Bird Watching Around Lake Carmi
Hear the lake come alive with spring songbirds
No harbinger of spring is more distinctive than the sound of the birds singing at the lake. Whether it’s the flute-like song of our state bird, the hermit thrush, or the old familiar notes of a robin, the lakes and fields of Vermont become awash with music each spring.
For amateur birders, the best place to start the search for birds is by joining a group bird-watch through their local Audubon chapter. As an aspiring birder, you can observe the wildlife from your own camp shoreline with a good pair of binoculars, using online resources to prep for your trip and to help identify birds by sight and by song.
Listening as a loon call breaks the silence of Lake Carmi
Haunting, eerie and unforgettable, the call of the loon may be the quintessential sound of Lake Carmi. While it’s relatively common now, not too long ago these waters were silent, as loons were on the brink of becoming extinct in the Green Mountains. Fortunately loon populations have started to rebound, but the recovery has been slow due in part to disturbances from wildlife watchers.
Boaters should appreciate loons from a distance when loons are on the nest or swimming with chicks. Even adult loons can abandon feeding when boaters get too close. A good rule of thumb is if a loon changes its behavior, actively swims away, or rises up and flaps its wings, boaters should move away quickly and quietly.
Seeing the multitude of colors on the waterfowl
Lake Carmi in the northwestern part of the state is a paradise for birders looking to spot birds of all types – marsh birds, shorebirds, eagles, hawks, owls, woodpeckers, and songbirds all frequent the area. But the ducks and geese truly capture the attention of birders at Lake Carmi.
From the exquisitely colored plumage of the wood duck, to the elusive flashes of color on mallards and teal, to the deep shading of ring-necked ducks and hooded mergansers, Lake Carmi’s waterfowl display spectacular colors.
Paddle nearby in the Missisquoi wetlands
The 6,729-acre Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge at the mouth of the Missisquoi River on northeastern Lake Champlain is truly a wildlife-viewing treasure. In fact, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands recognized the Missisquoi as a wetland of international importance in 2014.
And after a short trip down the Missisquoi, it’s easy to see why the refuge is so special. Paddlers will likely see a variety of wildlife including herons, wood ducks, red-winged blackbirds, beaver, and otters and may even catch a glimpse of a bugling moose or a rare spiny softshell turtle. The refuge also hosts an incredible diversity of habitats, including bogs and floodplain forests.
The best way to see the refuge is by boat, starting at Louie’s Landing on the Missisquoi River along Route 78. Check in at the refuge visitor center or online for seasonal closures enacted to protect sensitive nesting sites.
For more information: http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com