I saw this Hermit Thrush while I was at Giuffrida Park in Meriden on Monday morning. It was kind enough to land on a branch and show off his reddish tail before ducking into a brush pile for cover. There was also a Golden-crowned Kinglet nearby which seemed to demand my attention. It was flying from branch to branch at eye level. At one point, it came so close to me that I thought it was going to land on my head. It looked me straight in the eye from a foot away before wandering off into a different section of woods. I also noticed eight Common Mergansers swimming on the opposite shore of the parks reservoir. It's been awhile since I've seen the mergansers and I'm pleased to see that they're back.
One thing I really like about the winter is that the air often seems so clean and crisp . On days like that birds really seem to stand out in such sharp detail. Monday was a day when the trees were covered with ice and the ground was covered by a hard, crusted snow. Large numbers of American Robins were picking at crabapples that could be heard bouncing off the ice as they fell to the ground.
I spent half a day at The Hartford Audubon CBC on Saturday. I saw this American Pipit, along with three others, spending some quality time together on a pile of manure. They were bobbing their tails incessantly as they hopped around searching for bits of food. Pipits are usually hunkered down in farm fields. Watching them play King Of The Mountain made for interesting observation. Probably my favorite sighting on Saturday was that of a Winter Wren . I've heard Winter Wrens singing during the summer but this was the first time that I actually found one on my own.
Nothing is burning in this picture. It's just a steaming pile of mulch reacting to the cold air. I just thought it looked interesting. There was another CBC scheduled for Sunday but it was rescheduled for this upcoming weekend. I'm really looking forward to this one and I'm crossing my fingers that the weather holds up.