[CT Birds] Highlights of NHBC Walk at Durham Meadows/Coginchaug River

Stephen Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Thu May 25 07:54:33 EDT 2017

Under clear skies, thirty-five birders enjoyed the avian life and scenery of Durham Meadows and the Coginchaug River on yesterday afternoon's New Haven Bird Club Fourth Wednesday trip.  Our four stops were at the Route 68 skating pond, Frederick White Farm open space, Route 17 South Meadow, and Route 147 at the Durham/Middlefield town line.  The Coginchaug (“The Great Swamp”) flows north from Myer Huber Pond in Guilford through Durham and Middletown and into Cromwell, where it joins the Mattabesset River and delivers tributary flow to the Connecticut River (Wilcox Island, Arrigoni Bridge).  Along the way, it passes through Durham Meadows Wildlife Management Area, Wadsworth Falls State Park, and Cromwell Meadows Wildlife Management Area.  For those who venture into the heart of the wetland, Durham Meadows is a Red Maple-Green Ash-Tussock Sedge swamp of considerable beauty and biological diversity.

We tallied some 40 species of birds, the highlights of which were Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, an ibis species dropping into Durham Meadows (White Farm), three Virginia Rails (two coming into close view at Route 147), Belted Kingfisher, a pair of American Kestrels at their nest cavity (White Farm), Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatchers, Warbling Vireos, Eastern Bluebird, Blue-winged Warbler (Route 147), Swamp Sparrows, and an estimated 16-20 Bobolinks (White Farm).  A pre-walk, solo one hour canoe ride on the Coginchaug at Route 147 produced a pair of Wood Ducks, a sighting of Least Bittern, a calling Sora, a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers, a pair of Eastern Kingbirds, a half-dozen Marsh Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Veery, and Northern Waterthrush on territory.

Steve Broker

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