[CT Birds] Evening at Eagleville.
Mntncougar at aol.com
Mntncougar at aol.com
Fri Sep 4 20:08:19 EDT 2009
I drove over to the Eagleville dam in Mansfield tonight to have a "last"
try for the nighthawks I have seen there in the past. In 2 previous trips
this year I saw only 1, who circled the lake but never came past the dam. I
arrived at 6:35 and got out of the car quickly to watch a departing
Red-tail flying up-river. As he flew into the glow of the setting sun I scanned
the sky and saw -- Nighthawks!! a small group of 4 was visible and I watched
long enough that I thought that was probably all of them. Then 2 more
appeared, and more, and more! A total of 29 in that flock, easy to count as
they flew by me in easy naked eye range. Once again an empty sky, and I
thought that was it for the night. For some reason Nighthawks at dusk do not
really arrive, they materialize. First you see a few, then others are
suddenly with them, to the sides, behind, overhead. I've noticed that each time
I have seen them at sunset. I was about to give up at about 6:50, when 2
more appeared way up-river, swiftly followed by many more. Within 2 minutes
a group of 51 passed by. A small group of 5 was quickly followed by a
flock of 58. After about 5 minutes, more appeared, a flock of 32 followed by a
final group of 38. At that point it was almost 7:20 and the light was
fading fast so I called it a night. If my math is right that's a total of 209
in about 40 minutes.
In addition, the fruits of the labors of the local waterfowl were on
parade. First the 2 swans with 5 grayish-brown cygnets, almost as large as the
parents. Then 2 groups of Canada Geese, 18 juveniles accompanied by 6
adults. Seems that from a group of 6 this spring we now have a flock of 24. A
really ratty looking Great Blue Heron posed on the lip of the dam for a
few minutes, and just as I was leaving, a large bird, possibly a night heron,
flew up the river from the dam. There is a group of 5 DC Cormorants
roosting in a pine tree and a maple tree about 100 yards upstream to the left of
the dam. I've seen them before (though I had no idea DCCO roosted in
trees). When they come in to roost they have a terrible time landing on the
branches, particularly in the maple, and there is alot of flapping before
each 1 secures his perch. The maple is covered with whitewash.
Perhaps that won't be my last try for Nighthawks this year after all.
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