[CT Birds] Barn Island (today), Griswold Airport and Hammonasset (yesterday)

COMINS, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Sat May 22 16:59:41 EDT 2010

Today was the annual combined NHBC/Hartford Audubon trip to Barn Island WMA in Stonington.  The HAS contingent found 65 species, including an after trip to the adjacent Crowley property, highlights:
White-eyed Vireo, Blackburnian Warbler, Hooded Warbler (first time for this location for me), Seaside Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrows and Orchard Oriole.

The Saltmarsh Sparrows were easier to find than in most years, even being pretty easy to find at the first impoundment.  There were at least 2 Saltmarsh Sparrows on the Crowley Property, along with a Savannah Sparrow and a dozen or so Bobolinks between the two hayfields.  It was good to find a Saltmarsh Sparrow north of the railroad tracks.  Hopefully the DEP can buy the property before houses go up.

Went to the Griswold Airport yesterday (no public access yet, but we had special permission for a reconnaissance mission and tour with TPL staff).  I think it's going to be a popular birding destination once open to the public (after the runways and buildings are removed).  Highlights: Northern Harrier (Imm), Little Blue Heron (feeding in the pannes near the woods), a few misc shorebirds (the pools might be a good place to check when the park is busy), lots of Marsh Wrens and Willow Flycatchers, Brown Thrasher,   3 Savannah Sparrows, lots of Saltmarsh Sparrows, with great looks, at least one Seaside Sparrow and an Orchard Oriole.   There weren't all that many migrants around yesterday, but it seems some of the mature oaks on the property will be good to check, as we had a few like Blackpolls, Redstarts, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided and Northern Waterthrush (not in the oaks).

Belated reports of highlights from last weekend's Bird-a-Thons...preliminary totals:
Saturday 5/15 150 species, highlights: American Bittern (flying in the open and landing in the dunes seen from the boardwalk to the beach), Forster's Tern from town parking lot in Guilford, 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hammonasset, Upland Sandpipers at Rentschler Field, and Glaucous Gull at Long Beach.

O'Brien Bird-A-Thon, Sunday 5/16 144 species, highlights, Mourning Warbler (among 20 species of warblers), Lincoln's Sparrow and Olive-sided Flycatcher at Bent of the River.

Patrick Comins, Meriden.

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