I needed a new place to go birding, so I looked around and found Cota Field. It is just down the road in Starksboro. I did not know what to expect but hopped in the car and drove down Route 116 and parked next to the pavillion.
The sports fields were frosty. The sun shone. The temperature was in the single digits. I wore my big old down jacket–the Super Poofer as we call it in our house–so I was plenty warm. I found the map tacked to the bulletin board and studied it for a few minutes. Loop trail? Along the brook? Done!
I found some Black Ducks on the water, and some Golden Crowned Kinglets, too. Those are pretty sweet to find–small, secretive, quiet. Getting a good look at those dudes is always a treat. There was not a whole lot of bird activity but enough to keep things interesting. Mostly it was just fun to explore. I want to find several new places to go birding this month. When I started really getting into it a few years ago the exploration piece was one of the best parts about it. Seeing new corners of the place I live connected me more to the place I live.
It was cold but the sun was out. The sun is getting higher as we approach the equinox. So even the cold air feels warmer when the sun shines. I watched the ice melt from the bare branches. Red-Winged Blackbirds started singing–a sure sign of spring on the way. There were no leaves, no flowers, no insects, but the sun glittered in the blue sky and I warmed myself with walking. In several weeks this place will be filled with bird song as that sun rises much earlier. I will be back to explore more then.