Fifty-three species of birds, a howling pack of coyotes, and one garter snake met at the Simsbury Land Trust’s Tanager Hill and nearby Goodrich Road properties to observe eighteen birders from HAS. Despite the cool, early morning temperatures, a spectacular male Scarlet Tanager serenaded us from high in a tree, just yards from the parking area. This provided a wonderful start to the proceedings. Our group then ascended the hill and was greeted by a low-flying Pileated Woodpecker. Soon thereafter our target bird, a male Hooded Warbler, appeared, but for only an instant before swooping down and disappearing into a nearby thicket. However, just slightly farther up the trail, a second Hooded Warbler ventured onto a wide-open branch and gave each of us a long, thorough and thoroughly satisfying look. Other warblers included Northern Parula, Black-and- white, Black-throated Blue, and Ovenbird. After traversing the narrow boardwalk across a wooded swamp, we were happened-upon by a rather late Blue-headed Vireo. Emerging from the forest and onto the powerline cut, some from our group were observed by a single Prairie Warbler, a Blue-winged Warbler, and an Indigo Bunting. Back into the woods and down the hill by an old farm pond were a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Common Yellowthroat, and a very cooperative Green Heron which perched in a tree for several minutes. Leaving the pond and descending toward the parking lot, we were bade farewell by a Swainson’s Thrush and a distant Veery. After departing Tanager Hill, several of us drove three miles to the Land Trust’s Wegner Property on Goodrich Road. This open field served as a militia training field back in the days of the Revolution. Here we were observed by several newly-arrived Bobolinks and a female Bluebird. Also present were a male and female Turkey, each marching in perfect formation.
Doug Beach, Roger Preston, and Jon Ward