[CT Birds] Recent Birding notes......

Jo-Anne Roberts jmrcnslt at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 6 13:08:24 EST 2009


I also noticed the brighter yellow on the gold finches and chalked it up to
the longer daylight hours!




On 1/6/09 10:02 AM, "Brian Webster" <b.webster at hotmail.com> wrote:

> 
>> From my notes over the last couple days....
>  
> 1/4/08->
>  
> Sikorsky Airport Entrance:
>  
> -(15) Savannah Sparrows (4 Ipswich)
> -(90-100) Canadian Geese (6 of which had yellow neck bands....too far for my
> equiptment to read)
> -(1) Rough-legged Hawk (dark morph) hunting across the road in the marsh.
> -(3) Song Sparrows
> -(2) Am. Tree Sparrows
> -(22) Boat-tailed Grackles**
>  
> It may be me, since I focus my efforts on songbirds, but it seems the Sav
> Sparrows around the Stratford shore have combined forces.  Toward the end of
> fall, beginning of winter, it seemed there were a few at every location. Now
> it seems like there are small numbers at individual spots like Long Beach or
> the Gun Club, and a roving flock of 15-20+. On Christmas Eve I had around 20
> (that I counted) in the parking lot at Short Beach, and on 1/4/08 I had the 15
> at the airport.  During this time I've only counted as high as 3 at any single
> spot.... unless the flock is about.
>  
> Is this a common occurance?  Are they combining efforts to find food or are
> they just going along with some of the recent posts about Spring coming and
> getting ready for mating??  I certainly have heard the fee-bees of the
> Chickadee and 3-note songs of the Nuthatch recently.
>  
>  
> By the way, I've been wondering about the molting of Goldfinches.  I've
> noticed some (specifically in the larger flocks roaming the White Conservation
> Center) that have really bright yellow on them already.  Usually near the
> head, nape, and chest.  Do they molt more than once on their way to breeding
> plumage??  I know next to nothing about the molting cycles of birds, not just
> Goldfinches, and I'd like to learn.
>  
>  
>  
> I'm still a newbie (end of Feb will be one year) and one way I have been
> discrening between raptors down there (especially when the sun is rising or
> setting in my face) is to watch for the Rough-leg's hovering movements.  I've
> learned how Harriers hold their wings up in a 'V' pattern when hunting...now
> I've learned how Rough-legs 'pull up' from their flight and make their head
> and body vertical and flap their wings almost horizontally to remain in place.
> It is a really cool thing to watch and it makes for some great photos.
>  
>  
>  
> **As I found out eventually, the Grackles aren't there until sunset.  Most
> likely sunrise too, but I don't know when they leave.  I drove past the
> airport entrance 4 times from 3:30 on until they were finally there at
> 4:42pm.**
>  
>  
> Long Beach:
>  
> -(6) Horned Larks
> -(2) Song Sparrows
> -(40-50+) Common Goldeneye
> -(4) Hooded Merganser
> -(2) Red-breasted Merganser
> -(120+) Sanderling
> -(1) Dunlin  
> -(7) Am. Tree Sparrows
> -(3) Snow Buntings
> -(1) Glaucous Gull (same juv. continues)
>  
>  
> Is it me, or does that Glaucous Gull seem afriad to venture more than 20ft
> from the first jetty??  Is it common practice for a gull to narrow down a
> precise location amidst a larger location??
>  
>  
> Stratford Point (old gun club):
>  
> -(5) Snow Bunting (on roofs of buildings)
> -(4) Savannah Sparrows
> -(1) Song Sparrow
> -(1) Am. Tree Sparrow
> -(8) Red-breasted Merganser
> -(30) Am. Wigeon
> -(3) Red-throated Loon
> -(12) Common Goldeneye
> -(5) Gadwall
> -(2) Horned Grebe
> -(1) Brant  (the closest thing I've ever seen to a 'black' Brant.  Stays alone
> when the flock of Brants are around)
>  
>  
> Great Meadows (behind buildings):
>  
> -(8) Horned Larks on field
> -(25-35) Canadian Geese
> -(1) Male Northern Harrier
>  
> When I was there, the 2 does that are often there were feeding in the feild
> with the geese and the larks.  The sun in the background made for some amazing
> photos. I saw a 8-point buck on the gated path a couple months ago... I wanted
> to get photos but I haven't seen him since then and the rut is soone to be
> over.
>  
> Also, a few weeks ago I saw one single Can. goose that I thought could have
> been a Cackling or Lesser.  After looking at my photos and comparing them with
> those of a Lesser I took in Alaska (Potter Marsh immediately south of
> Anchorage) I am pretty sure it was just a juvenile.  Nonetheless, I went back
> about a week later to find the same individual, doing the same
> thing....sitting quietly, seemingly not scared, on the grass along the parking
> lot.  I got out of my truck to snap a photo to compare with the others, and it
> was clearly injured.  As it stood up, it hobbled and almost fell back over.
> One of it's legs was either broken, or it had gotten shot by one of the
> hunters.  I then jumped back into the truck to get my cell phone to call the
> DEP (they really didn't seem to care...never called me back)...when I did
> that, the bird attempted to fly away.  It only gained, maybe, 10 feet of
> elevation before giving up and landing in the spot where I had originally seen
> it.
>  
> Has anyone else seen this lone goose??
>  
>  
> Frash Pond:
>  
> -(25-35) Canvasback
> -(6) Bufflehead
> -(4) Hooded Mergansers
> -(1) Black-crowned Night-heron
> -(1) Belted Kingfisher
>  
>  
> The pond is almost frozen over.  I went back the next day (1/5) and for the
> first time since they arrived I didn't see a single Canvasback.  Or scaup  Or
> Bufflehead.  Or merganser.  Only Black ducks, 2 Mallard and gulls.
>  
>  
>  
> 1/5/08->
>  
>  
> Long Beach:
>  
> -(1) Glaucous Gull  (same spot as always...on the first jetty after the lot)
> -(5) House Finch (new bird for me at this location...actually in one of the
> abandoned houses)
> -(2) Northern Harriers...both female
> -(1) Rough-legged Hawk (over the marsh right near the platform at the end of
> the GMM trail)
> -(around 200-250) Common Goldeneye
> -(2) Lapland Longspur..... the reports were right on.  One of them had obvious
> rust on the nape and a bright, cheery face.  Very close to breeding plumage.
> Seen in between the jetty and the path, just before the double cedars on the
> shore side.
> -(21) Brant
> -(1) Great Egret
> -(1) Dunlin
> -(50-75) Sanderling
>  
>  
> GMM:
>  
> -(1) Juv. Red-tailed Hawk (big guy)
> -(3) Killdeer  (public trail)
> -(1) Rough-legged Hawk (same dark morph from the day before....has become
> pretty reliable)
> -(+/-15) Red-winged Blackbirds
> -(1) Enormous female Northern Harrier with a (couldn't read it) band on left
> leg (publc trail)
> -(4) Juncos  (trail)
> -(11) Am. Tree Sparrows  (trail)
>  
>  
> Frash Pond:
>  
> -(1) Great Cormorant
>  
> No sign of any ducks other than Black and one Mallard pair.
>  
>  
> Stratford Point:
>  
> -(1) Merlin perched in dead tree on other side of fence where CCSP usually is.
> -(8) Am. Tree Sparrows
> -(1) Clay-colored Sparrow (missed him the day before...needed it on my '09er
> list)
> -(3) Goldfinch
> -(1) Northern Harrier (female)
>  
>  
> Birdseye Boat-ramp:
>  
> -(5) Am. Coot
> -(2) Great Cormorant (fly-by)
>  
> Didn't see any grebes.
>  
>  
> Stratford Yard:
>  
> -(1) Ruby-crowned Kinglet continues at suet feeders
>  
>  
> Wooster Pond:
>  
> -(8) Green-winged Teal
>  
>  
>  
>  
> The year list sits at 68 right now......    Does anyone know if the GWF Geese
> are still around Whirlwind Rd. or the reservoir in
> Meriden/Wallingford/wherever??
>  
> Also...  I haven't heard anything about the Calliope in a while.  That would
> be a great year bird, as the chances of me seeing another one around here are
> ultra-slim.  Anyone hear anything recently??
>  
>  
>  
> -Brian Webster-
> Stratford
>  
>  
> 
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