I’m still out east, and this morning my sister took me hiking on the Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail from the Cheshire town line to Hanover Pond in Meriden. What a great outing. I’ve probably been there a half dozen times before over the years, but I don’t recall ever seeing a bird on the river. Today, however, we first spotted a few mallards, and here’s the one hen. She’s even got a ankle bracelet, which we last saw on an eagle in Estabrook.
Then there was a pair of common mergansers.
When we got to Hanover Pond, we were greeted by a Canada goose on land, and this double-crested cormorant in the water.
Across the water, we could make out a great egret and eight swans, probably mute, but they were all too far away for pictures. Sorry. Instead, as we started back up the trail along the river, this family of Canada geese came with us.
Further up the trail, a Cooper’s hawk, whom we had probably seen earlier, seemed to be more concerned with breakfast than with us.
All along the trail, we could hear red-bellied woodpeckers, and here’s one that showed himself just outside his nesting cavity.
There were a lot of catbirds, too, and here’s one more focused on continuing his song than on us.
Along the way, we also saw a female ruby-throated hummingbird sipping water from the side of a siltstone cliff, but the light was to low for me to have any change of an image.
Finally, as we neared the end of the trail, the feathers on this grackle caught the sunlight just right.
And that’s my report from the Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail. Check it out if you get the chance.