On Saturday morning I visited River Highlands State Park in Cromwell. I sat with my back against a tree as I ate my breakfast sandwich and took my time drinking a large coffee. That was my way of making myself keep still. I watched and listened as the Juncos, Tufted Titmice, and Black-capped Chickadees moved about busily in the woods around me. Other birds in the area included: Golden-crowned kinglets, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, and American Robins.
Less than a half hour went by before my patience was rewarded. First, a Pileated Woodpecker landed in the top of a tall tree to rip out a few chunks before flying off. The highlight of my morning was when a Barred Owl (above) which landed landed in a tree about 30 feet away and only about 8 feet off the ground. We sat and looked at each other for the next 20 minutes. I knew that it saw me but did not seem threatened by my presence in any way. It was one of those special moments that will remain etched in my memory.
I spent December and January finding as many species of birds as I could during Christmas counts and Big January. From now until Spring I'm not concerned with how many birds I see, only how well I see them.
There are several short trails in River highland Park which lead you through ravines and streams like this one. The nice part about it is that they all lead you back to the main trail so you don't have to worry about getting lost.
There were good numbers of White-breasted Nuthatches in the park. I never complain about seeing to many nuthatches. I like the way they pose in interesting positions.
I tried to make conversation with one of the local snowmen but was met with a cold shoulder.
He was nice enough to point out the Connecticut River to me. There is a bluff that sits as high as 150 feet above the water and follows the river for a long stretch with continuous views along the way.
Its surprising how comfortable wildlife is around you when you are a visitor instead of an intruder. The chipmunk looked me right in the eye before crawling inside this tree hole.
I'm not sure if this one is happy or sad. I wonder what it would say if it really could talk? I'll bet that trees would have some interesting stories to tell.
I've been struggling to find the time and ambition to post anything lately due to my busy work schedule. I'll probably start blogging more often once Spring arrives. Until then, I'll continue to enjoy my weekend woodland walks while waiting and wondering when the winter will wane.