[CT Birds] Mansfield Hollow, Mansfield, 4-26-12

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Thu Apr 26 18:40:51 EDT 2012

I hit the "turnip meadows" area  of Mansfield Hollow (off Rt 89) early  
this morning in hopes of finding a mixed flock of warblers and other birds. In  
the past that has been a common occurrence in that spot, But today I was  
disappointed, finding only a Black-and-white Warbler and a pair of Blue-gray  
Gnatcatchers, along with the usual suspects. But I followed the yellow 
hiking  trail along the lake, and happened to look up at a tree in front of me. 
40 feet  away I found a pair of very large eyes looking back at me! It was a 
Great Horned  Owl, the closest and best look at one I've ever had! It sat 
quietly,  allowing me to examine it with my bins, and only when I finally 
moved did it  fly. But it only went about 75 yards to a pine tree and sat on a 
branch,  still in clear view, and I was able to watch once again. Made the  
whole trip worth it!
I went over to the Field Trial area at the opposite end of the park, and  
hiked in to the overgrown fields. On the way in, I had my FOY  OVENBIRD, 
singing loudly and allowing me a good look. Unfortunately the  fields were quiet 
except for several E. Towhees, and I also spotted a  Red-shouldered Hawk 
and a pair of B-g Gnatcatchers on the way out. 
Since the state leveled most of the vegetation in a large part of that area 
 a few years ago they have apparently decided to let it grow back as it  
will. They are no longer mowing some of the old roads and paths that used  to 
go through it, although some are still clear. One in particular was so  
overgrown that If I hadn't known where it was I'd never have been able to follow 
 it. The open fields are growing up fast, with many brambles and invasives, 
 and If nothing is done it won't be long before the area is almost 

Don Morgan

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