scarlet tanager

5.12.20 ~ Avery Tract, Waterford, Connecticut

While video chatting with our son and daughter-in-law they mentioned an open space property where they used to love hiking when they lived up here. (They live in Georgia now.) So we set about finding Avery Tract the next day. The highlight of our adventure was spotting this scarlet tanager!

5.12.20 ~ an unusual trailhead

If you squint you can see “NATURE SANCTUARY” written into the cement on the landing. Our only clue that we found the property.

5.12.20 ~ Tim spotted what little was left of this decaying tree
5.12.20 ~ an inviting path

The trail quickly started going downhill towards the Thames River and the New England Central Railroad tracks.

5.12.20 ~ looking north
5.12.20 ~ looking south towards the Gold Star Memorial Bridge

We turned around and headed back up the hill, trying to get some pictures of the scarlet tanager who was flying from treetop to treetop. He was very elusive! All taken with the telephoto lens.

The scarlet tanager sighting was definitely the most exciting part of my day!

5.12.20 ~ spring green in the woods
5.12.20 ~ pincushion moss?
5.12.20 ~ pincushion moss?

Since I am getting frustrated trying to identify mosses online I just ordered a field guide book to mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. And since I have no idea what liverworts and hornworts are it looks like I have a lot to learn.

5.12.20 ~ little sapling

Another hour long walk. Lots of huffing and puffing coming back up the hill but it was all worth the effort. Until next time…

18 thoughts on “scarlet tanager”

      1. I discovered, in looking at the Merlin app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, that scarlet tanagers are from the same family as rose-breasted grosbeaks (and cardinals)! πŸ™‚

        1. I love that app! I used it to identify an eastern towhee and also to identify a picture of a sandpiper I took four years ago. I’m learning lots of things in the Joy of Birdwatching course, like how to find good places for birdwatching. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for recommending the course!

          1. Apropos of nothing (except maybe the sandpiper) my youngest brother, who is 15 years younger than I am, lives with his family in Fairfield CT, where I’ve visited them. It was quite lovely; we explored the museum and the area around the town, too. Is Fairfield anywhere near you?

          2. I love Merlin, too. I knew about eBird, where you submit your bird sightings to the international bird database, before the Joy of Birdwatching course, but not Merlin. Finding out about that app justifies the cost of the course to me! πŸ™‚

          3. Fairfield is about 72 miles west of us, about an hour and ten minute drive down the coast. I hope your brother and his family are all right, Fairfield has a much higher number of COVID-19 cases than we do, being so much closer to New York City. Fairfield is considered part of Connecticut’s Gold Coast, the most affluent part of the state. I’ve only passed through it on our way to other places.

          4. Have you submitted any bird sightings to eBird yet? I’m going to go back and look at it more closely when I finish the course.

    1. Thank you, Jeff! πŸ™‚ I hope your procedure goes well today. Sending healing energy. *hugs*

  1. Hi Barbara! For some reason, I wasn’t apprised of your responses about either Fairfield or eBird. I just now found them by going back and looking for them. My brother lives in Fairfield because he works in NYC. Right now he’s working from home.

    I learned about eBird when I went birding with the local Audubon group a couple of years ago. Our guide was Chris Lotz, a professional birding guide from South Africa. I was the least experienced person in the group, and Chris really helped me a lot. eBird was one thing he introduced me to. Since then, I have only used it a couple of times, all in the past few days. I’m still trying to figure out how best to use it.

    1. It’s so good your brother is working from home. The other day I heard on the news that the Connecticut real estate market is booming now because a lot of New Yorkers have decided to move here. We’re already New York’s bedroom community but it looks like even more are coming. Working from home will become much more common, I think.

      We went on a birding adventure with the local nature center last summer. We didn’t quite realize what it was supposed to be and showed up as newbies with no binoculars! (A little embarrassing…) We thought we were just going to see cedar waxwings eating mulberries from a mulberry tree in someone’s garden. But it was fun and I think we might enjoy future birding opportunities after the pandemic is over. For now, we’ll keep doing it by ourselves. πŸ™‚

        1. We did! Apparently the cedar waxwings visit this mulberry tree every year and the homeowner allows a small group from the nature center to come see them as long as we don’t disclose the location. I took a few pictures but they aren’t that good. I wish I had brought the camera tripod, too! I wanted to try again this year but it’s not happening because of the pandemic…

          Three pictures in this post:

          1. I enjoyed the pictures of the cedar waxwing. To back up, though, I’m surprised that your nature center didn’t provide loaner binoculars. Ours do, both in my county and the next county north, which has a good guided birding calendar.

          2. Hmmm… Well, I guess that’s typical self-reliant, self-sufficient New Englanders for you! It never occurred to us to ask for loaner binoculars and noone offered provide any for us. πŸ™‚

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