The following descriptions are found in the Connecticut River Birding Trail
Southern Section Map and Guide:
Hinsdale Setbacks Hinsdale, NH
The Setbacks (also called Lake Wantastiquet) offers excellent birding by
car, foot, and water. The area is best known for shallow impoundments that
host large concentrations of waterfowl during spring and fall migration. In
addition, woodlands and vernal pools are very productive for songbirds, and
extensive cattails and other wetlands attract marsh birds. An abandoned
railroad bed forms a causeway across the area. Driving is permitted here,
making birding very convenient. A walking or bicycling trail continues both
north and south from the causeway. There is also a boat ramp near the south
end of the causeway.
From the north: Cross the CT River from Brattleboro on Rt. 119 and head
south. In 4.5 miles from the NH end of the bridge, turn right into a parking
area at the north end of the causeway. Park here or drive through and take
an immediate left onto the causeway.
From the south: From the junction of Rts.119 and 63 South in Hinsdale, drive
1.1 miles north on Rt. 119. Turn left onto Prospect Street. In about 100
yards turn right into the parking area for the boat ramp. Park here or
continue a few more yards and turn right onto the causeway.
28 species of waterfowl have been recorded. Ring-necked Ducks, Common and
Hooded Mergansers, Common and Barrow's Goldeneyes, Redhead, Long-tailed and
Ruddy Ducks, and the three Grebes, Tundra Swan, Ring-billed and Bonaparte's
Gull, Greater Yellowlegs, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Kingbird, Least
Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Baltimore
Oriole, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.
Recommended time to visit:
Spring through Fall. March and April for waterfowl. Smaller numbers and
lower diversity: October to mid-December. Nesting birds between May and
Vernon Dam Vernon, VT
This is a wide section of the Connecticut River, immediately above and below
the spillway of the Vernon Dam and the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. Great
spot for winter ducks, as the water below the dam is open all year. Easiest
access is at a paved overlook just below the nuclear plant. There is also an
unpaved pullout and boat ramp 100 yards down the woods road.
Take Exit 1 off I-91 in Brattleboro. Go south (right) for 3.5 miles, then
turn left on Tyler Hill Road. At the end of Tyler Hill Road (2.2 miles) turn
right onto Rt. 142. In 0.4 miles, cross railroad tracks then left onto
Governor Hunt Road. The dam and the paved parking area are 0.9 miles ahead
on the left. Neither parking area is plowed. Parking is only allowed in
parking area, but unrestricted. Boat launch area owned by Town of Vernon,
Double-crested Cormorant, Common and Hooded Mergansers, American Black Duck,
Ring-necked Duck, Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Common and Barrows
Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Great
Black-backed, Herring Gull and Ring-billed Gulls, Belted Kingfisher,
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird,
many warblers esp. in migration, Song and Chipping Sparrows, Baltimore
Recommended time to visit:
Late Fall through early Spring for ducks, Spring through Fall for songbirds.