[CT Birds] Newington: Cedar Hill Cemetery trifecta

John Weeks aerie.john at cox.net
Tue Jan 31 13:05:40 EST 2017

On a tip from Bill Asteriades, I raced down to Cedar Hill Cemetery in hopes of finding a Red-breasted Nuthatch, one of the species that have eluded me all January.  I arrived at 10 AM, with snow predicted and clearly in the offing.

I found a RBNU right where Bill said he and others had found three recently, near the J.P. Morgan "Ark of the Covenant" monument.  No sooner did the nuthatch go silent, than a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker called.  I walked towards the sound in hopes of seeing the woodpecker, but was distracted by a raucous group of crows in a stand of trees.  Figuring they were harassing a hawk or owl, I "marched towards the sound of the guns."

I didn't get far.  The hawk burst out of the trees and rushed past me, nearly overhead.  It was a juvenile Northern Goshawk.  The ID is positive (I ran a hawk watch in western Massachusetts for 17 years).

I went back to looking for the sapsucker, and soon got a splendid view of a dapper male.

The Goshawk was my 75th bird of the month, matching the goal of the Hartford Audubon Society's "Big January Challenge".  What a bird to finish with, on the last day of the challenge and with snow just starting to fall!

John Weeks
North Granby

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