[CT Birds] Raven Luna-ticks Big Day Run on Sunday, May 23

peeplo at aol.com peeplo at aol.com
Wed May 26 13:14:36 EDT 2010

The Raven Luna-ticksü (Nick Bonomo, Patrick Dugan, Frank Gallo, Dave Tripp, and Fran Zygmont) had an exciting day despite fog on the eastern coast and a pitiful songbird migration. Our total was an incredible 185, only one away from the record! We're still in a bit of shock... 
Highlights included four Least Bitterns, two at Station 43, and several Sora Rails; both species were missed last year. From midnight to dawn, we tallied most of the other night-calling birds, including Whip-poor-will, Horned Lark, and Grasshopper Sparrow. Upland Sandpiper had to wait until daylight hours, but we found one. Inland, we ferreted out most of the nesting warblers, including Golden-winged, Mourning, Hooded, and Cerulean, but missed Nashville, sadly. Our coastal run started in fog, but using what felt at times like braille birding techniques, we were able to pluck out Little Blue Heron, our missing Bank Swallow, an American Oystercatcher, and a few other shorebirds before the fog finally cleared. As we pulled into Middle Beach in Madison, we were greeted by Purple Sandpipers and a Common Loon, both still hanging around from earlier in the week. We had a respectable duck tally, which was a surprise given that we missed Red-breasted Merganser for the first time and few ducks had been found during the previous week. A flock of young male Common Eiders found at Tuxis Island, Madison, two weeks earlier but absent during the week decided to show themselves, as did a young male Surf Scoter. Perhaps it was the tides?  Eleven White-winged Scoters and a Hail Mary Green-winged Teal in Stratford were blessings, as was a bonus Great Cormorant sitting with his buddies on the breakwater between Milford and Stratford. Our last birds of the night included Common Nighthawk in New Haven and a Long-eared Owl -- a rather nice end to a great day. (Before anyone asks, we're unable to divulge the location of the Long-eared; they're endangered breeders in CT.) 
For a full account of our adventures, visit our blog later at http://ctaudubon.blogspot.com. There's a great story about three raptors, one a Mississippi Kite. I'm going to sleep now... Frank Gallo.

More information about the CTBirds mailing list