[CT Birds] nesting Common Eider

Glenn Williams gswilliams9 at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 16 12:59:53 EST 2009


I first found nesting Common Eider on South Dumpling about five or six years ago - very close to the NY/CT border in the eastern end of Long Island Sound.  The number of nests has been around ten yearly, give or take a few each year.  There are probably more nests undetected as there are usually 40-50 adult Common Eider around the island during the nesting season.  The island is only about 180 yards by 80 yards in size with a rocky shore that slopes up about 20 feet all around the island.  The top part is bare from years of guano and covered with dead trees in which egrets, night-herons, cormorants, etc. nest.  Glossy Ibis and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons used to nest there but I have not seen them in several years.  The eiders nest on the island's sloping edges, above the rocks and in denser vegetation - jimson weed, phragmites, poison ivy, etc.

There really are not a lot of good spots for eider nesting in eastern Connecticut.  Phil Rusch and I think that Ram Island could be good, but it is private.  Nearby Andrew's and Dodge's Islands are also possibilities.  They are also private.  All three are in view of South Dumpling.  After that, one has to go quite a bit west to find suitable islands.

I agree, Frank, 2010 should be the year to find nesting eider in Connecticut.

Glenn Williams
Mystic     

--- On Wed, 12/16/09, Frank Mantlik <mantlik at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> From: Frank Mantlik <mantlik at sbcglobal.net>
> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Waterford to Stonington (eiders), Hammo campground
> To: "Nick Bonomo" <nbonomo at gmail.com>, "CTBirds" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
> Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 6:55 AM
> Nick,
> 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
> Stratford
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> 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
> http://shorebirder.blogspot.com/
> 
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