Aspetuck Land Trust offers September hikes

Who Lives in the Great Salt Marsh hike Saturday, Sept. 9, 8-9:30 a.m., at Great Salt Marsh Island Preserve.

Fairfield Audubon Society naturalist Colleen Noyes will lead a walk along the edge of the marsh. Look for signs of life in the salt marsh, such as crabs, sea stars, mussels and minnows. Sneakers that tie or boots are recommended.

Park: Ash Creek Open Space is located at the end of Turney Road in Fairfield. Drive past the gate house, take an immediate left, drive through the boaters parking area to the open space parking. Meet at the picnic tables above the playground, overlooking the salt marsh.

Terrain: Easy. Mud.

RSVP: [email protected] (15 children max). Open to the public.  

Seasonal Tree and Wildlife Hike with Dave Beers, Forester at the LeGallienne Bird Sanctuary in Weston Sunday, Sept. 17, noon-1:30 p.m.

Learn about trees, birds and other wildlife and their habitats from Forester Dave Beers who conducted a Forest Management Plan on the LeGallienne property. Dave Beers has a B.S. in biology and natural resource management from SUNY ESF Syracuse and a masters of forestry from the University of Maine.

Directions and parking: Travel north on Weston Road (State Route 57) past Center; left at flashing light; uphill a half mile turn right on Hillside North; then left on September Lane. Trail entrance is through the opening in split rail fence on right. Parking is along the road.

Terrain: Easy.

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max). Open to the public.

Photo by Alan Feldman

Photo by Alan Feldman

Larry Fischer Hawk Walk Saturday, Sept 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Join Larry Fischer, a licensed bird bander and raptor, at the orchard section of the Aspetuck Land Trust’s Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area Saturday, Sept. 23, for a hawk walk followed by a walk through the orchard. The orchard and a connected farm and grasslands habitat is one of the largest blocks of open habitat in the state and even region, bringing in specific birds that fit the land such as Field and Savannah Sparrows, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark, American Pipit, Bobolink, Eastern Bluebird, and many more in every season. This area also pulls in many raptors of open habitats and forest edges as they migrate during the fall, sometimes holding dozens and dozens of birds. During this event Larry will attempt to capture a couple of raptors to band and show the group close up before releasing them back into the orchard.

Directions and parking: Rte. 58 (Black Rock Tpke) past Bluebird Restaurant to Freeborn Rd. Turn left on Freeborn. When woods stop on left (first house lot) look to right, there will be a dirt road thru the woods. Drive into this road to blueberry bushes. Park at the end of dirt road thru the woods, next to the Orchards Blueberry patch.

Terrain: Easy

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max) Open to the public.

Autumn StoryWalk at Aspetuck Land Trust Saturday, Sept. 30, 10:30 a.m.-noon

A Family Extravaganza in conjunction with the Westport Library for all ages. Bring the whole family to inaugurate a new Story Walk installation at Aspetuck Land Trust’s Leonard Schine Preserve. Story Walk is an innovative and delightful way for children — and adults — To read a story while meandering along a trail. This self-guided walk features the book Sarah Faire and the House at the End of the World, by Alex Giannini and will remain in place for all to enjoy through Halloween. Christine’s Critters will bring live animals to add to the fun (Christine Peyreigne is a licensed falconer, wildlife rehabilitator for migratory birds and an educator with raptors and reptiles.) Other child-friendly features at the preserve include a Natural Playground — voted one of the Top 50 Playgrounds in the U.S. — plus a Children’s Nature Trail and a Little Free Library (take a book, leave a book). Storywalk is a registered trademark owned by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt.

Directions and parking: Located off of Weston Road (Rt. 57 in Westport). Park on Glendinning Road (private road), which is located 1/10 mile North of Lyons Plains Road (before W. Branch Rd Extension). Look for the preserve sign on the right. Park roadside at the entrance to the preserve.

Terrain: Easy

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max). Open to the public.

Sydney Brant of Fairfield.

Sydney Brant of Fairfield.

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