I headed for Connecticut on a bright, but cold New England day in December. Though the calendar says it is still autumn the air has that frigid winter chill about it and though the sun is shining, it is shining with ice in its teeth! I got off the highway in Putnam, CT looking for someplace to watch and count birds, but after driving down the back roads for 20 minutes or more I still ended up at a well know park just off the highway in Dayville, CT.
Owen Bell Park sits at the junctions of state routes 12, 101, and Interstate 395 in Dayville, CT. Comprised of tennis courts, a playground, a skateboard park, baseball fields and a pond, it lends itself well to family activities and indeed I brought my children here to play when we lived in this area over 20 years ago now. The park has changed some since I then. The playground equipment has been updated and improved but the pond is still the same. I like to think that perhaps these geese and ducks are the descendents of the ones my kids and I fed bread crusts to all those years ago!
I pull my coat tightly about me, zip it up and don my gloves. The air temperature reads 25 degrees but I feel much colder as a bitter wind blows over the park. Still, I soldier on and walk the grounds searching for birds. Beside the obvious ducks, geese and gulls on the pond I searched these pines for chickadees, titmice and nuthatches but see not even one.
But then, from the corner of my eye, I catch some motion in this nearby swale and find a sweet pair of Song Sparrows trying to survive this bright but bitter cold.
- Canada Goose 130
- Mallard 7
- Ring-billed gull 12
- Song sparrow 2
However, across the street in the parking lot of Killingly Commons where I went to use the restroom and buy a hot cup of coffee at McDonald’s afterwards I counted some pigeons and starlings along with additional ring-billed gulls. That brought my list of birds seen in Windham County up to 6 species: 5. Rock Pigeon 50, 6. European Starling 50
With another stop at Quinnebaug Lake near Danielson I added 3 more species for a total of 9 species seen today in Windham County, CT.
Windham County Bird List 12-7-10
- Canada Goose
- Ring-billed gull
- Song sparrow
- Rock Pigeon
- European Starling
- Belted Kingfisher
- Downy Woodpecker
- American Crow