Showing posts from July, 2018

Weekend on the water - Jul 28-29, 2018

This past weekend I traveled up the CT coast and back, from Norwalk to where Long Island Sound meets a more open version of the Atlantic Ocean. The motivation for the journey was to take some friends searching for the shearwaters that I and many other birders had seen by ferry earlier in the week. Though the weather pattern had changed, we figured we would still be able to find some birds in NY waters if CT waters failed us. Leaving the dock after 1pm on Saturday left me not much time to bird, but made the most of it. I picked up Stefan Martin in Stratford for a quick check of the breakwater and sandbars at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Highlights included a ROYAL TERN and a FORSTER'S TERN. Forster's Tern Royal Tern A Royal Tern flies over the sandbar while Steve Spector watches I continued east after returning Stefan to shore. Next stop was Falkner Island off Guilford, the site of last year's Bridled Tern . Tern numbers seemed down compared to last

Cape Cod, July 15-16

Hi all. Here is a quick post from a recent overnight jaunt to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I've copied and pasted my post to Massbird, plus an addendum for Sedge Wrens in CT: On Sunday 7/15 Allison Black and I kayaked from the Morris Island causeway to South Beach via North Monomoy. We paddled out on the rising tide and back on the falling tide. On the way back we paddled via the east side of North Monomoy, which left us having to drag our boats over sand on a few occasions. Apparently a large amount of sand, presumably from the extensive breaching of South Beach over the last few years, has been pushed westward. The route formerly taken by Outermost Harbor and Rip Ryder to drop birders off at South Beach is no longer navigable because of this, at least on the lower end of the tide cycle. It is fascinating how quickly and drastically things can change out there. The shorebird numbers were very modest for the date, at least as compared to the glory days of South Beach some 10 years ago

CT shearwater bonanza

Finding seabirds in Connecticut takes a strong combination of work and luck. This is especially true with the shearwaters. These medium-sized strong-flying seabirds are not easily pushed astray by a bit of wind. Long Island Sound, a narrow body of water split between Connecticut and New York, is mostly cut off from the open ocean. Only a narrow opening in the eastern sound communicates with the open Atlantic, and even that is a bit sheltered by Block Island (RI) and the South Fork of LI. It is not a preferred body of water for a shearwater...until very recently. Just to put things into perspective, here is a quick summary of CT's "accepted" shearwater records. All of them: Cory's Shearwater:  - One found inland following Hurricane Belle, Aug 1976 (per Zeranski & Baptist 1990)  - One found inland, Oct 1985  - One viewed from land, Jul 1997  - Four viewed from land following Superstorm Sandy, Oct 2012  - A few in the eastern Sound from ferry, Aug