Monday, June 1, 2009

These Chicks Were Real Turkeys!

I spent most of Sunday morning exploring the shoreline town of Guilford, which is bordered by Madison, Branford, and Durham. Guilford is known for its many historical buildings, but I was more interested in finding some potential birding spots. There are plenty of hiking trails to explore, including some that take you around open marshland. I walked part of a marshland trail where I heard a Marsh Wren calling. There were plenty of Red-winged Blackbirds, egrets and a pair of Osprey there. I found this Wild Turkey hen with her poults (chicks) feeding in a grassy area near a yacht club of all places. I think that I counted about 8, but they were camouflaged fairly well. The birds can't fly when they're very young so the mother roosts with them on the ground until they're old enough to fly up into trees to roost.
I noticed a sign that was for public access to Long Island Sound and followed it. It brought me to the town marina. I quickly counted at least 60 Ruddy Turnstones there, but the total number of them was probably closer to 90. They were picking through the grass and muddy bank looking for food. After a while, they flew to the other side where they tried to live up to their name by leaving no stone unturned. I read that besides eating what they find under rocks, they have also been known to eat a variety of other things, including the eggs of some terns.

It's always nice to find new areas to access the Sound from land. A lot of the Connecticut shoreline is lined with cottages in private neighborhoods. I remember a few years back when my father and I were in a 14 foot boat fishing in the Sound. The wind picked up quickly and the average wave height increased to about 4 feet. We were quickly getting pushed farther away from our boat launch and couldn't get back because of the strong winds. We grounded the boat a couple of miles from where we started on a strip of a private beach. Within minutes, someone came running out to check on us. It wasn't our safety he was concerned about. He just wanted to let us know that our boat was on private property and that we needed to move it. What could I say? "Pardon me sir, can you pass the Grey Poupon"?
Another bird that I enjoyed watching at the boat launch was this Barn Swallow. I think it was nesting somewhere in this beam.
It would occasionally fly to the other side of the dock to keep an eye on me making sure I didn't steal any of its insects.
I saw 2 signs for the Lone Pine Trail on Route 77 as I was heading back towards Durham. I only walked up part of it, but plan to return at another time to hike the entire trail. I found these cool boulders..
..... and some kind of toad-(the toads are the ones with bumpier skin compared to frogs-right?).
Feel free to identify it if you can.
I was done for the morning and was heading back home when I passed by this sign and said to myself-"What did that say?" I just had to turn around and go back. The sign was on a barn that was set on a large piece of property with a large old-fashioned house. It said what I thought it said; but what did it mean? Could the name of the family actually be the Insultings? That would be hard to believe. Do workers live on this farm and have to put up with a lot of negativity from the owners? Is this a Bed & Breakfast where people with big egos go so that they can be brought down to earth by the innkeepers? Is this an estate owned by a sharp-tongued comedian like Don Rickles or Joan Rivers? Maybe it's just some people with an quirky sense of humor who put the sign up to make people wonder, like me!
click to play
Maybe the Turkeys know the real story behind Insulting Manor.

20 comments:

Kallen305 said...

Larry, love the young Wild Turkeys. Who'd of ever thought they were all that small once. ;o).

I can't get over the number of Ruddy Turnstones you saw. I would die just seeing one let alone 60! Sounds like a fun trip and love the Grey Poupon quote (classic Waynes World) and the sign.

Jayne said...

How funny Larry! I'd be tempted to go knock on their door just to find out! Love seeing the cute poults!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I can't getyour video to play. I'm probably caffeine challenged today. I love turkeys. I've never seen such tiny poults. It sounds like a wonderful day.

Whitemist said...

Turkeys! I once say a covey (?) of them at twilight along a dirty path and for all the world it looked like dinosaurs in the fading light. big and little. It was a sight not to forget.

NCmountainwoman said...

I see wild turkeys frequently, but I have never seen little ones. Great video. Thanks

Larry said...

kallen-I've never seen that many turnstones either-usually I might see just a few so it was quite a sight for me.

Jayne-Don't give me any ideas-I was thinking about doing something along those lines.

Lynne-It will only play if you drink four cups of shade grown coffee first.

Whitemist-You painted a nice visual picture of those turkeys at twilight-I can visualize that.

NCmountainwoman-the little ones seems to blend in-first time I've seen them that small in the wild too.

Carol said...

I love the wild turkeys. I just spotted 3 hens and a dozen little ones just a few hundred feet from our place. I used to have 10 that came to the feeder everyday. Maybe they'll be bringing the little ones in.

www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

Wanda said...

Thanks for your visit and comment at my blog...We have wild turkey, but I have yet to see any poults that young, so I really enjoyed the video.

dAwN said...

Those turkeys are noisy little critters!

Interesting sign..maybe it was an insult to call a barn a manor..

looks like you find allot of great places to bird in your area..

sorry you cant join us in june.

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness! I love your video of the mama turkey and her babies. They are adorable... Nice Barn Swallow photo too (I love their coloring). That sign is hysterical...

Ruth said...

I learned a new word..Poults. Wild turkeys have done well in Ontario since some American birds were reintroduced a few years. Ours had been killed off. I think it is strange that they roost in trees.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

You crack me up...Too funny! We have been freaked when hiking (more than once) by a turkey roosting who sees us and freaks.

Chris Petrak said...

wonderful post - thanks

Larry said...

Carol-That must be a nice sight to see them come to your feeders.

Wanda-your welcome-glad you enjoyed the video.

dawn-Maybe someone in CT who knows the people that own the property will let me know what its all about.

Kelly-I agree-Barn Swallows do have nice coloring.

Ruth-They make a heck of a racket when they come out of their roosts and land on the ground like cannonballs.

Warren & Lisa-Did you ever hear them land on the ground after coming down from the trees?

Patrice said...

Your sense of humor is most welcome today! (And every day)

Susan said...

Love wild turkeys so was quite intrigued to see a post about poults (did not know they were called that until your blog). My husband and I traipse around that neck of the woods frequently - it always seems borderline criminal to me that waterfront property is privately owned (and vigorously guarded!) so the rest of the world cannot enjoy...maybe we could start a campaign - Free the Beaches! :)

Chris said...

Hi Larry,
Excellent post, I love the shot of the barn swallow. I saw one lost in Iceland (north) last week. Can you believe it??

Mary C said...

Larry, that was fun virtually walking along with you. You certainly saw a variety of flora and fauna (and architecture ;o)) I really like your barn swallow pix - I got some shots of barn swallows, too, the other day, but it will be a little while before I can post them.

mon@rch said...

Those Turkey Babies are adorable and I really loved the video!

matthew houskeeper said...

Chaffinch Island Park (not really an island) is another nice spot in Guilford.
I am always interested in place names, and it would be interesting to learn the origin of Insulting Manor.