Monday, January 22, 2007

The scenic Machimoudus Park in East Haddam Connecticut

Machimoudus Park-(formerly Echo Farm)-is located on route 151 next to Sunrise resort in East Haddam. The 300 acre parcel of land was acquired in 1998 by the DEP for 2.1 million dollars .

Upon entering the park you will see a large open area with two man-made ponds . There are Bluebird houses scattered about in this area. Eastern Bluebirds can be seen here in good numbers throughout the year. I've also noticed a male American Kestrel wintering over in this area for the last couple of years.

As you follow the main trail past the first pond turn left and walk through the woods to the top of the Hill. There is a scenic overlook of Salmon River Cove. The East Haddam bridge can be seen off in the distance. This is a good place from which to search for Bald Eagles in the winter. Gulls and waterfowl can usually be seen in the cove. As you are facing the cove, there is a path to the right which brings you to another overlook at a lower elevation. If you stay on the main trail from here it will bring you back to the park entrance.

There are several other trails to explore. Some of them lead to the Salmon River. In some areas there are stands of Pine and hemlock. As you walk around you will notice that several of the trees have large woodpecker holes . Red-bellied , Hairy, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers-Pileated Woodpeckers are fairly common in these woodlands.

Machimoudus Park is also a great place to search for Warblers in the spring. I counted nine different Warbler species on one particular day last year. You can also find Indigo Bunting , Scarlet Tanagers, and loads of Orioles including the less common Orchard Oriole. It is best to get an early start as this park is a very popular place to walk dogs. If you enjoy a scenic walk while searching for birds , Machimoudus park is definitely worth a visit.

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