[CT Birds] birding by boat

Gedney gedney at cshore.com
Mon May 26 11:14:53 EDT 2008

>From Rick Gedney:

Casual bird notes from boat cruise on lower CT River, Clinton Harbor and Duck Island: (Breezy, cool, sea surface approx 50 degrees F, wave 1-2 ft.)

5-24-08 - 
  a.. 8 Osprey cruising down CT River from Ferry Point in Old Saybrook (including active nest at Ferry Point Marina channel where boats are forced by narrow channel to within 6 feet of nest on pilling.)
  b.. 2 Common Tern at mouth of river.
  c.. 12 Purple Martins on spit of sand at north end of Cedar Island at Clinton Harbor channel turn. Pecking in fine sand at waters edge (feeding on sand fleas or taking in material for gizzard?  This is about a half mile from the Hammo boxes, there may be other boxes in the harbor area.)
  d.. Barn Swallows working gnat hatch being blown over Cedar Island Marina from marsh to the west. 
  e.. Belted Kingfisher diving bait fish in marina fingers from top of sailboat mast.  
5-25-08 - 
  a.. 2 Common Tern over open water.
  b.. 4 Ame. Oystercatcher on Duck island.
  c.. 1 Long-tailed Duck at Duck Island breakwater.
  d.. 1 Common Loon in summer plumage  fishing (for bunker?) at Clinton Harbor breakwater.
  e.. 1 Glossy Ibis, 2 BC Night Heron ( imm.), 3 Great Egret, 2 Snowy Egret  feeling out heron rookery trees on Duck Island.   
  f.. 4 Ruddy Turnstones on Duck Island breakwater.
The LT Duck and R. Turnstone appear to be late migrants? (I welcome comments here).
I have seen C. Loon in the area into August.
Gulls: mostly Herring & Greater Black-backed at breakwater and offshore island areas in about a 3-1 ratio. But not in great numbers. 

(Happy to say my new 4-stroke engine use .5 gal per hour of fuel at birding speed.)  

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