Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birding Connecticut Forest, Field and Beach WBW

1. chapman falls-kab Chapman Falls in Devil’s Hopyard SP, CT 10-21-11

On Thursday morning we drove through fog and rain to Hartford, CT to be with my Mom while she had surgery. After spending the night with my mother we waited for my sister to arrive the next morning, then off we went in search of birds with Mom’s blessing. I drove Kathryn past Lake Hayward and down to Devil’s Hopyard where we stopped at Chapman Falls. the autumn sun shone brightly contrasting perfectly with the blaze of changing foliage. A steady wind blew ruffling leaves and tossing our hair. It kept the birds down, but the scenery was spectacular.

2. kathryn-kab Kathryn in front of the falls. The smile says it all!


3. autumn color-kab Oak Leaves in Devil’s Hopyard State Park

Due to hurricane Irene last month many of the leaves were torn from the trees and many that were left just turned brown and fell off, but we did find color in a few places.

4. cowbirds-kab As we drove down Route 156 towards the coast we passed a firehouse in Lyme, CT with the yard and sky full of cowbirds.


5. egret-kab A Great Egret doing its angel impression.

Once at Hammonassett Beach State park we drove to Meig’s Point Nature Center and parked. From there we hiked out through the woods past the marsh where great egrets greeted us like angels.

6. NOHA-kab Out over the sunny marsh the Northern Harriers hunted. I still like their old name, Marsh Hawk, which seems so appropriate.


7. PAWA-kab Walking back along the tree-lined trail a Palm Warbler popped up on a twig.


8. Brown creeper-kab We took the trail to Willard’s Island and found a Brown Creeper climbing a tree.


9. tricolored heron-kab Tri-colored heron in the pond by Meig’s Point

After our little adventure out on the island where we saw yellow-rumped warblers, the brown creeper, and numerous chickadees we headed for Meig’s Point proper. there in the pond by the parking area a Tri-colored heron hunted.

10. look at those feet-kab Just look at those feet!


11. stepping out-kab Stepping Out


12. searose-kab We walked along the ocean trail dotted with sea roses, trying to get close enough to the sandbars where we had seen peeps from a distance at the viewing platform in the woods. As we emerged onto the sandbar we were stopped by a sign which forbade passage any farther along the trail due to it being sensitive nature habitat. We were a bit discouraged but, as we turned back a flock of dark geese came flying low across the water. A look through the binoculars got me excited for I knew Kathryn was about to get her first ever look at Brant! It all happened so quickly that I didn’t even have time to take a photo!

13. gull-kab Herring gull on a rock at the ocean’s edge.


14. merlin-kab Merlin in the sky

As we neared the parking lot again a small and swift raptor flew by and landed in a distant tree. We tried to view it through the scope and with our bins and I took a few photos in the poor lighting but from what we saw and observed I believe it was a Merlin. The bird seemed to have a black and white barred tail and the dark mustache of a Merlin. It was quite small, though from this photo it does not look that way.

15. sanderlings-kab Sanderlings on the beach.

We headed for the open ocean next where the beach faces Long Island Sound. There I paused when I saw a flock of peeps mixed in with some seagulls. At the far edge of the flock I spotted two ruddy turnstones. I pointed them out to Kathryn, then tried to get a bit closer for a better shot.

16. gulls n peeps-kabAs I did, a woman and her child came rushing past me saying, Oh, I can get them closer for you!” As they charged forward the whole flock took flight. they started tossing bread crumbs or crackers to the seagulls who gathered around them noisily. And while the sanderlings landed again on the beach, the turnstones were no longer to be seen. Some people are just too helpful!

17. laughing gull-kab Laughing Gull at Hammonassett Beach 10-21-11

As I scanned the gulls along the sand I was delighted to find a few laughing gulls in the mix. I pointed them out to Kathryn and she recorded yet another Life Bird. Though the black hood of summer has faded, you can still see the bit of red in the beak of this bird in its winter plumage.

18. sands-kab As the sun dipped low in the western sky Kathryn and I packed up our gear and headed home. We contemplated taking the drive all the way up I-95 just so she could say she had been in Rhode Island, but decided against it as it was already getting dark and we were quite tired and ready to be home. Still, in less then 3 days Kathryn had already been in three of the six New England States!

19. kathryn-kab Kathryn Kelley in front of Chapman Falls.

World Bird Wednesday


  1. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. Wow! what a fantastic place to visit.. beautiful scenery with wonderful autumn colours and your images of the wildlife are stunning.
    A lovely post.. thanks for sharing.

  3. You are one excellent bird guide Kathie.

  4. What a fantastic selection of birds.
    I think I'd be smiling too.

  5. Wonderful shots, I love your brown creeper shot. They are such busy little birds. Looks like you had an amazing time.

  6. Hi Katie...Wonderful images..on what looked to be a fabulous day : }
    Great bird images and I have to favorites ..the Egret in angel garb...and the Tree Creeper!! : } Kathyrn looks like she enjoyed !


  7. Enjoyable post, Kathie, and marvelous pictures of a wonderful day! The Tri-colored Heron is spectacular!

  8. Fantastic photos, Kathie! The colors are awesome! Great job!

  9. Lovely shot of the Great Egret Kathie.
    Its also a real birding pleasure to see a flock of Brant flying over. (or Brent as we call their cousins)
    That was a lovely Texan Bird you shot as well.{;))

  10. Your protege is a luck woman to have such a wonderful tour guide. I hope your Mum is coming along well! You seem to have all the luck with your wanderings, finding all the great birds. Wonderful post Kathie, thanks for taking us along!

  11. Great series of photos. The birds are beautiful and the colors of the fall leaves are amazing. Nothing like that in the tropics!

  12. Katnell, indeed we did!

    Gary and Boom, thanks!

    Andrew, thank you! it was such a fun day, though a bit windy and chilly!

    Gaelyn, perhaps one day we will meet and I can show you some birds and you can guide me around the Grand Canyon!

    Holding Moments, now you have made me smile again!

    TracyN, I love brown Creepers and this one just happened to creep into the sunshine for a few minutes!

    Grammie G, I agree with you on favorite pics and Kathryn did have a great time! We both did! I have only birded at Hammonassett a couple of times myself but always come away with tons of birds.

    Hilke, the tri-color was quite a surprise too! I did not expect to see him!

    hey BJK, thanks!

    Roy, I see you are on the ball realizing that heron is way off base! Are Brent and Brant the same? I will have to check that out! I think Brent can be used as a guy's first name also but I have never known a man named Brant!

    Springman, I am sure you are quite the bird guide yourself! Me? I am just out having fun!

    Mick, I would miss the change of seasons and the colors. It is spectacular, even in dull years!

  13. What a great day of respite for you and your sister. I hope your mother is recovering well. I remember well how my sister and I cared for our mother,
    What a lot of wonderful birds birds and I love those great feet.
    Glad you were able to show Kathryn Kelly a couple of lifers.

  14. love that you caught the brown creeper! and that tri-colored heron is spectacular!

  15. lots of great birds in this post! I always love to see creepers, and that tri-colored heron is awesome!

  16. what an awesome post!!!
    your pictures are GORGEOUS! all the birds...and foliage...the colors so bright & CHEERY!! just what i needed! i love the waterfall...and the great egret! wow!! i wanna go back there!! :)

  17. Fabulous post! Such a great group of beautifully photographed birds.

  18. Arija, thanks for your kind words. We have a long road ahead of us regarding Mom. Her cancer is worse than expected. Still, Kathryn and I did have a fun day. Kathryn was a big help and a support for me and my mom. I hope you and the prof are doing well also.

    TexWisgirl, thank you.

    Pat, I love the surprises of birding!

    Laura, you are are exuberant today! :-)

    bailey road, thank you!

  19. Hi Kathie

    It looks like you and Kathryn had a pretty successful trip. I loved all the fall colour and your decription of all the shorebirds really reminds me of Beston's The Outermost house.

    All the best.

  20. Great reading about places I'm familiar with.I've camped at D's hopyard on several occasions.Nice job with the brown Creeper! I rarely manage to get a good photo of them because they blend in with the bark so well.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.