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...