Weir Preserve offers bird walk

Naturalist Frank Gallo of Milford will lead the annual Spring Bird Walk in the Weir Preserve on Sunday, May 12, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Birders will meet at the preserve’s main entrance on Nod Hill Road, just north of Granite Drive in Wilton. The free walk will be held rain or shine and will last about 90 minutes. Children are welcome. Weir Farm National Historic Site is co-hosting the event.

This annual outing is timed to encounter late migrating birds, according to Mr. Gallo, who is director of the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Coastal Center at Milford Point, and is a well-known birder in New England. He leads birding expeditions as far away as New Zealand and Central America. Mr. Gallo knows Weir Preserve well, with two decades of experience leading bird walks and owl prowls there. The walk in 2010 featured a rare, close-up viewing of a female pileated woodpecker drilling into a dead tree in search of ants.

The walk will be on trails through woodlands and open fields of the preserve and neighboring Weir Farm National Historic Site. It will begin at Indian Hills Swamp, across Nod Hill Road from the preserve’s main entrance, which abounds with avian life in May.

Limited parking is available on Nod Hill Road at the main entrance; more parking is available in the Weir Farm National Historic Site parking lot a half-mile to the north on Nod Hill Road, where the walk will terminate.

The Weir Preserve is a 110-acre conservation area assembled by Wilton residents beginning in 1969. It is owned by the Weir Farm Art Center, a support organization for the National Historic Site, having been donated by The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut chapter, in 2005. Weir Farm National Historic Site is owned and managed by the National Park Service. Both properties are named for J. Alden Weir, a leading American Impressionist painter at the turn of the 20th Century, whose farm covered much of the historic site and preserve.

Questions may be directed to Bruce Beebe, preserve Stewardship Committee program chair, at 203 834-5066.