[CT Birds] 1/4 birds

wingsct at juno.com wingsct at juno.com
Mon Jan 5 06:24:23 EST 2009

I've noticed a paucity of waterbirds off Greenwich, and what very few there have 
been seemed to have been late in arriving this fall.  

Meredith Sampson
Old Greenwich

-- ctredbird2 at comcast.net wrote:
Went on a shoreline jaunt with Jay Kaplan today.  January highlights included:

At Hammonasset Beach SP, Madison -- 6 White-winged Crossbills in the pines on the west side of the park.  These birds were very active and nervous and flew around a lot.  Perhaps the same birds or another smallish flock was in the pines in the pavillion area not long after (around 11 AM or so).  Yellow-rumped Warblers were at this location.  A female Red-breasted Nuthatch was in the pines on the west side.  We had a Fox Sparrow at the entrance to Willard's Island.  Nothing mixed in with the large flocks of Horned Larks near the nature center or on the west lawn.  From Meig's Point, we had Surf Scoters out in the sound towards Clinton Harbor and the young Iceland Gull on the rocky beach to the east of the point.  No Purple Sandpipers or any shorebirds on the jetty.  Oh, and flocks of Pine Siskins in the same place as the crossbills.  Anyone seen any siskins lately?

Anyone needing shorebirds for their lists might try West beach in Westbrook.  Scoping the extensive flats to the west, we had the expected common shorebirds -- Sanderling, Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover and Ruddy Turnstone.

At Stratford, we saw the Clay-colored Sparrow with Field Sparrows at the very end of the hedge line along the fence where they've been seen recently.  No coots off Birdseye Boat Ramp but there was a Pied-billed Grebe.  At Long Beach, we saw the Glaucous Gull that many others have reported right near the jetty at the end of the parking area, also had flyby pipits and at least one Lapland Longspur on the marsh side going down the beach.  This particular longspur was in surprisingly nice plumage for the time of year, showing a lot of vestiges of summer garb.

On the way home, there was a Black and Turkey Vulture over rt 8 around 3:30 or so in the area of exits 13 and 14, and a hen Ring-necked Duck at White Memorial in the small channel just before the Bantam River outlet.  No coots as far as we could see.

It seems as though there is a paucity of birds in Long Island Sound right now, particularly loons, grebes and Long-tailed Ducks.  Anyone else noticing that?

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT
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