[CT Birds] Waterford to Stonington (eiders), Hammo campground

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Wed Dec 16 06:55:30 EST 2009

I'll chime in on the widespread occurrence of Common Eiders this season.  In my 37 years of birding in CT, I've never witnessed anything close to the numbers and widespread occurrence of the species in CT.  I would say that in a "normal" year, there are 1-3 Common Eiders scattered along the CT shore in the course of the fall/winter.  So these numbers are unprecedented, at least in recent history.  There definitely seems to be an increase in population to the south of their range.  A few years ago there was a huge flock (100s?) off Stonington Point in January (in RI waters) .  And I recall Glenn Williams finding them breeding on an island (Little Dumpling?) in eastern LI Sound earlier this year.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they're breeding on some CT islands next spring.

Frank Mantlik

From: Nick Bonomo <nbonomo at gmail.com>
To: CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Tue, December 15, 2009 6:52:49 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Waterford to Stonington (eiders), Hammo campground

I took advantage of today's cloudy skies to check eastern LI Sound
before it got too windy. Stops included Harkness SP, Ender's Island,
and Stonington Point. Common Eider were present in NUMBERS at every
location and often very close to shore. Since I've been birding, I
can't recall a fall/winter like this for Common Eider in CT. I recall
a couple fluke large flocks being reported over the last few years,
but never anything consistent like this. Maybe some of the old folks
can chime in :)

Cormorant numbers were split about 50/50 between the two species until
I ran into a pure flock of 56 Greats at Stonington Point. While at the
point I watched two fishing boats coming in from the ocean with many
gulls and gannets around them, but nothing rare (recall this is how
Phil Rusch found a Northern Fulmar over a week ago).

I stopped into the Hammo campground on the way home and saw 3 of the
Baltimore Orioles and an impressive number of Yellow-rumped Warblers.

>From Nick Bonomo:
12/15 - Waterford, Harkness SP – 22 COMMON EIDER, 8 NORTHERN GANNET
Mystic, Ender’s Island – 30 COMMON EIDER
Stonington, Stonington Pt – 56 COMMON EIDER (plus a few hundred more
in the distance, likely in RI and NY waters), 70 NORTHERN GANNET
Madison, Hammonasset SP – RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, 3 BALTIMORE ORIOLES (fem/imm)

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT

This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org

More information about the CTBirds mailing list