Friday, December 21, 2018

CT DOVEKIE

Today's well-timed sou'easter delivered a substantial alcid flight to the western RI coast, with some trickling in to CT waters. The key for us in Connecticut is the wind direction - winds out of the southeast are best because our coast is south-facing. Northeast wind, which is great for places like Andrews Point and Race Point in Massachusetts, doesn't work so well for us. Today's winds were sustained around 30mph per buoy data in eastern Long Island Sound, which is enough to pin alcids against a shoreline. A mid-morning report from Rhode Island, where Chris Raithel was seeing hundreds of westward-bound Razorbills, kicked my lazy butt into gear and sent me to Stonington Point, the eastern-most point of land in CT. Here, Russ Smiley and Dave Provencher had already been watching.

Apparently the early morning was quiet at this site, but Dave had his first Razorbill not long after arriving just before 11am. I pulled in at 11:30 and they had a few RAZO on the water.

The rain picked up, and we retreated to our respective cars for cover. At 12:37 I looked up from my phone to see a DOVEKIE flying right at me, eye level, at the tip of the point. I got the bird in my bins for a second or two before it dropped out of sight down towards the water's edge. The others had not seen it, so I motioned to them, and we crept towards the tip. The Dovekie flew up and out towards the west and disappeared into the fog.

Record photos below.




Dovekie

Dovekie is a rare bird in Connecticut. A storm is required to "wreck" one (or more) into Long Island Sound. This was my first for the state. Before this, I had seen a dead one being eaten by Great Black-backed Gulls at Stonington Point, and Frank Gallo and I had what I'm sure were two Dovekies as specks in the heat shimmer following Superstorm Sandy. So it was nice to officially add this one to my state list.

The final Razorbill tally was estimated at about 15 birds, a great number for the state.

Razorbills

 - Nick

1 comment: