Berlin Meadow & Sawyer Hill: a birdwatcher's secret escape
The open space that greets walkers at Berlin Meadows is a lovely welcoming. On a bright day, the sun illuminates the incredible lush green blanket below.
Bordering shrubbery is home to camouflaged birdhouses for bluebirds to nest in peace, high up from predators up to no good. Make your way to the far right corner of the meadow, where the grass funnels into a pathway leading over a bubbling brook. It is here that the Tyler forest begins and the scenery changes instantly.
With the foliage departed, the forest feels darker and dryer than usual. There is an underlying layer of eerie as you walk amongst the towering chestnut colored bare trees that sway and creak in the subtle wind. Light filters through in beams, and dried vines snake up and around arching over the trail. These are the remnants of a once lively tunnel of green.
A bit of a walk in, it’s hard not to notice the enormous oak tree said to be over 250 years old. It’s a towering presence, with its torso wrapped in yellow ribbon. Old rock walls covered in moss wind thier way through the forest. These old treasures allow the imagination to wonder of all that the land has seen.
Once you find your way down the trail to Beaver Brook, the mood of the woods starts to change. Foot bridges scatter about, and the walk takes on a few fun options. Either climb up and over boulders that follow the water, or keep on the path that heads up the hill. The mellow steady movement of the brook is an absolutely soothing sound that takes over the air.
Eventually both paths lead you to an incline, meeting the steady flat trail of the Sawyer Hill.
As you walk, you will notice how Beaver Brook below starts to spread into a wet meadow area and eventually a flood control pond. Cattails and pond grasses glow in the sun from afar. Find a pathway that zig zags like a mountain road down to the base of the water and try to get as close as you can.
Stop and listen, the sounds of the incredible collection of migratory birds that dart in and around the sky become louder and louder. Groups of ducks emerge swimming and basking in the sun. It is easy to lose track of time while watching it all unfold.
Return to the meadow by circling the entire pond or head back on one of the many side trails. Hiking through the initial cold wintered forest now seems transformed. No longer a wistful winter stroll, for the secret is out: you now know it is the pathway to a local aviary oasis. Chances are when you get home, you’ll start researching binoculars to buy!