[CT Birds] juv terns

Greg Hanisek ghanisek at rep-am.com
Sat Jul 24 16:40:18 EDT 2010

I'm a day late getting around to this, but with the general concern about the state's breeding terns, I wanted to make sure this got disseminated. On Friday morning Bill Banks and I took a quick run to Milford Point at high tide. The small areas of bar still exposed were packed with Common Terns, with many also in the air at all times. We made a count/estimate of 350, which I think was conservative. The best part was the presence of many juveniles. We figured about 25 percent of the group were recently fledged birds.

We also had the first really big group of Semipalmated Sandpipers - about 3500. We were able to go through them at length and found little else - one Pectoral Sandpiper, one White-rumped Sandpiper, just one Ruddy Turnstone and about four Sanderlings. There were only 20 to 30 Semipalmated Povers as well, so the good mix of species is yet to come.

Also, it's worth noting that the "corner" of Oak Bluff Avenue in Stratford (the place just before the Long Beach toll booth) is in good shorebird condition this year with quite a bit of mud exposed. Present there were c 100 Semipalmated Sandpipers, c 20 Semipalmated Plovers and 10 Short-billed Dowitchers. This is a realtively small area close to the road, so very good viewing opportunities are afforded.

Birders always wonder where those mysterious Boat-tailed Grackles get to when they're not at the breeding areas near the warehouse. On Friday morning, Boat-tailed Grackle heads kept popping out of the Spartina grass behind the Oak Bluff shorebird area. We evetually found at least 28 there, many of them juveniles.

Greg Hanisek

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