Monday, September 26, 2022

From Atop Of The Old Dump

I remember as a kid going to the old Middletown Dump. It wasn't called a transfer station, a landfill, or a recycling center then. It was just a plain old smelly dump. I do remember seeing all the gulls there. In fact, going to the dump was a form of entertainment for a kid back then before there was cable tv and video games! 

They did bury things in the ground that weren't good for the environment back then (like just about everything). Today, it is kind of secretly open to the public again. There is a gravel path to the top of the hill and I must say, there is a great view of the surrounding hills in every direction!
There is the top of the biggest business building in Middletown. I believe it's called the Middlesex Corporate Center. You can also see the hills well beyond it.
I love seeing Canada Geese in flight making that "V" formation.
In just about an hour I had views of four different species of hawks in flight, Black and Turkey Vultures as well as 2 Bald Eagles!
I also saw the biggest hawks of all known by many as "gas-hawks"!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Migration Time For Hawks

The old saying is "Red in the morning, sailors take warning" We did end up having some storms later in the day so maybe there is some truth to the old saying.
I have been getting out birding with one eye to the sky because there is a major migration of hawks that takes place in mid to late September. In this case, I followed the river at my old stomping grounds along the Connecticut River at Wangunk Meadows in Portland.
Generally you don't see to many hawks in flight until mid-morning when it gets warmer so they can ride up on the thermals. 

I was  out early and finished before 9am but there are other birds migrating this time of the year too. I saw my first Lincoln's Sparrow of the year. They have that fine streaking with a little bit of caramel splashed along the side.
I did encounter a hawk that was perched in a tree. I have a hard time identifying young hawks. I was thinking this might be a Cooper's Hawk but really wasn't sure. Anyway, It's great fall weather to be out bird-watching now!

Monday, September 12, 2022

Stay In The Present And Turn Off The Clock

I've still been going out for short jaunts on Sunday mornings. Being on a short time schedule can make it difficult because you end up trying to see the forest through the trees when you should start by looking at the trees. This reminds me of one of those horror movies when someone is getting chased through the woods but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It hasn't been for a lack of trying. I even broke through an elf fortress looking for birds. 
I took a couple of rides down to the shore which isn't so cheap with the gas prices these days. I was looking for rare reported birds like a Brown Pelican but I seem to be surrounded by herons and .....
brown ducks everywhere I turn. Speaking of terns, I did see a Royal Tern and a Forster's tern while at the shore. Those are two of the less common ones around here. For the next week or 2 hawks will be in the midst of migration with a chance to see big kettles of hawks in the sky as they make their journey.

The next time I go out birding I need to make it count. It's best to stay in the present and turn off that imaginary clock in your mind.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Near The End Of The Connecticut River



I took a ride down to Deep River and Essex. These are two towns that have excellent viewing areas of the Connecticut River. This was the site where 28 American ships were destroyed by British marauders in 1814 (there's a little more to the story than that) 
The next town up is Deep River. There is an old historic passenger train that brings passengers from Essex down to this location.
 You have the option of getting off the train to take a boat ride on the Connecticut river or you can continue traveling further south by train. 
I was there looking for a particular species of tern(Forster's) which had been reported. I had no luck with that but of course, there are always birds to see like Osprey.
Cormorants are also very interesting birds to observe. The summer is going by quickly and fall is approaching quickly!