[CT Birds] Returning Birds, Musings of Childhood and Conservation - Old Mill Road, Bethany

Steve Mayo and Rebecca Horowitz rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net
Sat May 3 23:03:25 EDT 2014

I've been away on business in the Palm Beach area in FL and finally returned last night. I was able to walk the Old Mill Road from Valley Road south, mid-morning, today. Things were slow, at first; 'nothing but the ubiquitous, parasitic Cowbirds.  I began to pick up a few birds as I headed back south, towards Route 63.  

I encountered two male RB Grosbeaks singing like, "Robins with voice lessons".  I pished one of them in, right over my head. It stayed for an eternity, singing away.  It looked exactly like the image in that beautiful 500-piece Don Eckleberry puzzle (circa 1965) that I used to have, as a kid.  That round, white-background jigsaw puzzle, not the Golden Guide, not Peterson, probably first got me so interested in birding.

After a while I walked past the grove of May Apple and all the understory of Barberry, and picked up a FOY Baltimore Oriole, Black and White Warbler, RE Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, 2 Ovenbird, Veery, American Redstart, 2 Wood Thrush, as well as BG Gnatcatcher, 2 Palm Warbler, YR Warbler, Am Robins, 2 Downy Woodpecker, a Red-belly, 2 E Towhees, No Flicker, an overhead RT Hawk, a couple Blue Jays, etc. 

Also, dead-nuts in the middle of this dirt road, lay a beautifully fresh retrix of an adult RT Hawk. In accordance with 16 USC 703, I didn't even pick it up.  

At the end of Old Mill Road, several acres had been clear-cutted.  This was one of only a couple spots in the entire New Haven SBC Circle, where Chestnut-sided Warbler nests.  I always say that I don't do math in public.  But the area of a circle is Pi times radius squared, and the radius of a Count Circle is 7.5 miles.  That's a heck of a lot of square miles.  I know the Regional Water Authority knows more about forest stewardship, than I'll ever know.  Still, it's sad to see that there won't be any Chestnut-sided Warblers to be found there.

There was no Chestnut-sided Warbler on that old Springbok puzzle. I'll still miss it, though.

Steve Mayo

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