Sunday, May 31, 2015

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Thurs., June 4th at Seth Low Pierrepont State Park.
Entrance and parking is off Barlow Mountain Rd. across from Scotland and Barlow Mountain Elementary Schools.
Meet at 8:30am in parking area.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Tues., May 26th and Thurs., May 28th at
Saugatuck Falls Natural Area in Redding, CT.
The entrance is located between
mail box # 65 and 73 on Diamond Hill Road in Redding. Follow
straight in until you see the large sign (entrance marker) on your left.
Meet at 8:30am.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Tues., May, 19th and Thurs., May 21st at Scott Lot Preserve in Redding, CT.
Coming from the north on Route 7 turn left onto Old Redding Rd. Right after going under RR bear right onto Mountain Rd. Follow Mountain Rd. to end and turn left onto Peaceable St. Parking for the open space will be on the left. If you come to an electrical substation, you went too far.
Meet at 8:30am.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May Birding With Noah – Weir Farm

It was a foggy, damp and still morning at Weir Farm and we were hoping for the mist to burn off and the sun to peek out, which it eventually did.  A small blue egg was found by one of the park employees, much to the delight of our group.  Our trip through the woods to the pond yielded some of the more common birds, such as the titmouse, chickadee, chipping sparrow, nuthatch, mallard, goldfinch and catbird.  The downy woodpecker was active in the dead trees, and we learned that with practice, you can tell it apart from the hairy woodpecker, which is quite a bit larger and has a noticeably longer bill than the downy.  The red-bellied woodpeckers teased us by being heard, but not seen, in the woods around us. 

When we reached the pond, a dog scared off two timid wood ducks, but the Canada goose pair was not perturbed in the slightest.  The female was sitting on a nest in some vegetation a little ways offshore, while her mate was out looking for food.  These geese are monogamous, staying mostly together for life, although if one mate dies, the other may find a new mate.

The highlight of the day was out in the open fields near the park office: the northern parula (pictured), a member of the warbler family, whose song (a buzzy trill) was first heard by Noah, and then spotted in a tree.  With a blue-grey hood and wings, a yellow chest, white eye crescents, and white wing bars, it is a beautiful warbler to behold.  This small migrant winters in Central America and the Caribbean, and has a large summer breeding range along the eastern U.S.  In the southern states, they nest primarily in Spanish moss, but in the north they use old man’s beard lichen, which is very sensitive to air pollution, and thus some populations have been impacted by its decline.  The northern parula eats spiders, caterpillars and other insects off of the leaves and branches in the canopy. Picture:

Monday, May 11, 2015

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Tues., May 12th and Thurs., May 14th at Bennetts Pond State Park.
Take Rt. 7 North, after you pass the BMW dealership on the right, Bennetts Farm Rd. will be on the left.
Turn onto Bennetts Farm Rd. and follow to parking lot on the right.
Meet at 8:30am.