Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oct 12, 18, and 19 (Clay-colored, Prairie, Dickcissel)

Below are some images from the past two weekends:

10/18 - Prairie Warbler at Hammonasset Beach SP

10/18 - Clay-colored Sparrow at Hammo, part of a 9-sparrow morning.

10/19 - Dickcissel at Lighthouse Point Park

10/12 - Little Blue Heron at Hammo

10/12 - One of several immature White-crowned Sparrows at Hammo

10/12 - Lincoln's Sparrow at Hammo

- Nick

Thursday, October 9, 2008

East Shore swallows and Sandy Pt

On Tuesday afternoon I stopped by Lighthouse Point to see what was moving. The hawks were decent, as expected on a NW wind. However the bright blue sky made everyone work hard to spot each bird. I only stuck around for about an hour since the day's flight was slowing down quite a bit.

On my way home I took a walk around East Shore Park in New Haven. A handful of birders have known about this little coastal gem for many years, but I really only discovered the place last autumn, when I lucked into a few Cave and Northern Rough-winged Swallows feeding over the adjacent sewage treatment plant. The Rough-wings continued into the winter before disappearing, presumably succumbing to the weather. Still, the attempted wintering of this species in CT was very notable. A few Red Crossbills (type 4) also made an appearance last year. The stretch of pines, sumac, and shrubs along the park's northern edge attracted a surprising number of half-hardy landbirds late into the autumn.

So on Thursday, while walking along that northern edge, I was not surprised to find many Yellow-rumps, Palms, and a few Blackpolls. I looked up to find two Barn Swallows and a flock of 6 Northern Rough-winged Swallows feeding in the vicinity of the sewage plant. Maybe a trend is developing at this location. We'll have to keep a close eye on the swallow situation here as the season progresses. In speaking with Julian Hough earlier that day, he mentioned that he had a Rough-wing move through Lighthouse Pt that morning.

Switching gears....this evening I 'celebrated' the completion of my first rotation by walking halfway out Sandy Point. It was pretty much empty: 3 BB Plovers, 7 Gr Yellowlegs, and several Sanderling made up the shorebirds. This adult Peregrine might have had something to do with the vacancy.

- Nick

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Time flies

Hard to believe we're a week into October. I haven't been birding much at all over the past month, as expected. However I'm going to try to make posts a bit more often. The content is going to shift from sightings and photos to general seasonal observations.

While I haven't been out in the field, I have kept up with regional reports thanks to Just trying to live vicariously through all of you. We're really into a fantastic time of year in New England...sparrows will soon be dominating the birding (if not already), and the chance of a western vagrant increases by the day. So far Connecticut has been quiet but there have been some goodies in the region, such as Say's Phoebe in MA and Lark Bunting in NY. It's amazing how few Say's Phoebes we get in CT.

I just saw a report from Ontario owl banders stating that they have banded their first Boreal Owls in 4 years. This bodes well for a nice flight of the species this year. We'll see what develops.

Expect more random thoughts from me in the coming weeks.