[CT Birds] Hartford County shorebirds/Osprey nests

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Sat Aug 21 20:39:43 EDT 2010

>From Jamie Meyers:
8/21 - Enfield, Kings Island WMA boat ramp - juv. PEREGRINE FALCON flying north up the river at around 10:30 AM.
Tariffville, Tariffville Gorge -- 2 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS around 7:30 PM, also 3 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS working the Farmington River where CT 315 crosses it a few minutes later.

In my spare time over the past couple of days I have been amusing myself looking for shorebirds somewhat near where I live.  The drought has produced some nice conditions for such searches in places where water levels aren't regulated.  The southern end of Nod Brook WMA in Avon has some nice mud bars right now which yesterday had some customers; nothing "better" than a single Greater Yellowlegs but of course, this is a good time to find rarities.  The Broad Brook mill pond in East Windsor is currently very low and has extensive flats, which this morning held a nice collection of shorebirds.  Lots of peeps in particular but only one Semipalmated Sandpiper as far as I could tell.  This place is worth repeated checks from locals.  

I have checked a small but historically productive flat at Nepaug Reservoir and Nick's comments about a paucity of shorebirds following good migration conditions seem pretty spot on.  About a week ago there were a decent number of common shorebirds on it but last night, absolutely nothing.  4 Green-winged Teals were there, pretty much right on schedule, but that was it.  There were a few Killdeers nearby but not on the flats.

A couple weeks ago I saw an Osprey hovering near a tall tower on the side of a small mountain off aptly named Mountain Road.  I didn't at the time have my scope with me so I couldn't really see the tower well, but today I did and I noted a huge pile of sticks on it -- very likely a nest.  At first blush it seemed like an odd place for a nest but the Congamond Lakes are pretty nearby so it makes more sense.  I ran into two naturalist photographers in Enfield today and one of them mentioned that there was a nest on the south side of King's Island this year.  They seemed to know their stuff (both of them correctly ID'ed the falcon when it cruised by) and it's a perfect spot for a nest so I have no reason for skepticism when it comes to their information.  In addition to known nesting sites in Wethersfield and New Britain, it's clear that Ospreys are finding the Hartford area to their liking.  If anyone knows of additional nest sites in the area I'd be interested in that information.  

I'd also be interested in unusually good shorebird spots in the area.  Nick is right; the forecasted rains, if they materialize, could produce some nice rainpools and drop some goodies down.  Even though it was spring, I found the Canton Red Phalarope in a pouring rainstorm.

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT

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