Yesterday afternoon's birding along the eastern CT shore was rather slow, but a detour to view a red Eastern Screech Owl on private property was quite nice. Also of note, the "Black" Brant continues in Waterford.
For the past couple months, Ian Davies and I had been eyeing this week for a little summer Cape Cod birding adventure. The feasibility of this plan would depend largely on the weather, as I wanted to trailer the boat to the Cape for access to pelagic waters and Monomoy NWR. After a rather uncertain and oft-changing forecast thanks to a stationary front passage, a brief weather window opened for the second half of the week. Julian Hough was free to join me for the mini vacation, so we left CT on Tuesday evening. Wednesday was spent shorebirding; Ian had to work that day, but Pete Trimble and Phil Rusch filled out the boat. Thursday found us rained out, but we regrouped for a full Friday on the water. At sunrise on Friday the 12th, Ian, Julian, and Pete & Jeremiah Trimble and I left the harbor and headed around the tip of Monomoy to the productive waters east of Chatham. I had been out there a handful of times prior between my boat and a friend's, and there has always been at lea
Today's cooler, blustery conditions combined with the appearance of an Ivory Gull in Cape May got me thinking more about the upcoming gull season and reflecting on last year's. The 2008-09 gulling in the northeast was pretty damn good and included a few really exciting birds. The season started out with a bang exactly one year ago today with CT's first Slaty-backed Gull . On 12/12 an adult Thayer's Gull put in a brief appearance at the Windsor-Bloomfield Landfill, CT's premier gull hotspot, followed by a first-winter bird on 12/23. A Black-headed Gull spent the winter in New Haven Harbor. Perhaps 'gull of the year' was a subadult Glaucous-winged Gull in Rochester, NH, found by Scott Young...a first record for New England. Meanwhile Gloucester, MA was once again the gull capital of New England. I happened to already be up in Boston when news of an adult Ivory Gull broke on 1/17. I still get chills thinking about that weekend. Of course there were plenty
Frank Mantlik struck again yesterday by finding a bright adult CURLEW SANDPIPER in a small golf course pond along the Stratford, CT coast. This was the first chaseable Curlew Sand in the state in over 20 years, thus unblocking this species for an entire generation of birders. Out of town and unable to partake in the twitch, I was hoping the bird would stick another day. This morning's negative reports were discouraging. The only reasonable play was to wait for the afternoon high tide and hit the local roosts. I started on the rising tide at Milford Point, where some 150 birds came to roost but could not settle thanks to foot traffic. Even with more tide to come, this felt like a lost cause, so I drove across the estuary to Stratford Point. The roost here held ~500 birds, and the Curlew Sand was smack in the middle. Better late than never! Thanks, Frank! (click image for higher res viewing) - NB
Hey hey my fellow argue(er)!! (lol)ReplyDelete
Just wondering...do you discern between 'black' Brant and 'atlantic' brant on your life list??
For instance... Harlan's and Krider's Red-tails?? I have cackling goose as a seperate lifer, but when I get to Red-tailed Hawk I have 157-Red-tailed Hawk then 157(a) Harlan's and 157(b) Krider's. (just an arbitrary number... not sure what Red-tail is on my list).
I know it is usually up to the birder, but I was wondering with this particular species, having seen the Stratford bird.
I still don't know how you pull out thses ssps in these flocks!! I felt awesome when I was able to pluck a Ross' Goose out of like 15k_ Snow Geese in ND!!
Oh.... BTW.... my road-trip is still on. I would've had to pay EVERYTHING out of pocket to take the NJ banding internship. Money I have been saving for this trip.ReplyDelete
Did you ever make it out to Arizona??
Bummer about the internship. At least you have your trip to "fall back" on.
As of right now there is only one Brant species in the world, with 3 official subspecies. I don't think there has ever been a really good case to split Black Brant from the others, but I'm no expert on the matter. I generally follow the AOU (American) decisions regarding taxonomy. In some cases the BOU (British) taxonomists are more split-happy, but they have not split Brant either. So, I do not add "Black" Brant as a separate species on my life list. But identifying subspecies is still very worthwhile, if not just to contribute to what we know about subspecies' range.
PS - rescheduled CA/AZ trip to Feb 14-24
Makes sense. I usually follow the AOU tax. also. Until Charlie B. told me Cackling was split (I thought it was, but wasn't sure).ReplyDelete
And I am expecting your homework completed upon return to CT on the best spots to hit up in SE Arizona!!! Granted I'll be there in mid Spring, not late winter, but still. =)
It is a bit of a bummer, regarding the internship. But I spoke with Char Weston (master bander at the Coastal Center) and this season I will be getting into pretty much the same things I'd be doing in Jersey. Not to mention I wouldn't get my banding license in Jersey... I could do the Cornell course later in the summer (hopefully).