Date: 11/14/20 4:20 pm
From: Jim Dugan via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] NW CT, yes it's Eden (pretty long)
To add to Will's and Peter’s posts of scouting the northwest corner of CT now, on Wednesday my wife and I traveled around Falls Village to Norfolk before the steadier rain came in around 2:30. We started the morning on top of Mohawk Mountain then into the magical Black Spruce Bog (2 Golden-crowned Kinglet - in the hemlocks of course). We had our largest Black-capped Chickadee group here with 6 individuals but saw many many groups of 2 or 3 BCCH throughout the day. Continued to Under Mountain Rd then Canaan Mountain Rd to Wangum Rd (3 Raven), some of this borders Great Mountain Forest. Checked the crab apple trees in Norfolk with the ones by the green still holding much fruit and the one by the firehouse appeared almost stripped bare (E. Bluebird pair behind Infinity Hall). Final real stop was Benedict Pond (Pileated). Drove North Goshen Rd home but raining pretty good by then. Our day was actually very quiet and the almost constant light drizzle likely kept many birds hunkered down. Best Boreal species were just a couple Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1 on Canaan Mt and the 2nd at Benedict. Being a dreamer, I played Boreal Chickadee at virtually every sizable conifer plot, especially spruce stands (been doing this up in the NW hills every Nov for many years now) and played Gray (Canada) Jay at many different locations and even Black-backed Woodpecker at a few swamp snag forests. I know I’m really dreaming with these last two, but if you don’t try to find them, your’e never going to know they aren’t there. I’ve found it interesting that some BCCH come to the Boreal call as if they were fireman headed to a blaze while others keep a distance and don’t seem that interested, hormones? local birds as opposed to birds on the move? prior exposure? recent predator interaction?. Most conifers and birch had minimal mast, except gray birch which were few and far between. The spruce however in the Bog were loaded with cones and we were amazed to not find any birds in those tree tops. We did witness a large A. Robin movement with 167 over Black Spruce Bog, 199 on Under Mountain with groups of 10 to 30 at many other locations. Even a day in the rain in the northwest hills of CT is better than most other things I can think of spending my time doing. Jackie and I plan to hit Bear Mountain tomorrow and walk to the huge stone cairn. I know I get one bar on my cell there just in case a dream comes true.

Jim Dugan & Jackie Eaton
New Milford
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