[CT Birds] Coastal Center, Stratford yard

Brian Webster b.webster at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 16 13:52:12 EDT 2009

6/16, CACC (Milford Point) 8:30-10a-
(1) Saltmarsh Sharptailed Sparrow
(3) Oystercatchers
(2) Orchard Orioles (pair)
(4) Purple Martins
(7) Waxwings
(1) Willow Flycatcher
(1) Towhee
(1) Black-crowned Night-heron
(5) Black-bellied Plovers (12:30p)
(6) Least Terns
Also Barn and Tree swallows, cormorants, several GBBGs, and large numbers of both Snowy and Great egrets.  Other that the Black-bellies and egrets, the marsh side was curiously devoid of shorebirds.  Not a peep in sight.
6/15, Stratford yard/woods-
(1) Hooded Warbler
(3) Redstarts
(1) Great Crested Flycatchers (with a huge bug in it's mouth)
(1) Pileated Woodpecker calling LOUDLY
(1) Red-shouldered Hawk
(1) Common Raven (I wish I knew where this guy nests...)
I was checking the progress of a thicket of raspberries when I saw a Chipping Sparrow leave with a fecal sac.  I did some reading and found it very interesting that the removal of fecal sacs serve other duel purposes.  Besides cleaning duties, I found that bids may bring the fecals sacs far away so nest robbers can't use them as a scent/sight for finding a nest.
Supposedly, especially in Bluebirds, they will balance them on wires/fenceposts/lightposts far away from the nest.  Often farther than the parents travel for food.
I thought that was rather interesting.
All the baby mantises have been obviously growing.  Over the last 3 weeks I have seen them being to raise their front arms in defense, start moving their head only, and now I can see their pupils.  I love waving a hand past them to watch their pupils follow it.  The largest of the bunch is almost 1 1/2" already.  I counted 11 yesterday afternoon before the later storm.
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