Showing posts from June, 2017

Quinnipiac River Marshes

Twice during mid-June I spent a few afternoon hours kayaking parts of the Quinnipiac River and its marshes in North Haven, CT. Paddling in here during the breeding season had been high on my list of things to do since hearing two Clapper/King Rails there about three years ago. Being upriver without spartina grass in sight and within earshot of Virginia Rails, I had assumed them to be King Rails. This, however, was in error. I was a bit surprised when, in following up on these birds, I watched a perfectly normal-looking Clapper Rail wander out of the phragmites and into plain sight. So much for the King Rail assumption. Subsequent research on this topic revealed records of both Clapper and King Rails from this marsh dating back to the 90s. I have no idea, to this point, of the ratio of Clapper to King. It could be that there's enough salt water up there to be a perfectly fine place for Clapper Rails to breed, with the occasional overshoot King Rail; this is the case along the CT c

Butterfish Hole, June 4th

Over the past couple years my brother and his best friend Rob have aggressively pursued offshore fishing. Western Long Island Sound has them feeling a bit claustrophobic, and who could blame them! Rob's family's new boat has allowed them to get offshore much more often. With the way the weather has been so unsettled this spring, I was surprised to hear that they were planning on a run offshore on Sunday. A day's break in the weather resulted in a forecast for calm seas, and I was pumped to join them for a quick trip during that window. We left the dock in Milford, CT before first light. The run to Montauk and around the corner to the south was wonderfully smooth as predicted. We ended up about 20 miles south of the point at a well-known area called Butterfish Hole. We encountered very little life until we hit the hole itself; the grounds to the north seemed dead. Once we saw our first few shearwaters, however, it was game-on and we seemingly had life around us at all time