Showing posts from 2019

November update

Well, this year's southbound migration has been pretty rough to this point! Here in Connecticut bird numbers have been remarkably low throughout the second half of the year. Shorebirds, warblers, hawks and sparrows were all pretty weak overall. Much of this is probably just luck of the draw. Still, on the occasions when weather conditions have set up for classic migration days, most have been disappointing. In these instances, the appearance of rarities can spice things up, but we've been largely left out of that game too. The rares have been in the region (Massachusetts cleaning up per usual), but we're in a rut here. Here's hoping for a change in luck as we get into waterfowl and CBC season. November especially is known for its rarities, though we are in the midst of back-to-back early deep freezes, which should effectively push out or kill any non-hardy vagrant insectivores. This first freeze of the season has really brought the geese in full force. Here is an i

Little yellowish jobs

When you spend time in a weedy field in early October, brown isn't the only color you'll be seeing. There are all sorts of little yellowish jobs kicking around. Yesterday morning I had a nice array of late warblers and a Dickcissel, each sporting a bit of yellow. Dickcissel Nashville Warbler Common Yellowthroat Palm Warbler Connecticut Warbler - did not want to cooperate!  - NB

BERMUDA PETREL on the Brookline Bird Club Pelagic (Trip Report)

Below is a copy of our recent BBC pelagic trip report with record photos of most highlights. Yet another hugely successful trip in the books. Here's looking forward to 2020. BROOKLINE BIRD CLUB “EXTREME PELAGIC” September 21-22, 2019 Trip report by Nick Bonomo On the heels of a weather cancelation of our August overnight pelagic trip, we were a bit nervous that the September trip might suffer the same fate. Lucky for us, Hurricane Humberto accelerated into the open North Atlantic, and the Brookline Bird Club would reach the edge of the continental shelf in 2019 after all. Forty-seven hopeful birders boarded the Helen H in Hyannis early on Saturday, September 21 st , in the hands of legendary Captain Joe Huckemeyer and his trusty crew. Capt. Joe informed us that we would face minor residual swell from the hurricane at first, but that seas would progressively calm through the weekend. We had only successfully run a few of these late September trips before, so th

Parasitic Jaeger off the CT coast

Hurricane Dorian ever so slightly (and quickly!) brushed southern New England on Sep 6-7. Not surprisingly, it didn't pack much rarity punch here. Still, some southern terns were deposited to Atlantic Canada and could conceivably pass through as they reorient. This possibility added a bit of extra motivation to bird the CT coast by boat sometime this week. Today was my first chance to do so, as I've been busy at work. I left New Haven Harbor around 8:30am and headed east. The forecast was iffy in that there was a chance a swell could kick up from the east, in which case I would have to abort. Luckily that never happened, and I was able to cover way more ground that I had expected...all the way to the Rhode Island line and back. Immediately evident was the departure of terns from New Haven Harbor. The theme continued to Falkner Island, where five early GREAT CORMORANTS were roosting. In fact, I didn't see a tern until I hit Madison on the outbound leg of the journey. I ran

Quick hit Hudwit and Stilt Sand

I spent the majority of the 5th and 6th in the field with still a pretty heavy focus on shorebirds. We're getting to the point in the season when birders understandably shift their interest from shorebirds and terns to passerines and hawks. There will still be quality shorebirding for a bit longer, though numbers will really drop off (and have already begun to). An early morning visit to Hammonasset Beach SP on the 5th found hardly any shorebirds on the lawns, but a decent landbird movement overhead. BOBOLINKS dominated, passing in singles and small flocks. The highlight came in the form of my first DICKCISSEL of the year, giving its flight call as it flew westward down the coast. Some dedicated landbirding in Guilford found a few feeding flocks of common species. AMERICAN REDSTARTS are still dominating the warbler mix, which is typical for the date. For the midday period I walked out Sandy Point in West Haven. Shorebird numbers never really got very high there this year, an

SFBY Spell Broken

The last six weeks or so have been quite slow around here. Shorebird and tern diversity has been low - not something you want if you're doing a big year of any kind. The weather has honestly been too nice. Connecticut lacks extensive shorebird habitat. That fact, combined with our east-to-west coastline and proximity to Long Island, make it too easy for shorebirds to fly right over us on their way south. So, we need inclement weather to drop those migrants out of the sky and force them to land in CT. Other than a couple lines of strong storms and one or two dreary mornings, our days have been dry and sunny! Perfect beach weather, not so perfect shorebirding weather. Not surprisingly, those few moments of inclement weather have resulted in the few appearances by scarce species such as Stilt Sandpiper and Marbled Godwit. I've been looking forward to the last week of August because, even on beautiful days, diversity should be increasing as we reach peak juvenile migration. Juven