[CT Birds] Boston Hollow and Yale Forest, Ashford - the nursery is filling up fast!

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Fri Jun 1 20:03:46 EDT 2012

I had 2 interesting observations this morning. I had stopped where I  
usually hear a Northern Waterthrush and several other birds when I saw a truck  
coming, so I pulled over to let him pass. Since I was stopped I shut off the 
car  to sit for a minute and look and listen. Immediately I heard the NOWA 
call once,  and heard a lot of Waterthrush type chip notes. Then I saw 2 
birds chasing each  other around in the brush right across the road from me and 
realized they  were Waterthrushes, and I assumed it was the mated pair that 
lives there. But  they both landed in the (dirt) roadway, ignoring me, and 
began pecking for  gravel. Before long they were less than 10 feet from the 
car. Meanwhile, I was  hearing some soft mewing sounds and wondered if they 
could be from young still  in the nest. But when I took a really close look 
at the birds I realized there  was something different about them, didn't 
look quite like adult Northerns. And  I discovered the mewing sounds were 
coming from them. The streaking on the  breasts looked somehow different, the 
streaks leaving a small white area under  the chin, though not as much as a 
Louisiana, and the usual strong white  line over the eye was very vague and 
hard to see, even at close range. But the  tails were bobbing so there was no 
doubt they were Northern Waterthrushes. It  finally dawned on me that they 
were fledglings! The chasing was sibling play,  not mating behavior.
That was a very birdy spot and while I sat there I heard and saw  the 
Northern Waterthrushes, as well as  hearing a Louisiana  Waterthrush (about 100 
yds down the road), lots of Ovenbirds, at least 2  Canada Warblers, 2 or 3 
Black and white Warblers, 4 or more Black-throated  Greens, 1 Black-throated 
Blue, Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos, (distantly)  a Winter Wren, E. 
Wood-pewee, Crows, and a few of the usual suspects.  
I moved on a couple of hundred yards and as I was going by, the Winter Wren 
 sounded off right in my ear. He was singing a much-lengthened version of 
his  usual song so I pulled over and decided to try and spot him. Several  
weeks ago I saw a pair in the same location, one gathering nesting  materials. 
I walked back down the road and after about 5 minutes of just  watching the 
hillside I saw a bird fly in and land at the base of a big rock. It  was 
right in a little patch of sunshine in front of a hole in the  rocks, and I 
spotted it easily with my bins, but then I got much more than  I'd bargained 
for! It was feeding a nestling, probably not more than a week old,  with 
"fuzzy hair" and a stubby tail less than half full length, pointing  straight up 
in the air! And as I watched, 2 more chicks appeared, as well as the  other 
parent, so I had 5 Wrens at the same time within 2 square  feet.  The 
nestlings were no more than 2/3 the size of the parents,  and If wrens are cute, 
these are adorable! Periodically dad would rear  back and let go with his 
song. I think it was pure joy!
I believe the Ravens left the Hollow last Sunday. The parents were making a 
 ruckus, trying to get their fledgling to go fly with them, and on Monday 
and  every day I've been there since there has been no sign of them. The same 
thing  has happened around the first of June the last three years. I have 
no idea  whether they stay in the general area or perhaps go a little farther 
north. If  they are true to form they will make an appearance again in late 
summer,  although they may not stay. The owner of the new house on Barlow 
Mill tells me  he heard/saw them in the winter, but I wonder if they were the 
same birds. When  I started visiting regularly in mid-March I saw/heard no 
sign of them for  several weeks. 
Today's Ebird list:
Boston Hollow/Barlow Mill, Windham, US-CT
Jun 1, 2012 7:45 AM - 2:00  PM
Protocol: Traveling
8.0 mile(s)
42 species

Broad-winged Hawk  1
Turkey Vulture 1
Rock Pigeon 1
Mourning Dove 4
Red-bellied  Woodpecker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 6
Acadian Flycatcher 1
Least Flycatcher  1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Blue-headed Vireo  2
Warbling Vireo 6
Red-eyed Vireo 20
Blue Jay 2
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Winter Wren   (5 Spotted, 2 adults  feeding 3 nestlings with "fuzzy hair" 
and stubby tails less than half full  length, sticking straight up. Adorable!)
House Wren 1
Veery 10
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 12
Gray Catbird  10
Ovenbird 25
Louisiana Waterthrush 4
Northern Waterthrush  5   (2 juvies chasing each other around and pecking 
sand from the  road)
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 6
Common  Yellowthroat 8
Yellow Warbler 8
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2
Pine  Warbler 5
Black-throated Green Warbler 12
Canada Warbler 1
Eastern  Towhee 12
Chipping Sparrow 20
Song Sparrow 2
Scarlet Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 6
Common Grackle  2
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Baltimore Oriole 8
Don Morgan

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