5 birding spots in CT for a crisp fall afternoon

There is no shortage of places to go birding in Connecticut, and the state's wide range of habitats plays home to shoreline birds, aquatic birds, forest birds and marsh birds.

Bird enthusiasts and nature lovers can pack their binoculars, sunscreen and water bottles and head out to the wild for a day of birding at a number of spots around Connecticut.

Try out these five preserves and parks for a relaxing day of bird watching.

Greenwich Audubon Society
Greenwich

Get your binoculars and prepare to be amazed by the sights at the Greenwich Audubon Society! Known as the Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch, it is one of the best and most accessible locations in the Northeast United States to view the fall migration of raptors passing overhead. The all time record of 30,000+ broad-winged hawks counted in one day has not been matched in the region, even at Hawk Mountain, PA. Golden and Bald Eagles, Common Ravens and Black Vultures have also been spotted. Classroom and field workshops are offered to develop identification skills. A Hawk Watch Weekend Festival is held each September - this year the event will be held on September 28 and 29, from 11-5. Check their website for special classes and events. http://greenwich.audubon.org/
Get your binoculars and prepare to be amazed by the sights at the Greenwich Audubon Society! Known as the Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch, it is one of the best and most accessible locations in the Northeast United States to view the fall migration of raptors passing overhead. The all time record of 30,000+ broad-winged hawks counted in one day has not been matched in the region, even at Hawk Mountain, PA. Golden and Bald Eagles, Common Ravens and Black Vultures have also been spotted. Classroom and field workshops are offered to develop identification skills. A Hawk Watch Weekend Festival is held each September - this year the event will be held on September 28 and 29, from 11-5. Check their website for special classes and events. http://greenwich.audubon.org/
John Hannan

This Audubon society in Greenwich was established in the 1940s and hosts more than seven miles of hiking trails. Admission is free, but a $6 donation is suggested. Some bird sightings have included the saw-whet owl, the scarlet tanager, the tree swallow and more.

Open sunrise to sunset; 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich; 203-869-5272; greenwich.audubon.org

The Coastal Center at Milford Point
Milford

Pat Negro, left, of New Haven, observes birds with Audubon habitat steward Stefan Martin during a bird walk at the Audubon Coastal Center on Milford Point in Milford, Conn. on Thursday, December 3, 2020.
Pat Negro, left, of New Haven, observes birds with Audubon habitat steward Stefan Martin during a bird walk at the Audubon Coastal Center on Milford Point in Milford, Conn. on Thursday, December 3, 2020.
Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

This coastal birding location includes trails along boardwalks and shoreline, with plenty of opportunity to spot birds considering the property includes a nature center and the Smith-Hubbell Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary. Possible bird sightings include the black-crowned night-heron, the glossy ibis and the saltmarsh sparrow.

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday; 1 Milford Point Road, Milford; 203-878-7440; ctaudubon.org/coastal-center-home

White Memorial Conservation Center
Litchfield

The White Memorial Conservation Center presents the 36th Annual Family Nature Day.

The White Memorial Conservation Center presents the 36th Annual Family Nature Day.

Anita Garnett / Special to the Register Citizen

This Litchfield conservation center has 40 miles of trails, a museum, campgrounds, a river, ponds, shoreline and a marina. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 through 12. There are a large number of birds here, including the wild turkey, the bald eagle and the broad-winged hawk.

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday; 80 Whitehall Road, Litchfield; 860-567-0857; whitememorialcc.org

East Rock Park
New Haven

New Haven--Two swans forage on the Mill River at East Rock Park. Swan pairs form long term bonds, sometimes for life, and the males aid with the construction of the nest. Melanie Stengel/Register

New Haven--Two swans forage on the Mill River at East Rock Park. Swan pairs form long term bonds, sometimes for life, and the males aid with the construction of the nest. Melanie Stengel/Register

This 425-acre park is a sea of green in a metropolitan urban area. The park includes 10 miles of hiking trails along with playgrounds, canoes and rowboats, sports courts, Pardee Rose Garden and Greenhouse, The Trowbridge Environmental Center and more. Bird sightings include the great crested flycatcher, the Hermit Warbler, the peregrine falcon and the common raven

Sunrise to sunset; 41 Cold Spring St., New Haven; 203-946-6086; newhavenct.gov

Mansfield Hollow State Park
Chaplin

This state park includes a 500-acre lake and activities include boating, fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Bird sightings have included the great blue heron, the belted kingfisher and the red-bellied woodpecker. 

Sunrise to sunset; 31 Old Willimantic Road, Chaplin; 860-455-9057; portal.ct.gov