I noticed that the Blue Jays were very bold when I first arrived as they were landing just a few feet from me. A closer look revealed that the jays were after peanuts which had been left behind by the previous campers.
The weather was not particularly cooperative during my stay. The daytime temperature was in the 50's but cloudy skies along with very windy conditions made if feel much colder. It also made birding a little difficult but that didn't prevent me from trying. There are several well marked trails in the area that lead to various bogs, ponds, waterfalls, and mountain views. The birds were fairly quiet during my stay but this Black-capped Chickadee helped lead me to a few fall migrants including a Black-throated Green Warbler, 1st winter Canada Warbler and 1st winter Magnolia Warbler. I was able to look at these two long enough in the low lighting conditions to gather sufficient field marks to make the id's on the warblers but gave up on a few others that I saw. Other birds of interest included 2 Brown Creepers, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Common Ravens. I'm betting this will be an excellent birding area in the Spring.
One of the trails I took was called the Busby trail which led me to the top of Spruce Hill which was advertised as a hawkwatch lookout. I only stayed long enough to see a few local Red-tailed Hawks and to take in the mountain views. I had an interesting experience when 100 Blue Jays wizzed by my head on there way to who knows where. The larger hill on the right side of the photo is the locally famous Mount Greylock.You can get views like this just from driving along the main road in the Berkshires. It is a beautiful area but I did noticed that they've been hit hard by the struggling economy. Many of the small stores in the area have gone out of business. Fortunately, a poor economy doesn't affect the beauty of nature.
Most of the migrating Broad-winged Hawks have already moved on. I captured this photo of a Cooper's Hawk at Lighthouse point Park in New Haven as I tried to pick up some more tips from the veteran hawk counters. This bird is showing very little "wrist bend" at the leading edge of the wings and seems to show more of a head protrusion than a Sharp-shinned Hawk would. There are lots of little identification tips to differentiate sharpies from Cooper's Hawks but these tips seem subjective until you have adequate experience with watching hawks in flight (which I don't).
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This video was taken at a place called Tannery Falls. It was a last minute decision to visit this spot before heading back home. There was a safety trail which led you to several waterfalls including this one. It turned out to be a good decison and a nice way to end my camping trip.
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