The Art of Birding: Taking to the Trails of the Clark Art Institute

This week’s blog took me away from the hiking trails of Connecticut and into Massachusetts where I explored the birds of our neighboring state. The first location on the list is an unexpected one. My mom and I ventured to the Clark Art Institute, not to look at the best the art world has to offer, but instead to find out what kind of feathered friends inhabit its extensive 140-acre grounds. In the end we did not see many bird species, but the Clark Art Institute still houses some amazing trails that are maintained to the highest standard.

After getting out of the car, some birds were already making themselves known to us. American Robins and European Starlings strolled on the grass looking for morsels of food. We were about ready to move onto the trails but something caught my eye that stood out against the common ground feeders. A quick look through my binoculars and I saw a tan bird with sleek feathers, striking black markings, and beautiful red spots on the head. I immediately recognized it as a Northern Flicker, a type of woodpecker often seen on the ground. My suspicions were only solidified when the bird flew away and showed us a white rump patch.

We walked farther towards the cow pasture where I was able to see more common birds such as Red-winged Blackbirds, Veerys, and Cedar Waxwings. We didn’t see any cowbirds, but there were several cows lazily grazing in the pasture. My mom then looked to the sky and was able to see a Turkey Vulture flying high in the clouds searching for food.

As we made our way into the woods the unmistakable song of the Song Sparrow rang out and made itself known to us. This was right around the time when our bird walk was given a serious purpose. A masked man with his dog pointed out that he had seen juvenile Barred Owls down a stretch of woods. My mom and I lit up when we heard this and began an all-out search for these elusive birds. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Blue Jays sang rather noisily which almost drowned out one of the highlights of the trip. Through the rather loud jays I was able to hear what, in my opinion, is the most beautiful bird song in the world. It is the ethereal and metallic song of the Wood Thrush. I never got to see it but the sound was enough. In the same patch of woods, I was able to see Black-capped Chickadees, Hairy Woodpeckers, and Ovenbirds just to name a few. I was able to finish with 21 confirmed species. Be sure to come check out the trails and museum, which reopens on July 12th.

Go back

Recent Blog Posts View All

Noble Horizons has worked hard to keep families close throughout pandemic. We are proud to announce that the visitation center designed and constructed by members of the Noble team to allow safe family visits during the pandemic will be featured in the Best Practices section of the State of Connecticut's Department of Aging and Disability Services Silver Panther summer newsletter.  

For 15 years,  Linda Castaldi has been welcoming people to Noble Horizons. “I’m the first voice people hear when they call Noble,” Linda describes, “I’m always in contact with residents’ families, helping them feel at ease and providing them with information.”

When you ask Laurie Frey what she does at Noble Horizons you quickly realize there is very little she doesn’t do. From personnel to housekeeping, laundry to the reception desk, Laurie Frey does it all ... with boundless energy, an infectious smile and a deep fondness for Noble residents and their families. “I like to do different things, and I love to do anything that brings me in contact with the residents. I enjoy having a bond with them.”

Today’s birding blog brings me back to Massachusetts, more specifically the town of Sheffield. The location is Bartholomew’s Cobble, a property owned by the Trustees of the Reservation (the same organization that maintains Field Farm), a location that was chock full of birds and one of the most beautiful locations that I have visited for this blog series.