I have found a new place to count birds when I go to Connecticut. A few weeks ago as I was travelling west on Route 2 from Norwich towards Colchester I saw a huge flock of water fowl alongside the highway at exit 23. I immediately pulled of the exit and onto the side of the road where I identified and counted hundreds of Canada Geese. Mixed in with the geese were a few mallards and my first American Coot in Connecticut. Since that time I have kept an eye on this spot, so when I was on my way home on November 18th I drove up Old Route 2 to try and find an easier access point to the river with a good view of the geese. I drove all along the village of Firtchville and down every little side street, but there was no place to park near to where the geese were resting.
I finally parked in the commuter parking lot right off the exit, then walked down the street and across the road to the west end of the bend in the river. From there I had a decent view of all the birds. I estimated there were 500 Canada Geese as well as 8 Mallards, 6 Hooded mergansers, 2 Coots and 2 American Crows.
On the gray day before Thanksgiving I spotted this Red-tailed hawk sitting in tree next door overlooking my backyard. I do not know how long it was there for but it stayed almost until dusk watching birds and squirrels and me.
On Thanksgiving morning I found it hard to get anything done as Andover’s Feaster 5K was happening right outside my front window! Apparently this is such a popular road race that they cap the runners at 10,000! That’s right, 10,000! I had 10,000 people running right past my front yard. I went in and out of the apartment several times to watch and take pictures. What started out as a dribble…
…soon swelled to a floodtide of runners. You can’t even imagine the sounds 10,000 runners make with all that heavy breathing and the plop, plop of foot steps on asphalt. It’s very rhythmic and peaceful in a way, as if the whole world were breathing and running together.
I had a peaceful Thanksgiving Day. My son and his future bride came down with her son and a few other family members. Though I did all the cooking, they did help some and we ate when the food was ready and relaxed afterwards. No pressure, no rush, no pictures! No blogging, no facebooking, no email or phone calls. We just enjoyed each other's company and the food. It was perfect.
As always, it has been a busy month around here with no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. There are Christmas plans to be made, decorations to put up, presents to wrap and mail. While I am still cleaning up from the Thanksgiving bustle today I just need to get out of the house. The weather has been so warm here lately with highs in the mid to upper 60’s and lows at night only dropping into the 50’sF. I can go outside in my shirt-sleeves and not be cold. The weatherman says this November is the 2nd warmest on record. It sure feels strange to me. Still, with rain predicted for later on this evening and reports on eBird of Sandhill cranes being sighted in Newbury, MA, I am setting out to see if I can find them myself. So, I am going In Search of Sandhill Cranes. I will let you know what I find tomorrow!