[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 

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