[CT Birds] Westport Morning Flight 9/25

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Fri Sep 25 22:14:53 EDT 2009

Echoing the massive movement this morning of warblers and other passerines at Bluff Point (Groton) and in Goshen, I had a similar 1/2 hour before work in Westport.  It's a site I've witnessed 'Morning Flight' in prior years.  Today from 6:45 - 7:15 am I counted 221 warblers winging westward overhead, most were well above treetop level.  I've got a lot to learn/relearn about ID'ing warblers in flight, so I was only able to ID a few that I saw well enough: 6 Blackpoll, 4 Magnolia, 1 BT Green, 1 Yellow-rumped.  Also heard 2 GC Kinglets, and saw 4 flocks of Cedar Waxwings totalling 250 or so. Also a resident Peregrine Falcon.
This site is actually on the Metro North RR bridge over the Saugatuck River.  There is a pedestrian walkway on the bridge itself, accessed from either the New Haven-bound side of the RR station, or from the end of E. Ferry Lane.  The east end is better for seeing birds that land briefly in the trees before crossing the river.
I want to point out that clearly there are places in CT other than Bluff Point (which I love) where one can witness a significant 'morning flight'.  Groton is such a long drive for me pre-dawn, that for a number of years I've searched for alternate places along the CT coast to witness this migration phenomenon.  I invite readers to discover their own such sites, preferably close to home.  Key criteria seems to be an area with a sizeable amount of forest/woods near the coast.  Then find the nw 'corner' of the woods. Other places that  I've had some success are Sherwood Is. State Park (West Woods or along the connector - because unfortunately the park doesn't open till 8am which is too late), and the woods to the north of Milford Point (Court St. or near the sewage plant). Obviously it doesn't even need to be near the coast, as witnessed by the movements noted inland today by Carrier and Finnan.
Frank MantlikStratford

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