Watching birds on the Norwalk River Valley Trail

Seventeen birdwatchers set out on Sept. 16 to identify the maximum number of bird species in a single day along the Norwalk River Valley Trail.

In the world of birdwatching, this is called a Big Day.

The birders split into six groups and covered 10 spots along the trail from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, to Allen’s Meadow in Wilton. By the end of the Big Day, the group identified 87 different species.

Joe Bear, an experienced birder who led the Wilton team, said, “Doing a Big Day, especially on foot, allows you to spend an extended amount of time in the field experiencing details you might not otherwise appreciate. Thanks to its diverse habitat winding through meadows, fields, woodlands, and along watercourses, the [trail] offers a perfect venue for a Big Day out in Wilton and Norwalk".

Highlights included a bald eagle and three species of falcons: peregrine falcon, merlin and kestrel. Birders also spotted 10 species of warblers, a rose-breasted grosbeak, blue-gray gnatcatcher, bobolink and scarlet tanager. On the Sound, a common loon and four species of gulls were seen.