Sunday, December 3, 2017

Boardwalk Built By Reform School Kids In 1978

This sign at the entrance of the Helen Carlson sanctuary caught my attention today. Long Lane started in the 1800's as a school set on farmland for troubled girls. In the 1970's it became a high security reform school for boys.
 The boardwalk and nature trail were built by some of those students as seen listed on the sign.I wonder how those former students are doing today, almost 40 years after this project was completed? Did their lives turn around for the better? Maybe some went into the building/construction trade?
  As more land is developed for commercial projects and housing nature preserves become all the more valuable.
This is not some birding hotspot but does provide valuable habitat for a variety of birds throughout the year.
.........including birds like this Eastern Bluebird (older photo)................

Friday, November 24, 2017

In The Scraggly Brush Of An Old Tobacco field

 I visited an old tobacco field in town. It's hard to believe I worked here as a teen almost 40 years ago.It looks like the old shed needs a touch of paint and maybe a wee bit of duct tape.
This scraggly looking brush pile caught my attention as well as the attention of a few birds.
 I had a nice look at some Savannah Sparrows.
 This one was not as colorful but noticed it had a distinct eye ring. It is a Vesper Sparrow which was a nice find because I don't see many around here.
Of course, I wouldn't want to ignore this male cardinal that was hanging out in the same patch. I wonder if his beak would be shinier had he used his crest?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Birding On The Rocks

 There's a parking space in Old Saybrook at Cornfield park where you are allowed to park for 30 minutes and take in the view. Scoter and loons are among the birds commonly seen on the water here during the winter.
 I followed the shoreline and found a few shorebirds like this Black-bellied plover.
I know that starlings are unpopular among birders since they aren't a native species. I like their markings which remind me of snowflakes.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pectoral Sandpiper At Frozen Fairgrounds

I can never pass by the fairgrounds without having a quick look to see what's around. This morning started out with temperatures in the 20's. That kind of put the kibosh on finding ducks as the shallow skating pond was already frozen over. In fact, there wasn't any birds to be seen except for a brown blob that lloked like a morning dove in the distance.
Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a Pectoral Sandpiper! I didn't see that one coming. A nice surprise for a cold November morning to be sure!