[CT Birds] Summer Bird Counts and the New Haven SBC

rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net
Sat Jun 6 19:29:43 EDT 2009

Summer bird counts are amazing.  Let me just share just a very few highlights over the years.  I have observed, stumbled upon or otherwise experienced the following:
A Clapper Rail pacing beneath a schoolyard ornamental yew, a solid 50 yards from the nearest Spartina.  Walking to within a few feet of a Barred Owl dozing in a Hemlock ravine, (the same ravine where Acadian Flycatchers have called out "PEET-zih", LA Waterthrushes sing, Veeries have nested at the base of trunks and Winter Wren songs have "bubbled away" for long stretches).  A Goshawk releasing its battle cry inches from my nape.  Walking a trail behind a lifer Gray Fox, and watching numerous Red Foxes as well.  Being so close to deer that their stomping and snorting can be heard.  Loudly.  Black Racers, Snapping Turtles and other reptillian nesters, underfoot.  Turkey poults underfoot and Turkeys gobbling all over the hills.   Hooded Warblers and Chats skulking through successional saplings.  Nests of Kingfishers, Hummingbirds, Red-shouldered Hawks and Pileated Woodpeckers.  Squeaking at a coyote so that it would come in for a closer
 look.  Young Great Horned Owls flopping about and getting scolded by Crows.  Silhouettes of Sharp-tailed sparrows singing next to Willets.  Columns of Egrets and Night Herons heading west along the coast at dusk.  Whipps and Nighthawks calling.  Racoons sleeping in the crooks of tree trunks.  A Blackburnian Warbler singing in good Hemlock habitat, just a couple miles from the Long Island coast.  Woodpeckers, Vireos, Bluebirds, Tanagers, Flycatchers, Thrushes, Swallows, Warblers, Sparrows.     
Most of these experiences have been early-morning.  One can cover a lot of ground by 9 AM or so, and still have the whole day to get on with the more mundane duties of life.
Please consider helping out on a Summer Bird Count.  The New Haven Count is next weekend (June 13 & 14) and the circle coverage is still sparse in many good habitats and areas (East Haven, Hamden, North Haven, etc.).
If anyone could spare an hour or two, please contact me.  You'll contribute to a valuable population study and you'll have a great early summer morning experience.
Steve Mayo
rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net

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