[CT Birds] Pachaug SF; NL county Purple Martins

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Sun May 2 16:00:44 EDT 2010

>From Jamie Meyers:
5/2 - Voluntown, Pachaug SF - YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER continues.  A singing WINTER WREN and calling RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were nearby.
Stonington, Pequot Golf Course - two PURPLE MARTIN houses near the clubhouse are active with perhaps as many as two dozen busy martins working the area and setting up shop.
North Stonington, Lewis Farm - an older model PURPLE MARTIN box had several martins, unfortunately joined by starlings and House Sparrows.  There was an EASTERN MEADOWLARK in the farm field across the street from the box.

A couple of notes/thoughts on the warbler - maybe I was lucky, but the location of the bird was more difficult to find than the bird itself.  I appreciate the directions posted here previously, and also Carolyn's comments on the song.  I have not heard a singing YT Warbler in a few years so I am really only marginally familiar with the song, but to me it also sounded more subdued and Yellow-rumpish.  In fact, when I heard a song that was like that I figured I'd found the bird.  Today he was about 300 yards north of the pulloff with the fresh logs, on the right hand side of the road.  He was not there when I walked past but was there as I was walking back towards my car.  It's likely thus that he flew in after I passed the first time.

Here is a set of alternative directions, which might be helpful --

* the entrance to the forest referred to in previous notes is on CT 49, north of the intersection with CT 138 and just north of the Beachdale Pond boat ramp, which is on the right.  The entrance is the next left not more than 200 yards north of the boat ramp area.
* once on the forest entrance road, you can either bear left to a parking area for another access to Beachdale Pond or bear right towards the campground.  Bear right here.  
* no more than a mile up, and after the entrance to the forest office, there is a fork in the road, with a large sign directing motorists to five various destinations within the park.  Bear right here and go through a busy part of the campground until the road turns to dirt.
* once on the dirt road, no more than a mile up on the right, there is the gated trail and pulloff on the right with the many large fresh logs that was noted in previous posts.  Based on previous reports and my experience today, the bird works the area up the road beyond this pulloff.  The wren and nuthatch were in this area as well.

I was pleased to stumble across the martin colonies while searching for much more common town birds in both of those towns.  I didn't know those were there before.  Perhaps those with local knowledge know all about them.  The North Stonington box looks taggard and ragged and with the sparrows and starlings about I wonder how successful the martins will be.  The golf course colony looked robust.  It was, frankly, an awesome sight.

Speaking of awesome, this has been a heck of a weekend.  I've recorded so many year birds in the past three days that I've well lost track.

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT

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