So, you hiked MFBBH this past Sunday (and looked for Bluebirds, and more), … or maybe you didn’t.
Well, three years ago now when impetus by this ST Hike Planner was first identified to plan a Bluebird hike at MFBBH and Monkey Run Trails in Victor, there was no foresight that Spring 2017 would be the season that such would come to fruition. Admittedly, the timing of GVC’s “All About Bluebirds” presentation scheduled for March 2017 at the Riviera Theater in Geneseo, and opportunity to piggyback on this presentation by syncing a ST hike two months later (in May), set the stage in January/February 2017 to plan a May 2017 Bluebird hike for ST hikers at MFBBH in Victor, NY.
Obviously, too, back three years ago or even three months ago, there was no foresight of what weather conditions would be come hike day, Sunday, May 7th 2017. Come hike weekend during a Saturday preview hike, with the wetter than average March and April as wells as early May in 2017, we found the trail conditions at MFBBH & Monkey Run Trails to be, well, “very wet” in two words. And so, an update of such was posted to the Hike Announcement.
Anatomy, as developed, of this targeted hike opportunity for ST hikers: As planning progressed on this hike, it became identifiable as a special hike that Victor Hiking Trails (VHT) also would benefit in offering to VHT hikers, and so a joint ST/VHT hike effort came into being. With both of the Co-Hike Planners being both ST & VHT hikers this seemed to naturally pair the two hiking groups (and of course geography had a major play as well, being that the hike locale is in Victor). And with one added ST Hike Leader (Gene) behind the scenes for this Bluebird hike, who also has ST & VHT hiking experiences and birding experience, a hike in completion was hatched. Add to this an additional birding expert, Richard Ashworth, for this hike, and a superb facility in Butler Cottage situated within MFBBH park for a joint ST/VHT potluck after-hike social and it seemed there was a unique formula for success of this planned hike.
Fortunate that while terra conditions were soggy for this hike, no rain fell on this parade of approximately two dozen hikers, and temps were in the 40s with cloudy skies prevailing (just as predicted in the weather forecast as Sunday approached).
The fast-paced group led by Dave traversed Monkey Run Trails, requiring entrance from Valentown Road approach due to White Brook having overflowed its bank and covering another trail entrance. Most trails were in very good condition and some muddy sections near the creek. The group covered most MR trails in a little over an hour and then did an abbreviated MFBBH hike The slower and shorter “Nature Walk” group led by Richard, a long time member and officer in the Rochester Birding Association and also Burroughs Audubon Nature Club in Fishers, observed and identified many birds, including Bluebirds of both genders, despite the time of day and cool damp weather. Other sighted birds: Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, House Sparrow, Canada Goose, Mallard Duck, Redwing Blackbird, Turkey Vulture, Yellow Warbler, Goldfinch, Catbird Robin Swallow. Some flora observed: Wildflowers – Geranium, Violets, Bloodroot, Trout Lily, Mayapple.
It was noticed that MFBBH contains many Ash trees, and noted that if these succumb to the Emerald Ash Borer their absence will be quite noticeable.
Butler Cottage at MFBBH held the after-hike social potluck dinner, were many tasty dishes were shared among hikers.
So, quite a successful joint ST/VHT event.
Reflecting on the three year impetus for this hike, … overall, lesson learned perhaps, is that a hike opportunity identified can be like wine. Some identified come to fruition only years in the waiting, and no telling for sure how any will take final form.