When I posted this second photo, which shows the same bird from a different angle, most people agreed that it was a Cooper's Hawk, although a well fed one. The problem I have with identifying hawks in flight is that you often see the hawks at odd angles or at great distances when the field marks aren't visible. Experienced hawk watchers can identify birds by their wing beats and other means. I was disappointed that I only saw a handful of migrating birds of prey. It seemed like a perfect place to watch them from. When I came home, I discovered that Hartford Audubon had cancelled their hawk watching trip because they had only seen a few migrating hawks at their hawk watching site on Saturday and expected conditions for hawk migration to be even worse on Sunday.
If you live in CT and have never birded at Hubbard Park, I highly recommend it. It's worth the trip just for the views. If you plan to walk to the top I should warn you that it is over 3 miles each way! I probably walked a total of fifteen miles between the two days. If you just want to take in the views or look for raptors, you can drive to the top after 10 am, but I believe the gate closes for the season at the end of October and doesn't open again until Spring.
directions:Meriden Hubbard Park - Meriden, CT: From I-84 to Rte 691 - Take Exit 4 and turn right at end of exit. Hubbard Park is less than .5 miles on your left. From New Haven - 91 North to Exit 17 - Follow .4 Mile to Rte 691 (Waterbury). Take Exit 4 off of Rte 691. Take left off exit. Hubbard Park is less than .5 miles on your left. Park in the lot on the far side of the pond near the playground. walk past the gated main road and underneath the highway bridge. When you come to the split, staying to the left will bring you to Castle Craig and staying to the right will bring you to the radio towers and West Peak.