Early spring birds

This past weekend I was able to get out a bit to enjoy a few species typical of mid-April in southern New England. On Saturday we put the family boat in the water for the summer - always a notable event. The first ride of the year went about as well as one could hope - she ran beautifully. A ride around the Norwalk Islands produced a handful of fishing NORTHERN GANNETS and some lingering/migrant waterfowl including LONG-TAILED DUCKS and SURF & WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS.

Northern Gannet
A rather tame AMERICAN COOT was waiting for us back at the dock.

American Coot
 Sunday was notable for its warmer temps reaching well into the 70s inland. I was able to sneak out for just an hour to nearby Brooksvale Park in Hamden to look for a Little Blue Heron that was seen the day before. No heron, but I was pleased to find a WHITE-EYED VIREO among a mixed flock along the pond edge. It's my personal earliest WEVI but about in-line with their typical arrival date. A few PALM and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were also in the mix.

White-eyed Vireo
Palm Warbler

In just about 10 days the passerine migration will be getting hot and heavy with many neotropical migrants due to arrive in the area. Unfortunately I will be out of town for much of May, but the good news is that I will be birding elsewhere, namely Florida, Alaska, and the Gulf Stream off North Carolina (in that order!). So stay tuned for updates and highlights from those trips. I may even post a bit from the road if I am motivated enough to do so! It will be slightly disappointing to miss the bulk of the spring warbler push, but they'll be back next year...

 - NB


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