Listing of some of the great CT birding spots. Connecticut has more than its share of great birders , but the one area of the state that receives less attention than it deserves is the northeast quarter. I'll define this area as anywhere east of the Connecticut River and North of Willimantic (Windham), although, of course, I may stretch the boundaries at any time. 2013 - I'm traveling more - to the SW so far, and I'll add some info about my adventures there.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Station 43", South Windsor

Station 43 is a Federal Wildlife Management Area and an IBA (Important Bird Area). It's a great spot to look for waterfowl and marsh birds, including some rarities which pass through during migration. The WMA itself is basically a marshy pond. the land around it is private and mostly used as farmland. The entire area is on the floodplain on the eastern side of the Connecticut River in South Windsor, and occasionally floods in the sping. To access Station 43 take any road north of I-291 in South Windsor west from US Rt 5. When you reach the end you should meet Main Street. (A misnomer). If you started from the south end of town go north until you find Newberry Road on the right. If you came from the north, its on the left, of course. If you are going south on Rt 5 you may turn right onto Newberry and take it to Main. The access to Sta. 43 is directly opposite the end of Newberry. You may park on the west side of Main. The access starts as a driveway and continues straight ahead as a rutted muddy dirt road. DO NOT try to drive it. Note: you will be greated with a variety of No Trespassing signs with dire warnings. If you leave the public ways in this area they may be correct. However the access road is a public right of way as are the two other roads I'll mention in a moment. As long as you stay on the roads you should not be bothered (and in practice people seldom are). Simply follow the access road to the pond and you're there. The area can be wet or even flooded so water resistant footware is a must. A scope is a big help at the pond. There are also partially paved roads north and south of the pond that provide good birding at times. If you go south on Main Street take the next right onto Vibert Road, pass the the sewage treatment plant, and you are there. The little bridge is an excellent spot to stop. Usually less is seen at the end of the road at the Ct River. If you take Main north, go to the end and look for Ferry Road on the left. There is a sod farm near the river that sometimes has sparrows and other migrants stopping over.


Anonymous said...

Avoid Station 43. I went there once about 10 years ago. Birding was great, saw some good species like Least Bittern and Marsh Wren but that was not the problem. When I walked out, I was greeted by this lady who hollered at me from her backyard about going in there and parking on the side of an access road saying "I've told "you people" about coming in here" non stop, even threatening to call the cops. I told her off and left vowing to never to return, which is a shame. This place had so much potential.

David Prior said...

Other than the property owned by the Hartford Audubon Society which can be accessed directly across from Newberry RD all other property is privately owned. Station 43 which is at Main St and Newberry Rd got it name from the assigned bus stop designation. Do not park or drive on the access road as it is private property and a legal easement to the farmland beyond the Audubon property. It is an active drive for the house to the left and occasionally used by the farmers to get to their land. Also do not block the bus stop (blue sign) on the south west side of the intersection or park in the intersection (20 feet away).

Wear knee high boots at a minimum. Walk down the access road about 200 yards. All the property to the left is privately owned. The right side is private until you get to the swamp. You will know you are in the right area when you get to the spot where the water crosses the road. If you didn't wear boots you may find some cinder blocks to hop across the water. Miss a step and you will have wet feet. Continue past this spot and to the right you can find a deck that over looks the swamp. This as far as you can go without trespassing on private property.

You may see the 3 swans that live in the pond. There are many types of ducks including wood ducks in the area. In the late fall / early spring you may see a bald eagle further away following the river during the seasonal flight paths.

Vibert Road is the next intersection South on Main Street which ends a the boat launch and a small park. Property on both sides of Vibert is privately owned. The boat launch is a great opportunity to use you kayak or canoe to bird watch along the river north of Hartford. You can get all the way up to the Enfield Dam if you have a shallow draft. I did it once in a 16' whaler.

Ferry Lane is the last left on Main Street which is north of Newberry. Property on both sides of Ferry Lane is private property. Do not park near the house at the end of Ferry Lane on the right. Access to the Scantic River where it flows into the Connecticut River is across private propery. It is tolerated so don't abuse it.Stay out of the yard near the house.

My grand father donated the Hartford Audubon Society land about 60 years ago. Enjoy.

Rick U. said...

It's criminal how little public access there is to the Connecticut River in this beautiful area. And the residents don't hesitate to remind you of this.

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Old enough to know better (but I don't) and finally retired so I have the free time I've always wanted to pursue my interests - like Birding and Hiking!!