Showing posts from August, 2009

Storm chasin' on Cape Cod (8/29-30)

Well, after some deliberation I decided to head out to the Cape for the storm this weekend, hoping that either the storm would crank up, or it would fizzle out so much that I could sneak in some beach time on Sunday. Neither happened. What we got were rather minimal winds; the only impressive part of the storm was the amount of rain that fell on Saturday. But it was the right decision to go. Had a great time with some great folks and even saw some birds along the way. Saturday - I arrived pre-dawn to meet Jeremiah T. and Marshall I. for a day of storm watching. We bopped around the outer Cape, hitting spots along the ocean and bay. We had the most action at Head of the Meadow (ocean), Race Pt (ocean), and along Rte 6A in Truro/P'town (bay). We were joined midday by Jeremiah's father Peter and Matt "doghouse" G. Our highlights included 2 Long-tailed Jaegers (had all 3 jaeger species) and several Leach's SP. hiding underneath the ranger's station at Race Pt hidi

TS Danny

At the risk of sounding sexist, we may as well change his name to Danielle. Tropical Storm (barely) Danny, which once peaked with 60mph winds and was forecast to be a Cat 1 'cane by the time it reached us, currently lies stationary off the SE coast with max winds of 40mph. TWC reports that he may even lose tropical characteristics before reaching our latitude. That's the bad news. The good news? Well, it is still a tropical cyclone....a tropical cyclone that is sitting in the Gulf Stream and will continue to track up this bird-rich current before passing just to our east tomorrow. Any strong low with such a track, especially at this time of year, can bring good birds with it. Recall that a nor'easter in April '07 unexpectedly dropped a Sooty Tern in Southington, CT and three more in Rhode you never know. And being a weak TS, Danny will not pose a safety threat as long as you don't do anything too stupid, and that's a good thing. So the question is...

8/25 - Milford Pt shorebirds; Marbled Godwit, WESAs

This afternoon's rising-to-high tide at Milford Pt was again productive. As compared to my 8/21 visit, there were far fewer peep but a much higher percentage of juveniles (from ~5% to 30%). Highlights included a Marbled Godwit and 3 juv Western Sandpipers. Marbled Godwit juv Western Sandpiper (note the new gray scapular on this sitting bird, revealing that it has already begun prebasic molt...something that juv Westerns do before Semis, on average) juv Western Sandpiper juv Western Sandpiper adult White-rumped Sandpiper - NB

CT Shorebird Day: 21 species incl Wilson's Phalarope

I set out this morning with a casual goal of seeing 20 species of shorebird across the state of CT. As it turned out, I would record 21 in the two adjacent towns of Stratford and Milford, making it one of my best local shorebirding days ever. The 21 species were: Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, American Oystercatcher, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, (Western) Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Phalarope. Misses included Piping Plover (locals have departed already), American Golden-Plover, Marbled Godwit, Western Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, and other rarer species. Here were the highlights: Stratford, Access Rd pools - WILSON'S PHALAROPE Stratford, Stratford Marina - LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, STILT SANDPIPER Stratford, Wooster Park -

8/13 - Stilt Sandpiper @ Milford Pt (Back Home!)

Quick post here...still catching up after getting back from KY a few days ago. Had a nice time, learned quite a bit of valuable medicine, got to see a couple southern towns (Nashville/TN, Ashville/NC) but more on that later. Spent much of the 13th shorebirding CT since the inclement weather scrapped my boat&beach plans; came up with 18 shorebird species and 4 tern species. Highlight was a molting adult Stilt Sandpiper on the bars at Milford Pt: Busy week ahead but hope to spend a long weekend on the Cape including a pelagic trip and South Beach. It's good to be home. - Nick