[CT Birds] Yale Forest
Mntncougar at aol.com
Mntncougar at aol.com
Mon Apr 24 21:15:52 EDT 2017
Glad to see you're interested in Boston Hollow and the Yale Forest. Here
are some directions and information about it.
The Yale Forest is owned by Yale University and managed by their School of
Forestry (not the full name). It is open to the public and the accessible
roads are town roads of Ashford, Eastford and Union. Boston Hollow and
Barlow Mill roads are dirt but very easily passible with any vehicle.
If you are coming from I-84 south, take exit 72, Rt 89, Ashford-Westford,
and follow Rt 89 South. Note a sharp left turn at a stop sign with a
flashing light. You will come to a 2nd stop sign where 89 makes a sharp RIGHT
turn. Straight ahead at that intersection is the beginning of Boston Hollow
Road. It becomes dirt in about ¼ mile. Follow birding directions below.
If you are heading north on I-84 take exit 71, Ruby Road. Head northeast
(left) from exit 71 on Rt 320. Continue straight where Rt 320 goes left over
a bridge and you will be on Turnpike Rd. Follow it until you Come to Rt 89
at a flashing light. Follow 89 to the next stop sign, where 89 turns
right. Go straight ahead onto Boston Hollow Road. Follow birding directions
If you are on US Rt 44 east go about 1 mile past the junction with Rt 74,
to the first traffic light at Rt 89. Take 89 north (left turn) and go
roughly 4 miles (a guess) until you come to a stop sign. At that point 89 goes
sharp left, but to the right is Boston Hollow Road. Take it and go about 1/4
mile, to an intersection where a paved road (Eastford Rd) goes right and
Boston Hollow Rd turns to dirt and is straight ahead.
>From 44 west turn right at the light onto Rt 89 and follow the above.
>From the Willimantic area and south follow Rt 89 off of Rt 195 out of
Willimantic and follow the above when you cross US Rt 44.
Start birding right where Boston Hollow Road turns to dirt. There are
swamps on either side of the road there and that location can be a real hot
spot. There is no spot that does not potentially have birds. I strongly
suggest that you stop frequently, shut off the car and look and listen. You can
get out and walk too, of course, but Boston Hollow is a steep, deep and
very narrow valley, and a car makes a great blind. For most of the way there
will be a narrow swampy area on your left. Pay particular attention to the
wet areas. Pull as far to the side as you can when stopping. Traffic is
quite light most of the time (a little more on weekends).
When you reach a small wooden bridge you have reached the end of Boston
Hollow Road (1.8 miles). 100 yards before the bridge there is a left turn.
(Barlow Mill Rd; no sign but you can find it on Google maps, along with the
rest of the area). Because it's more open (no valley) there is somewhat
different habitat, but still a lot of birds. The road roughly follows Bigelow
Brook, which flows down from Bigelow Hollow in Union. At about 1.3 miles
the dirt turns to pavement as you cross the Union line, and the name of the
road is then Kinney Hollow Rd. (No sign there).
Just past 2.6 miles the road turns sharply left and uphill, but you can
continue to bird for about another half mile, although some of the land is
private. Be sure to check out the small ponds you will pass between. If you
keep going, eventually you will come to Rt 190, and a left turn will take
you to I-84 at exit 73, if that's the way you want to go. Otherwise turn
around on Kinney Hollow Road and retrace your route.
The birding throughout this area is excellent, but it can be difficult.
Good hearing and knowledge of bird songs is a great advantage. The one thing
I will guarantee is that you will hear far more birds than you will ever
see. If you hear something, stop, shut off the car and wait. You will hear
quite a bit more in a minute or so.
Sadly, I have no high-frequency hearing at all, and can hardly hear any of
the birds naturally. However I have a birders hearing aid called a
Songfinder which lowers the pitch of the calls and allows me to hear them. Before
I got it I didn't often find much in the Boston Hollow area.
Let me know how you make out, and if more information is needed you can
email me directly.
Don Morgan, Coventry
mntncougar at aol.com
More information about the CTBirds