We made our first stop at a place that I've been curious about for a while, The Creamery Brook Bison Farm. I was pleased to find that there was more than just Bison living on the farm.
I didn't see any signs saying so but I believe the birds in the top photos are Emus. When you look at these birds, it's not hard to imagine that they might be relatives of the dinosaurs. They're kind of cute too, aren't they?
I had to pull back in a hurry when this female peafowl tried to take a peck at my camera. It may not be as showy as the male, but a nice bird to look at nevertheless. The history of the Peafowl goes way back to the time of the Phoenicians.
What would a Bison farm be without Bison? The one on the far right looks like it has been eating quite well. I'll bet you it weighs as much as some of the new cars that I've been seeing on the roads lately.
Another place of interest was the Safe Haven Farm in Hampton. They breed and sell Alpacas. That impressive looking building is their country store. The store wasn't open at the time of our visit, but what we were most interested in was seeing the Alpacas. So what exactly is an Alpaca? It is a domesticated species of South American Camelid that superficially resembles a small Llama. They are specifically bred for their fiber. It looks like this one recently had a haircut.
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We were allowed to take some photos and video footage but visitors are required to be accompanied by one of the workers while around the animals.
We spent the night at Feather Hill Bed & Breakfast. The rooms were very clean and the house was nicely decorated with additional rooms for the guests to relax in. The Innkeepers are Fred and Angela Spring. We enjoyed talking about birds with Fred. He, himself, is a birdwatcher and keeps his feeders well stocked. I spotted a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak while seated at the dining room table. We went to Mozzarella's Italian Grill for dinner. We had Eggplant Parmesan and Fish & Chips. The quality of the food was very good and the prices were reasonable.
We left early Saturday morning so that we could spend some time birding before heading back home. I brought Joan to a place that I had previously visited, Trailwood Nature Preserve. The house you see in the picture was the former home of Edwin Way Teale.
Joan has a pretty good eye when it comes to spotting birds but she does not spend every weekend birding the way I do. I was hoping to point out a few colorful migrant birds that would be new to her. She spotted the Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows on her own. She admired the way the steely blue color of the swallow contrasted with the pure white underside of the bird. We were able to spot a House Wren and Eastern Phoebe near the stream. She was excited when she saw her first Black and White Warbler and I was happy to witness the event. It was cloudy with occasional showers throughout the weekend. This can make it even more difficult to zero in on warblers that can be challenging enough even on sunny days. We took our time slowly wandering about the preserve. There was one bird singing a burry sort of song that sounded familiar to me. After some time, I was able to locate and identify it as a Yellow-throated Vireo (photo -4/08). I saw my first Gray Catbirds and Blue-winged Warblers of the year. They seemed to be abundant throughout the area we visited.
After departing from Trailwood, we continued to head West and made a stop at James L. Goodwin Forest. We had nice views of Eastern Towhees, Black-throated Green Warblers and Pine Warblers there. We were surprised when we ran into our friends Tom, Denise, and their dog Myah. What are the odds of seeing people you know out in the middle of a remote forest? While driving along a road that took us deeper into the woods, we saw a pair of hawks perched in a tree . At first I thought they might be Red-shouldered Hawks but after getting a closer look and hearing their call, I recognized them as Broad-winged Hawks.
Our weekend was a memorable one. We enjoyed the places we visited, the people we met, the birds we saw and most importantly, spending time together in Connecticut's Quiet Corner.