[CT Birds] Watch Rock, Old Lyme

htg1523 at att.net htg1523 at att.net
Wed Oct 31 13:21:14 EDT 2007

10/31 Kayaking the creeks around Watch Rock, Old Lyme this morning,,, 25 or so species with birds of interest being,
 Am Coot 9
PB Grebe 1 
Am Bittern 1 
Least Bittern 1 
   The Least Bittern is most interesting.  I thought it was late for this species and checking Greg Hanisek's bar graph in  Conn Birds by the Season (Conn Warbler-Jan 2005 I find that it is a very late sighting for a Least.  I first saw it while paddling the main creek and while trying to get my kayak in position to digiscope the bird it walked into the reeds.  I thought with luck I might get another chance.
  After paddling around for a while I went into another smaller creek near where I had first seen the bittern, turned a corner and the bird was on the edge of the mud about 50 feet away on the other side of the  creek,,, saw me, turned and went into the grass.  I backed off some and tied my boat  to a couple of sticks that I carry to drive into the mud to stabilize it somewhat while I take pictures through my scope.  I waited about 15 minutes because I have learned that sometime they will come back out if you wait a bit.  The bird didn't show so I pulled up the sticks, grabbed my paddle and and just before I started to move I gave a coo, coo, coo, coo.    I have never heard them vocalize except during the spring and coincidence or what,,the bird flew right across my bow to the other side of the creek and dropped into the grass.  It had walked through the grass on the other side of the creek until it was just about straight across from me.
  A nice story but I did not get a picture.  The bird was an adult male, black cap and back.  
Hank Golet

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