Irene Update #4

Woke up today to clear skies and light west winds, making it difficult to believe a strong Tropical Storm had made landfall less than 24 hours earlier.

I started at dawn today with a low tide visit to Milford Pt at the mouth of the Housatonic River, which was quickly rewarded with a BLACK-NECKED STILT and a single Royal Tern. I watched the mouth of the Housatonic River for a brief time, without seeing anything interesting, before deciding that taking the boat out might be a great idea. Our boat, located in Norwalk, survived the storm without any damage. I headed out around 8am and had very little in a brief tour of the islands. I went back to the dock to pick up a few birders: Greg Hanisek, Tina Green, and John Oshlick.

Long Island Sound was back to its normal, quiet state. We didn't have anything interesting out there despite a few hours total spent near the middle of the sound. On our way back in we swung by Cockenoe Island in Westport for a second look and had a few goodies: Royal Tern, 4 Black Terns, and a Whimbrel among other more common stuff.

So that was about it. In stark contrast to yesterday, which was very exciting, today started out with a very nice bird (the stilt) but was overall quite slow. We were spoiled, I know.

Elsewhere there was a slow trickle of lingering pelagic rarities. Patrick Dugan had a juv Sooty Tern from Milford Pt in the afternoon, where 3 Hudsonian Godwits were also seen. Glenn Williams and Hank Golet had a BROWN PELICAN at Griswold Pt at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Scott Kruitbosch watched 2 juv Parasitic Jaegers move down the Housatonic River this afternoon as well.

Surrounding states had similar results, with a few pelagics seen here and there by a lucky few. I hear that First Encounter Beach on Cape Cod was productive today, as expected.

It's apparent that most of the fun is over at this point, but there should still be some exciting birds to come, NOT limited to pelagic birds. Keep your eyes and mind wide open.

- Nick


  1. Sounds like the south coast managed some great birds. All we (NH) got out of it was a huge fallout of Black Terns and Hudsonian Godwits, plus 6 Skimmers the next day. It's funny how disappointing it is, since a few hundred Black Terns would be a great day anywhere in New England under any other circumstances.

  2. I know what you mean Ben. It's all relative. I found myself late on Sunday briefly bummed that I didn't personally get Bridled Tern nor did I luck into something crazy like a tropicbird. I quickly remembered what we DID have was awesome in its own right, especially BRSP, and realized that nobody out there saw everything anyway. I guess the storm weakened too much before it reached your latitude?

  3. It seems that way, unfortunately.

    At least this gives me a chance to get on the BBC pelagic now... assuming Katia doesn't get in the way.

  4. Apparently we did get one southern rarity -- our first White-tailed Tropicbird. Unfortunately it was moribund upon discovery.


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