Showing posts from July, 2013

Sandy Point t-storm

Not much to report bird-wise from Sandy Point in West Haven this afternoon aside from your expected late July migrants. No sign of the American Avocet that was seen a few days ago. Just as I was about to leave, an ominous looking thunderstorm rolled into New Haven. Bright blue sky to the south... ...darkness to the north! leading edge  - NB

July 8-13 on eastern Long Island

I'm recently back from several days spent on eastern Long Island, New York. During this vacation/visit I birded in bits and pieces with a couple of extended early morning outings. In short, the birding on the eastern LI south shore was fantastic, loaded with shorebirds, terns, and seabirds. I would have loved more time to explore. My first exposure to seawatching, with Carolyn, was on the evening of the 9th from Georgica Beach in East Hampton. The weather was overcast, hazy offshore, and a light south breeze. Here we had many Cory's Shearwaters plus single Great and Manx, plus two flyby Royal Terns. On the 11th I spent the entire morning birding further west, starting at the recently hot Cupsogue County Park (Elegant Tern, Red-necked Stint the week before) and working my way back east. At my first visit to Cupsogue I arrived at dead low tide and was able to navigate the channels and flats surprisingly easily. The recent drama and misinformation on the state listserv had mad

Sandy Pt - Lesser Black-backed Gull

This afternoon at Sandy Point in West Haven, CT Carolyn and I did not have much in the way of migrant shorebirds, but we did turn up a first summer LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL that was hanging out on the jetty. It was rather far away...way too far for my 400mm lens alone. In these cases, digiscoping still holds some value for me. Some birds are just too far for my lens, even when I use the 1.4x converter. This is why I still try to carry my trusty old Canon A590 IS in the field whenever I'm scoping. Slim, long-winged, black bill, gray-and-brown upperparts, and white underparts. just a hint of an inner primary window here with immature Herring Gull (left), note structural differences  - NB

July 1st Short-billed Dowitcher subspecies

The southbound shorebird migration has begun in Connecticut, which is always cause for celebration. Yesterday I had a nice half-day of birding a few coastal hotspots, the best of which was Griswold Point in Old Lyme. Among the arrivals from the north was a small flock of six Short-billed Dowitchers. While normally this would not be at all notable, the subspecific composition of this flock was interesting. Here in southern New England the common subspecies is griseus , but very small numbers of hendersoni can often be picked out among them, especially early in migration when adults are still in good plumage (according to the literature hendersoni averages earlier fall migration than griseus as well). Here in CT, this usually means no more than a few hendersoni per day on your best day (we don't get the flocks of hundreds of SBDO that you see at South Beach or Jamaica Bay). In yesterday's very instructive flock, four of the birds were straightforward hendersoni , just one was