Showing posts from May, 2009

June rarities

The following is a slightly edited re-post from the Comment section of a March 2009 post entitled "My least favorite time of year": June is dreadfully slow when compared to the madness that is May, so most people take a break from birding during that month. But the track record for rarities in June is quite impressive. Sandwich and Gull-billed Terns, each with only a handful of accepted records in CT, may appear in June. Wilson's Plover is another target, along with Black-necked Stilt. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck has shown a recent June pattern in the northeast. Arctic Terns, particularly first-summer birds, seem to 'peak' in the region in June. Mississippi Kite's best time is early June, although we may now have a breeding population in New England! Old World shorebirds are certainly possible, particularly Curlew Sand and Ruff. Fork-tailed Flycatcher seems possible anytime, June included. Also throw into the mix the presumably failed breeders that sometimes

24 May 2009 - CT Big Day; 177 species

Team : Dave Tripp, Fran Zygmont, Frank Gallo, Patrick Dugan, and myself Preparation : We had set our date a week in advance as it was the only day all of us were available. Fran and Dave were able to do a fair bit of scouting the inland portion of the route. Frank, Patrick, and I were exceedingly busy and could only spare a few hours here and there for scouting coastally. Summary : We met at 11pm at a Dunkin Donuts in Cromwell, all geared up for 24 hours of birding. Few things in life get my adrenaline going more than the few hours before the start of a big day. Our nighttime route included inland marshes and grasslands, where we were able to pick up some common rails, owls, and grassland breeders (including Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrow singing at night!). From here we were at the mercy of Fran and Dave, who strung together a fantastic inland route. While we missed some birds, we did pretty darn well. Before we knew it we were headed for the coast with 130 species. I had cr

recount yields 177

Full report coming soon - NB

Final update

Tired and wet, we're done with 176 (pending recount after sleep). Nick Sent from my iPhone

1445 update

Fixed the tire, but set back. Slowly picking up common shore stuff. 160. Sent from my iPhone

Flat tire update

Stuck on rte 8. Shit. Sent from my iPhone

1045 update

Heading to the coast with 130. Target was about 137. The record of 186 should be safe unless we run nearly perfect at the coast. We shall see. Nick Sent from my iPhone

0800 update

Slow the Past hour. Some big misses like Nashville, winter wren. 110 or so Sent from my iPhone

0245 update

Decent start, highlighted by horned lark, uppie, grasshopper, great horned, bb cuckoo, swainsons thrush, whip. 17 species Nick Sent from my iPhone

It's go time

Just arrived with the team in Cromwell for the start of our CT Big Day. Hoping the rain holds off, at least heavy stuff. Inclement weather could ground migrants for us, so I'm liking The forecast. I'll try to update from the field as the day goes on! Nick Sent from my iPhone

upcoming Big Day

For the past few years I've done a May BIG DAY in Connecticut with various folks. It has always been a blast no matter what our total. Here's a quick summary: 25 May 2006 - 157 species (with Danny Williams) 20 May 2007 - 173 species (with Danny Williams, EJ Raynor, Elliott Ashe) 26 May 2008 - 169 species (with Frank Gallo, Roy Harvey, Jerry Connolly, Randy Domina) None of these days were "world series"-like efforts. Scouting was minimal. This year Frank Gallo, Patrick Dugan, Dave Tripp, and Fran Zygmont were kind enough to invite me to join them for a run at the record. What is the CT record you ask? 186, set on May 20, 1994 by E.Hagen, B.Devine, B.Root, M.Szantyr, C.Wood, G.Hanisek. This year's effort will be greater than any I have been a part of. Tripp and Zygmont know the northwest corner like the back of their hands, which is key for picking up scarce breeding species. Frank, Patrick, and I will add our knowledge of the coastline. We will have one big drawbac