Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wallingford Iceland Gulls

This season continues to be a good one for first-cycle Iceland Gulls in Connecticut. Today I had two such birds at my local inland shopping center (I also had one here on Nov 25th), making recent local grocery runs a bit more exciting than usual. Here is a brief phone video clip of one of today's.


 - NB

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Windsor "Kumlien's" Iceland Gulls

It's that time of year again! I made my first landfill visit of the season yesterday, and despite low numbers overall (~250 large gulls present at any given time) there was a nice flurry of at least 4 first-winter Iceland Gulls. One darkish bird, one very white bird (not around long enough to photograph), and at least two in between.

#1, the darkest

#1

#2

#2

#3

#3

There appears to be an above-average number of first-cycle Iceland Gulls around so far this year, so perhaps this will bode well for a fun gull season.

 - NB

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fox Sparrows

Yesterday morning I escaped from work for a bit to check out Crook Horn Road in Southbury, CT. Back in the day, before the expansion of athletic fields, this location was one of the best places in the state to find sparrows during autumn. That's going way back, before my birding time, so I was never able to experience that. However the place can still be somewhat productive around the edges of those playing fields.

I was only able to spend about 30 minutes before being called back into work, but in that time turned up a few FOX SPARROWS in the thickets among the many White-throats.

"Red" Fox Sparrow

Maybe I'll be able to get back there before the season is completely over.

 - NB

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Willets

This is a long-overdue post (I have a LOT of catching-up to do...maybe a winter project).

Back on August 17th I was birding Griswold Point in Old Lyme, CT and was lucky enough to have a juvenile "Eastern" Willet associating with a juvenile "Western" Willet - a side-by-side that isn't often seen so well in Connecticut.

On Western (at rear), note paler upperpart coloration, less contrast between scapulars and wing coverts (less-heavily marked upperparts overall), and subtly more elongated rear-end.

On Western (left), note larger size and longer, thinner bill.

"Western" Willet is a lankier bird overall, while "Eastern" is more compact.

another bill and size comparison



Later on the "Western" Willet broke off to feed a bit closer to where I was standing:

juv "Western" Willet

juv "Western" Willet (Semipalmated Plovers in foreground)
 - NB

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD - first CT record

On Sunday, Nov 3rd, friend Frank Mantlik emailed a set of photos to a few folks for ID help. The bird in question was a late Archilochus hummingbird visiting a private residence in Fairfield, CT.

Upon viewing the photos I almost fell off my couch. A quick email reply was followed by texts and calls to Frank and others to tell them that I felt this was probably a Black-chinned Hummingbird pending further study, a species not yet (until now) recorded in Connecticut. They all had the same feeling, and before we knew it, we were headed straight to Fairfield.

By the time we arrived we were all expecting to see a BCHU, especially since the bird in question was still there per the extremely gracious homeowner. We were all happy and relieved when the bird flew in, confirming its identity as we studied it while it fed and perched in front of us.

Awesome bird, awesome weather, awesome people, and some fine celebratory drinks afterwards! A very good day - one I was needing after going most of the fall season without being in the field much at all.


nice look at outer primary shape including p10



note that one metallic purplish feather near the low border of the gorget

 - Nick

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Break time almost over?

It's been a long time since I've posted anything and that's mainly because I haven't been out. Taking some time off from the blog thing too, obviously, but soon enough I'll get back into it. Hoping to get out tomorrow, at least for some hawkwatching at Lighthouse. Thanks for reading and being patient.

 - NB

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sept 29 - Hatteras Pelagic

Last Sunday's pelagic out of Hatteras, NC was most notable for its Black-capped Petrel show, plus one intriguing unidentified bird.

First, the Black-caps were spectacular. Dominated heavily by "dark-faced" birds (only a couple classic "white-faced" were seen all day), this species was in nearly constant attendance in the deep blue water of the Gulf Stream, making far more close passes than usual. I don't care how many of these anyone has seen before - a show like the one we enjoyed is always awe-inspiring.

Black-capped Petrel (dark-faced)

Black-capped Petrel (dark-faced)

Black-capped Petrel (dark-faced)

Black-capped Petrel (white-faced)

Cory's Shearwaters, represented by both borealis and diomedea subspecies, were rather abundant.

Cory's Shearwater (borealis)

Cory's Shearwater (diomedea AKA Scopoli's Shearwater)

One particular Calonectris shearwater stood out from the rest. I spotted this bird from a moderate distance, initially in better light, and was struck by its exceedingly slim body and narrow wings. When the bird banked it revealed what appeared to be a borealis-like underwing pattern (dark primaries). These combined features set off Cape Verde Shearwater alarm bells so I tried to snap some photos while urging others to do the same, and radioed to Brian. The bird was lost against the sea and glare as it sheared parallel to the starboard side and not seen again.

I captured two photos of the bird alongside a borealis Cory's...one pic moderately sharp and the other pretty blurry. They echo my field impressions of structure, and they seem to show a pretty dark underside to the primaries. The bird also looks slim-billed and perhaps even dark-capped? But what effects do lighting, distance, and over-exposure play? Here are the unedited photos.

unidentified Calonectris shearwater (right)

unidentified Calonectris shearwater (right)

Certainly an interesting bird, but one that evades identification.

I'm leaving out quite a bit so please check out Brian Patteson's report on the day's trip!

 - Nick

Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors



As we have now entered the peak of the hawk migration season along the east coast, there may be no better time to review the latest entry into Richard Crossley’s “ID Guide” series. This one is entitled “The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors” and is authored by Crossley, Jerry Liguori, and Brian Sullivan.

Just like his other recent works, this is a photographic guide that places as much an emphasis on GISS (General Impression, Size, and Shape) as it does on plumage features. For more detail on this style, you can check out my review of his “Eastern Birds” effort.

After a very brief Introduction (5 pages), this book is divided into two segments: Plates and Species Accounts.

Plates:
The Plates, just like in Crossley’s “Eastern Birds”, consist of several photos set against a natural landscape background (that particular species’ preferred habitat). The authors generally do a nice job of depicting all angles of each age, sex, or color morph of every species. The more variable a species is, the more photos that species gets. For example, Zone-tailed Hawk receives two pages of photos while Red-tailed Hawk has ten pages. The photos are of high quality and look surprisingly true to life – this is not always the case in photographic guides as sometimes photos can look obviously “Photoshopped.” I found the plates, with their scenic backdrops, very pleasing to the eye.

Not all photos are big and beautiful in perfect light. In fact, most are not. This is important – if you’ve spent any time hawk watching you know that most raptors are seen from a distance and/or are lit poorly.

At the bottom of each plate lies a few lines of text that are meant to touch on the main identification points along with a brief mention of that species’ habits and preferred habitats. Despite the limited space, the authors do a fine job of including all of the really important stuff (flight style, shape, and major field marks, etc).

Scattered among the “regular” plates are several Quiz Plates that depict unlabeled raptors again set against a natural background. These plates are strategically placed. For instance, after the accipiter plates comes a Quiz Plate with a bunch of unidentified accipiters scattered across the sky. Your job is to try to identify these birds. Answers are located in the back. Now that this guide has been out for several months, I have heard mixed feelings on the quizzes from folks I have birded with recently. Critics find it annoying to have to flip to the back of the book to find answers and would rather the images just be labeled on the page itself, doing away with the quiz feature altogether. But I actually welcome this sort of thing. It brings a bit of an interactive element to the table, which adds some fun to field guide reading (which, I have to admit, can be a bit boring at times). You are even challenged to age/sex the birds when possible, if you’re up for it.

Though these plates delve into identification of subspecies and a particular bird’s age or sex, the authors wisely preach caution while doing so. Subspecific identification, especially of a bird out of range, can be difficult even under perfect conditions or with killer photos. It’s not supposed to be easy. Our temptation as birders is to put a label to every bird we see, but this is not always possible.

Some of these quizzes are meant specifically to replicate difficult field conditions. There is one particular plate on which every bird is severely backlit, and another in which birds are tinged orange by the rising sun. All of these are field conditions you will experience if you spend any time hawk watching, and this guide will help you prepare for those moments. There is also a black-and-white quiz which further emphasizes the importance of structure and plumage patterns; color is so rarely useful while hawk watching anyway.

Species Accounts:
Each of these begin with a story-like introduction of 2-3 paragraphs, meant to paint a picture of the bird in its typical habitat and behavior. These are fun and effective. For instance, the Northern Goshawk intro is particularly entertaining, being written in first person by a hatch-year goshawk embarking on its first hunt after being pushed from its parents’ territory. These are welcome additions to what is otherwise typically dry field guide text.

The Accounts are crucial to a raptor ID guide because flight style must be described so accurately. Without video, descriptive text is the only way to convey subtle differences in wingbeat frequency, steadiness in wind, directness of flight, etc. I think the authors did a pretty solid job with these descriptions. Is the text as descriptive as the classic “Hawks in Flight” by Dunne, Sibley & Sutton? Not quite up to that level, but still very useful.

Otherwise, the species accounts do not add all that much to the identification process. Not that this text isn’t useful, it’s just that the authors touch on most of the ID points in the small amounts of text at the bottom of each plate. Each account includes a “Similar Species” section that is helpful, but again much of that info is repeated from the plates themselves. I do really enjoy the “Migration” subheading, which informs the reader on where and when each species migrates, even listing specific hawk watches that one can visit to see them in spring or fall.

Overall:
There has been quite the glut of raptor ID books on the market over the past few years, so the consumer has many options from which to choose. I have read or reviewed most of them, so I have my favorites. Where does the Crossley guide rank?? Well, IMO “Hawks in Flight” by Dunne, Sibley & Sutton still stands alone at the top. However this book rates a pretty strong second, especially for those of you who will be visiting a dedicated hawk watch site. This book excels in ID of flying raptors. It isn’t as strong for learning perched birds, but since most raptor encounters include birds in the air, that isn’t as big a drawback as one might think.

 - Nick

Monday, September 23, 2013

Connecticut River swallow spectacle

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of narrating a cruise down the lower CT River to view one of the most impressive North American avian spectacles - the autumn staging of Tree Swallows. For those who have not heard about this, up to a half million (!) Tree Swallows congregate each evening during late summer and early fall to roost in a marsh along the river. A boat is needed to reach this location, and Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel helps to arrange access to this special event. Several evening river cruises are run each year at this time. If you haven't seen this yet, you must. This is the sort of thing by which even non-birders can be amazed.

My 400mm lens is just too much to capture the display these birds put on, but this small fraction of the flock gives an idea of the density involved.

Tree Swallows at dusk
 - NB

Lighthouse Point raptor show

I spent a really entertaining afternoon at Lighthouse Point in New Haven, CT today, where 2,140 migrating raptors were tallied. The bulk of the action came thanks to 1,640 Broad-wings, a very strong coastal number. We had kettles all afternoon thanks to a brisk NW wind pushing these ridge-loving birds all the way to the shoreline. Other than the broadies, we enjoyed decent numbers of your typical September migrants. Five species of swallow were also tallied among other diurnal migrants.

Perhaps the most interesting sighting of the day came in the form of eight southbound "white-cheeked" geese of greatly varying sizes.


What the heck do you do with these???
That is no illusion; the size difference is as drastic as it appears. How many Canada and how many Cackling (if any)? Nobody had the guts to try to put a name to any of these, but I'm assuming the tiniest birds are either Cackling or parvipes Canada.

 - NB

Monday, September 2, 2013

Just Announced September Hatteras Pelagics

Brian & Kate have just announced that they will be running pelagic trips out of Hatteras on the weekend of September 28th (Saturday) with Sunday being the weather date. If enough interest gathers, they will run trips on both days.

This is potentially a VERY exciting month to get into the Gulf Stream off Hatteras, NC. Most previous September trips have gone out of Oregon Inlet in search of White-faced Storm-Petrel, and as a result only 7 September pelagics have been run out of Hatteras since 1994. The species list is amazing, including the only North American record of ZINO'S PETREL (Sept 16, 1995), plus Trindade, Fea's, Bermuda, and of course the Black-caps - that's five pterodroma species in just seven trips...wow.

Not to mention other rarities & scarcities. This is a great time for jaeger and phalarope migration as well as tropical terns. The counts of Cory's Shearwater at this time of year can be impressive, so it may be a great time to pick up another Cape Verde Shearwater. Hatteras is still looking for its first Barolo Shearwater record, and September seems like as good a month as any.

The only Gulf Stream specialty far less likely at this time of year is Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, which has generally cleared out of the waters by then (but is not out of the question).

So have I talked you into it? Join us! Visit http://seabirding.com/ for signup details.

- NB

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Avoiding Seasickness

Nearly everyone's been there. Even your most seasoned pelagic veterans can recall the days on which they all-too-quickly transitioned from the excitement of embarking on a pelagic journey to that dreadful feeling of nausea and vomiting - the worst part being that you're usually several hours from returning to land when it begins. Suddenly, death by voluntary drowning doesn't seem like such a bad option.

I've had my moments, though just a few. Luckily it has been quite some time, but every now and then I might start to feel a bit off and have to fix things before they get out of hand. Yes, it is possible to reverse seasickness, at least in its earliest, mildest form.

But first let's talk about prevention. Since most people are (or were) prone to seasickness in some form, and because everyone is different, you may receive five different tips on prevention from five different people. I'll share my own, in order of descending importance.

1) BE WELL-RESTED. For me, sleep deprivation is the clear-cut #1 risk factor for falling ill on the high seas. For whatever reason (I bet there's a study out there somewhere explaining this), it significantly lowers my threshold for sickness, as I tend to feel nausea much more easily if my body and mind are exhausted. While it is not always possible to get a good night's sleep before a trip, especially if you depart before sunrise, try to be as rested as you can before that short night.

2) EAT SMART, BEFORE AND DURING. Before a pelagic trip, starting 12-24 hours before departure, I pay close attention to my diet. I try to eat mild and healthy foods, because eating healthy makes my body feel at its best regardless of whether I'll be on rough seas or sitting around watching TV. To me this means fresh foods high in nutritional value, low in saturated fats and cholesterol, nothing with too much salt, and nothing over-basted in strong marinades or coated in butter. That means no fried calamari for dinner the night before and no sausage sandwich at the dock in the AM.

Once on board, and immediately before, my focus shifts more to how much is in my stomach, rather than exactly what I put there (though this is still important). For me, this is nearly as important as being well-rested. My goal is to eat steadily in small amounts. In other words, never let your stomach completely empty, but do not over-eat either. This usually means that I'll eat a half sandwich at a time, with snacks in between.

As far as what I eat on board, that all depends. If seas are calm and I'm feeling great, I will absolutely grab an overpriced cheeseburger from the galley and love it, but only because I know I can handle it while I'm feeling good. If I'm not feeling 100%, I will stick to the healthy-style eating. But not all healthy foods are created equally. I suggest easily-digestible foods. Have a banana (if bananas are allowed on your vessel!) instead of an apple. Try some crackers instead of a hot dog. There are some classic foods that many people swear by, such as saltines or ginger snaps. You might want to give those a try. No matter what you try, remember not to under or over-eat.

3) STAY OUT OF THE CABIN. Get outside. Fresh, cool air won't hurt you, but stagnant, warm cabin air can make your stomach turn on a dime. This one has gotten me before. If you are forced inside by weather, try to get a spot right next to the door so you can feel some fresh air anyway.

4) KEEP DRY AND WARM. Always bring rain gear, and not just for rain. Sea spray will often get you when you're not expecting it. This can be refreshing and actually help avoid illness on a hot, sunny day, but continual wetness is usually a recipe for misery. You'd be surprised at how cold you can get, even on a warm day, if you're always soaking wet. Feeling cold, and the act of shivering, can take a toll on your body's energy level, which in turn can lower the threshold for sickness. So bundle up on cold days.

5) STAY OFF THE BOW & STERN. Not all deck spaces are created equally. The bow is the bumpiest place you can be, and on a rough day you'll feel that up-and-down rollercoaster sensation far more often than if you pick a more stable location. That being said, the stern has its pitfalls too, most of those being odoriferous. The fumes from the engine's exhaust can be nasty if the wind is out of the wrong direction. This also happens to be the place where most chumming is done, so if you dislike the smell of rotting fish, stay away! Also, when other passengers get sick, this is where they go to...well...get sick. And it can be contagious.

On small boats, if you avoid the bow and stern, that doesn't leave much room to move. But since most long pelagic trips are on decent-sized vessels, you should have some area to roam in between.

6) TAKE BONINE. Or whichever anti-nausea medication you prefer. I have only tried Bonine and Dramamine, but there are many others out there, including a scopolamine patch or even Benadryl. My strategy has always been to take the minimum dose (i.e. one tab versus two) because these can make you drowsy, and anything that makes you feel a bit off, including drowsiness, should be avoided. Take as directed, which usually means that you'll be taking something before you board the vessel. Once you're already sick, I doubt these meds can help you - they've never helped me at that point.

7) NO ALCOHOL THE NIGHT BEFORE. OK, I tend to break this one more often than the others, especially as my confidence in my ability to avoid illness grows yearly. But I don't drink often as it is, so it makes good sense for me to steer clear of anything that might make me feel a bit funny if consumed in any significant quantity.

There may come a time, despite these efforts, when you begin to feel queasy anyway. If you have never "beaten" seasickness before, this may feel like an inevitable downward spiral. But it doesn't have to be. YOU CAN OVERCOME THAT FEELING. But in my experience you have to do it before you pass the point of no return, which for me is puking. First, I begin to strictly adhere to the seven points I've listed above, if I wasn't already - time to buckle down. For instance, if I feel ill and I realize that I haven't eaten anything in hours, just the act of putting something in my stomach can help reverse the trend. The rest is mental. I just tell myself that I'm going to beat it. And the last few times I've tried this, it has worked. If you've never been able to do this, you're probably reading this and thinking that I've lost my mind. Once I overcame seasickness for the first time, I felt incredibly empowered and confident. Now, each time I fight off that first stage of queasiness, I become more and more confident. And the more you believe you can beat it, the more likely you are to beat it.

So that's all I've got. Like I said, there are countless other remedies and strategies that work for other people. A Google search will likely yield a dizzying (ha, ha, ha...) number of results, some of which may even contradict what I say here. I've purposely left out some things that I have not found helpful, but I don't want to discourage anyone from trying something they think might work because I really do think there is a significant mental aspect to this. If you believe in it, it's more likely to work.

That's not to say that everyone can avoid seasickness every time. In fact, I'm sure there are folks who cannot avoid it, ever! But the world is not made entirely of people who either always or never get seasick; most of us fall somewhere in between. As I've found from my own experiences, you can play a major role in your likelihood of becoming ill at sea.

I'd be interested to hear what has, and has not, worked for others in the Comments section.

 - Nick

Monday, August 5, 2013

Aug 3rd, 2013 - BBC Extreme Pelagic (Band-rumps +)

BROOKLINE BIRD CLUB EXTREME PELAGIC to Hydrographer Canyon & vicinity
August 3, 2013

Time: 0215 – 2112 hrs

Weather: Mostly Sunny for most of the trip with brief period of moderate rain in the afternoon just south of Nantucket Shoals on our return. Excellent visibility throughout. Winds WSW @ 8-15 mph. Air temp approx mid-60s to upper 70s.

Seas: 3-6 ft subsiding to 2-4 ft

Destination: Hydrographer Canyon & vicinity

Water temps: Coolest 55 degrees Fahrenheit on Nantucket Shoals, warmest 74.5 degrees Fahrenheit southeast of Hydrographer Canyon.

Water depth: max depth of approximately 1 mile

Leaders: Mark Faherty, James P. Smith, Nick Bonomo. Huge thanks to Ida Giriunas and Naeem Yusuff for the monumental task of putting these trips together.

Summary:
Forty participants and three leaders joined Capt. Joe Huckemeyer, first mate Matt & crew for a fine day of pelagic birding. Following an early morning departure, dawn found us on the southeastern edge of the Nantucket Shoals with numbers of Great Shearwaters and a few Sooties sprinkled in. Our first Leach’s Storm-Petrel around sunrise on the shoals was a sign of things to come for this species today. A few Red and Red-necked Phalaropes were seen in flight only. The birds thinned out as we made the run between the shoals and the shelf edge, as they often do. Upon reaching the tip of Hydrographer Canyon around 0900 we immediately came into numbers of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels and a handful of Leach’s. Our first of six Audubon’s Shearwaters was seen in 72 degree water near the tip of the canyon.

We worked our way down the east wall of the canyon, sorting through the storm-petrels and finding several more Leach’s. One particular pair of Audubon’s Shearwaters allowed close approach, so everyone on board had the chance to see this warm-water species well today.

We cut across the southeast corner of the canyon and headed to a steep dropoff between Hydrographer and Dogbody Canyon, but found few birds here. From here we motored south, looking for warmer and deeper water southeast of Hydrographer Canyon. It was in this warmer (74.5 degrees), deeper water that we tallied eight BAND-RUMPED STORM-PETRELS scattered among the Wilson’s and Leach’s. As is typical for the species, they proved very elusive, with only brief views before fleeing the boat. Before turning back to the northwest we spent 40 minutes chumming in the deep water, which eventually did the trick of attracting two Band-rumps close enough to the boat for most to see, though they did not linger for long – life birds for several folks.

Our return trip brought us back through the mouth of Hydrographer Canyon and along its west wall. We found ourselves back on the Nantucket Shoals after a bout of moderate rain in the late afternoon. We picked through the numerous Great Shearwaters to find a few more Cory’s and Sooties. The only Manx of the trip was seen by just a few birders from the stern, giving us a five shearwater day. A distant SKUA was seen briefly by just a few on the horizon, eluding identification.

Later in the afternoon we had another encounter with a skua, this one also rather distant and brief, flying into the sun glare and vanishing. This bird was left unidentified from field views as Skua versus Pomarine Jaeger, pending photo review. Indeed the photographs reveal a SKUA, the identification of which is still being discussed. Plumage and molt strongly suggest South Polar Skua.

3 Common Loon
17 Cory's Shearwater (4 birds seen well were identified as the more common ‘borealis’ subspecies)
609 Great Shearwater (almost exclusively on Nantucket Shoals)




Great Shearwaters

7 Sooty Shearwater (Nantucket Shoals)
1 Manx Shearwater (Nantucket Shoals)
6 Audubon's Shearwater (all seen in approx.  72 degree water right along shelf edge, but none in the warmest/deepest waters; both fresh and heavily molting individuals seen)


juvenile Audubon's Shearwater

769 Wilson's Storm-Petrel
43 Leach's Storm-Petrel (most along shelf edge and deeper)

Leach's Storm-Petrel

Leach's (right) and Wilson's Storm-Petrels

8 BAND-RUMPED STORM-PETREL (exclusively in deep 73-74.5 degree water south of the shelf edge; one bird photo’d well enough to observe rather stout structure and nearly complete primary molt, which falls in line with potential winter-breeding “Grant’s” form hypothesized to be the expected visitor to our region - photos below)

Band-rumped Storm Petrel, possibly "Grant's". Close examination of photos shows both wings with no old primaries and one outer growing in (presumably p10).

same bird as above

Band-rumped (left) and Wilson's Storm-Petrels. A different individual. To me this bird did not immediately "pop" as a large storm-petrel in the field until flight style was noticed. In this photo it appears slightly built with narrow wings. No sign of active wing molt. Unfortunately this is the only decent photo of the bird I have. Form unknown (well, they're all unknown!).

5 Leach's/Band-rumped Storm-Petrel
3 Northern Gannet
6 Red-necked Phalarope (Nantucket Shoals)
5 Red Phalarope (Nantucket Shoals)
4 phalarope sp. (Nantucket Shoals)
11 Common Tern
2 SKUA sp. (Nantucket Shoals; one photographed highly suggestive of South Polar Skua, review in progress - photos below)





Skua sp. - plumage and molt timing strongly suggest South Polar

1 Fin Whale
2 Minke Whale
16 Risso’s Dolphin
2 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin
50 Common Dolphin
6 dolphin sp. (Striped vs. Spotted)
1 Gray Seal

1 Blue Shark
1 Thresher Shark
1 Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola

1 Portuguese Man-O-War

Our route

Sea surface temps for the date of our trip (courtesy Rutgers)

Thank you to all participants for your contributions including spotting some really cool wildlife!

 - Nick

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sandy Point t-storm

Not much to report bird-wise from Sandy Point in West Haven this afternoon aside from your expected late July migrants. No sign of the American Avocet that was seen a few days ago. Just as I was about to leave, an ominous looking thunderstorm rolled into New Haven.

Bright blue sky to the south...

...darkness to the north!

leading edge


 - NB