The Quiet Corner is loaded with lakes, ponds, farms, and forests. For this reason, my first stop was to The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret. I was able to get a lot of helpful information with the free brochures that were available. The staff and volunteers at the center were also very helpful in providing me with information beyond what was provided in the brochures.
As I was standing in front of the Audubon Center, I saw a hawk perched on a nearby antenna . At first I thought it might be a fake bird set up as a practical joke to trick people but closer inspection revealed a Red-tailed Hawk taking in a birds eye view of the area. During my visit I saw numerous Red-tails. You know the saying a car for every garage. Around here it should be a Red-tailed Hawk for every farm field!
My favorite birding moment of the weekend was my sighting of this female American Kestrel. The sign at the Bafflin Nature preserve that stated kestrels usually return to the area some time in April so this one was a little ahead of schedule. As you may notice, the box on which it is perched is not an American Kestrel Nestbox. I was disappointed when the it flew off because I was hoping to get closer for a better photo but...
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My disappointment quickly disappeared as the kestrel put on a thrilling aerial displays! I have seen kestrels hover hunt briefly on a couple of occasions but never like this one did. She flew up into position and hovered in one spot for as long as 45 seconds at a time while searching for prey below. This video doesn't fully capture the moment but it gives you an idea of what I witnessed. Half of the video has been edited out so that I could upload it onto the blog. I also muted the audio because the sound of the wind was too loud.
I was on my way to get some lunch when I noticed this unusual building with a sign that read Celebrations Gallery When I passed by this building my curiosity got the better of be so I pulled in to take a closer look. Inside there were very large rooms filled with bright, colorful paintings and interesting sculptures. I'm not one to spend a lot of time admiring art but I couldn't help but be impressed with what I saw.
I had lunch at the Vanilla Bean Cafe. Their philosophy is to never compromise on the quality of the food. They try to use locally grown products from the numerous farms in the area whenever possible. I really like the idea of using locally grown products. It's nice to know where your food came from and I'm sure the local farmers appreciate it too. I had half a veggie sandwich on homemade bread and a cup of clam chowder. Everything in the sandwich was so fresh tasting and flavorful too. The clams in the chowder were nice and tender with a broth that was somewhere between Rhode Island and New England style. The dining area was very relaxing with wood floors and high ceilings that made it feel very roomy. The dining area is decorated with the paintings of local artists and the cafe features musical entertainment on a regular basis.
In my next post, I'll tell you about the rest of my adventures in the Quiet Corner including a visit to an interesting nature preserve which was the former homestead of a Pulitzer Prize winning author and naturalist-any guesses on who that might be?
Click: here -to read Birding Connecticut's Quiet Corner Part 2