[CT Birds] Pine Grosbeaks & Northern Shrike
JSWorkman at aol.com
JSWorkman at aol.com
Sat Dec 29 20:47:04 EST 2007
I drove up into NW Connecticut from New Jersey to try (again) for the Pine
Grosbeaks -- and finally got some great views.
At Norfolk (ca. 9:45 to 10:45AM): Birds there most of that hour, with some
flying in and out of the treetops, a half dozen or so lower in the crab apple
trees, and a few also getting grit off the roadside. Not easy to count, but
at one point there were definitely 17, including 5 males. If you're going to
try for this species, Norfolk is the place to go first.
Then only 4 or 5 miles away, I found 8 more Pine Gros (including 2 males) at
the corner of Bunnel Road and Rte 182A (this is the crossroads with the
Colebrook Center Volunteer Fire Department building). Birds were in the tops of the
pine trees, on the wires, and in an old apple tree (with fruit) across the
road from the fire dept building.
At few miles further, in Colebrook, at the intersection of Smith Hill Road
and 182A, I got good looks at a lone female Pine Gros in the top of tree (the
rest of the flock flew off as I pulled over, so I was unable to get a full
Then a little later (11:45AM), 9 Pine Grosbeaks (including 2 adult males)
landed in a high maple on Laurel Way (Winchester) about 100 yards off Platt Hill
Road. They were eating the maple buds (which I hadn't expected). Good scope
views before the local constabulary (a Blue Jay) chased them away.
Seeing 35(!) Pine Grosbeaks before noon made me feel a little like a gambler
on a roll, but the streak didn't last. I found no more PIGRs, even though I
did check out several other places where they'd been reported on this listserv
(many thanks to all who posted!!).
For the record, here are some of the places I went and what I found.
Riverton: NORTHERN SHRIKE, behind the Hitchcock Chair Factory on a small
tree overlooking the river (I was looking for the Bohemian Waxwing that had been
reported there: no luck). Also, 4 wild turkeys attempting to cross the
Goodwin Dam: Perfect place for an eagle or a loon. But all was quiet and
Returned to Norfolk (1:50PM) to take advantage of the full sun (the morning
had been foggy): But no birds for me at that time. I was still on my
personal quest for "The Big Lebowski" (Le Bohemian Waxwing) so I didn't hang around,
but the ever-patient photographers were there and waiting.
Canaan: One single Cedar Waxwing. I've rarely ever seen a Cedar Waxwing
without at least 3 or 4 of its compadres, but there it was. Solo. Absolutely
refusing to look like a Bohemian, no matter how much I encouraged it. Three
Black Vultures were circling overhead. (I do not believe in omens).
Housatonic River Road (south of Canaan): Ring-necked Pheasant (male) on the
Under Mountain Road (south of Canaan; north of Goshen): no luck for me here,
but some of the crab apples showed definite signs of PIGRs. No sign of "the
Dude" (Boho Wax) either.
Ashley Court (West Goshen): no PIGRs here when I briefly stopped by, but two
very stalwart CT birders were at their posts waiting.
Best wishes and good birding,
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