Note: The original concept for BirdingBoomers.Com was to find and share information about parks, refuges, birding hotspots, and public gardens that offer opportunities to see and enjoy wildlife and birds but are also more easily accessible to those people who have disabilities and physical limitations. So I am a retired “baby boomer” but I also suffer from osteoarthritis having had both knees replaced and more back pain than I ever want to share with anyone. I loved being outdoors but I found that I could not keep up with the others in the birding clubs or on garden tours. I was always lagging behind and missing all the action. I found myself seeking out places where I could bird safely without having to hike long distances through rough terrain at sites with minimal facilities. I started looking for places where pathways are flat and paved and where there are benches for resting and indoor facilities to make rest stops a little easier. But I also look for birds and foxes and deer and squirrels and flowers and all things natural. My search continues…..as I go, it is my plan to share the information with others who might also find that there are wonderful spots where you can get out and enjoy nature in spite of all those aches and pains. As such, my reviews of birding hotspots and gardens and wildlife parks and refuges are geared towards how accessible a site may be and the amenities available at the site (i.e., indoor bathrooms) rather than how many birds I add to my life-list or how many miles I trekked in search of a rarity. There are numerous birding blogs and websites that provide very detailed accounts of birds located and how best to “bird” but very few that address accessibility issues although I am finding that quite a few parks and refuges are beginning to build accessible boardwalks and visitor centers.
With this blog post, I am connecting up my blog to the main site at BirdingBoomers.Com so that you can find the reviews at either webpage. In the future, I will add a short blog like the one below and a link for any site reviews that I add to the main website as they are published. Your comments, suggestions, and ideas to make BirdingBoomers better are always welcome.
REVIEW: Youghiogheny Dam/River & Lake
Normally I would not have thought to review the site of a dam in terms of places to go birding. I tend to think of wildlife refuges and parks before I think of dams when I am going birding. Of course, lakes and rivers do attract birds but you just do not think of heading out to a dam to do a little birding. But you should because birds are exactly where and when you find them. Where you have water, brush, food sources, you can find birds. And we found good birds while meandering around in the Laurel Highlands in western Pennsylvania in August 2013. As I discovered on that trip, dams and reservoirs can be great for birding and enjoying nature especially if the sites are developed and managed for recreational purposes. We did not take time on our first visit to fully explore the surrounding area but, no doubt, we will spend a little more time here on future visits to the Laurel Highlands. To read the complete site review, continue reading here!