Date: 12/29/20 3:09 am
From: Russ Smiley via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Pine Grosbeaks, Canaan
Chattleton Road, Great Mountain Forest (GMF), Canaan, CT, 28 Dec 2020

Many waited unsuccessfully for most of a cold Monday morning for the
appearance of pine grosbeaks in the large spruces near the GMF Headquarters
at 200 Canaan Mountain Road. However, a few people went into the forest on
Chattleton Road and emerged later to report they had seen a pair of pine
grosbeaks silently foraging on spruces before the grosbeaks flew off east
into the forest.

Stuart Winquist and I decided to walk Chattleton Road. About a mile or so
into the forest, the road forks, and we turned left, then passed an open
plot of land and then a stand of larches. We soon saw motion low to our
left near a leaf-lined puddle: it was a female pine grosbeak. A second
grosbeak was at eye level not far off the road. After a few minutes
watching the grosbeaks fluff, preen, clean their bills, and rest, the
obliging birds flew to the top of a nearby larch to feed on the buds
between the cones.

As we emerged from the forest, we told other birders at the headquarters of
our good fortune to see the grosbeaks, and they, too, decided to walk
Chattleton Road.

The Great Mountain Forest is large, largely silent, and conifers are
literally everywhere. The dirt roads are not smooth, not always dry, and
not straight. There is a map of the forest and its roads and trails at the
kiosk at the start of Chattleton Road. I recommend that people who venture
into the forest either download a map beforehand or snap a photo of the map
that is displayed at the kiosk.

Neither encouraging nor discouraging, just advising...

Russ Smiley
Marlborough, CT
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