Shivers were running down my spine. I was standing on the very sand deposited some 10,000 years ago as a delta at the mouth of a melt water stream into a giant ice age lake, glacial Lake Hitchcock. Eventually as the climate warmed the glaciers disappeared and the lake shrunk back into what is now the Connecticut River bed.
The sand delta forms the heart of the Montague Sandplains IBA. The almost impenetrable thicket of scrub oak, intermingled with pitch pine, covering the plains, forms a haven for several bird species, among them Prairie Warblers, Eastern Towhees, Brown Thrasher, Field Sparrows and Whip-poor-wills. It is a unique habitat also for species of insects and turtles who would be more at home on Cape Cod.
I had arrived late in the evening and stayed till after dark to hear the Whip-poor-wills call, but no such luck. However from all directions Prairie Warblers were singing.
For more please see my contribution on Birding is Fun