make you feel completely at home in their rustic lodge. Pat is also the lodge chef and kept us all (12 birders in total) very well fed. We had full early morning breakfasts, bagged lunches meant for picnics but we ate at the lodge each day due to the rain, and delicious dinners complete with Pat’s warm, homemade bread! Greg was our guide for much of our stay and he took us to amazing places to bird. His local knowledge is impressive and his stories about life in the western mountain region of Maine are entertaining and riveting. While the rain kept us indoors for much of our stay at Claybrook that was OK by me. I enjoyed spending time at the lodge, getting to know others on the trip a bit more, kicking back a little, and relaxing. If you are ever in the area and can take some time, I would highly recommend a stay at Claybrook Mountain Lodge. Following are a few photos I took during the Claybrook portion of the trip.
Wilson’s (Common) Snipe on Gilman Pond/Reed’s Road perched on a wooden fence posts!
Greg built this gorgeous, sturdy, classic wooden canoe several years ago.
Pam and I canoed Gilman Pond with Greg. This was Pam’s first time out on the water and she enjoyed every minute. Here she is watching Greg fly-fish.
Black Brook Flowage.
Blue Flag Iris at Black Brook Flowage.
While hiking the Black Brook Flowage path we found a tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet nest. It was made of lichen and nestled in-between Balsam Fir branches.
Several of the gang birding at a logging road bridge.
We watched this Northern Parula weave its nest along side the logging road.
Joan, a birding friend and budding Mycologist, collected several mushrooms to identify.
Sally, the Drummond’s Great Dane, loved the glow-in-the-dark Frisbee.
One of four cooperative Gray Jays along Boy Scout Road.
Moonrise over Saddleback Mountain as seen from our cabin on our last evening in Maine.
Northwestern Maine is one of my favorite places to visit - rain or shine – and I Thank my dear friend Eddie for leading his birding trip there each year! He puts his heart and soul into organizing and running the trip and each year is a bit of an adventure. Mark and I usually help Eddie behind the scene and we often start thinking about next year’s trip soon after the current year trip is over. Yes - we are already talking about the 2010 Rangeley Lakes and Western Mountain Region trip! Despite the weather for 2009, we had fun, saw great birds, got out in-between raindrops to hike and paddle , and enjoyed the company of old friends and new. A fine way to spend a summer 'rain'cation!