[CT Birds] Southport Survey # 250

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Sat Dec 25 22:35:24 EST 2010

Southport Survey # 250
24 December 2010

The tide was just past low. Sunken Island was exposed but the bar on  
the north side was pretty much covered. The water was calm. The sky  
was overcast with a breeze out of the north.  There were two groups  
of hunters at Southport Beach. one at the tip of the jetty and the  
other on the west side of Sasco Creek.

  Off shore was again empty and took time to find birds. The Long- 
tailed Ducks and White-winged Scoters were seen flying in the  
distance. The Red-breasted Mergansers were close whoring their way  
along the shore. Out on the island was the only group of Black Ducks  
to be seen due to hunters.

At the golf course both ponds were again frozen with nothing to see.  
The harbor was more open compared to last week. and contained the  
Bufflehead and an unusual number of Hooded Mergansers. The hunters at  
the mouth of Sasco Creek kept the ducks away from that area, but the  
Gees were piled in across the street, on the north side, in Sasco  
Creek. There were less gulls about. Either the extra gull moved south  
or back inland. Another remarkable sighting was pair of Peregrine  
Falcons sitting on the channel marker where the Ospreys nest. By pair  
I mean male and female. The difference in size between the two birds  
was clearly noted.

Dennis Varza

DATE	11/28	12/4	12/16	12/24
Tide	Low 	High	High	Low
Time	7:35	8:30	8:20	7:35

Canada Goose	95_149_480_115
Mute Swan	3_3_1_3
American Black Duck	33_19_28_10
Mallard	14_18_44_22
White-winged Scoter_0_0_0_2
Long-tailed Duck	14_16_10_2
Bufflehead	0_2_33_24
Hooded Merganser	22_30_20_68
Red-breasted Merganser	9_8_12_10
Common Loon	2_1_2_1
Red-throated Loon	12_1_0_0
PIed-billed Grebe	0_0_1_0
Great Cormorant	1_1_2_2
Double-crested Cormorant	0_2_1_0
Northern Gannet	0_1_0_0
Great Blue Heron	0_0_1_0
Ring-billed Gull Ad.	74_73_172_71
Ring-billed Gull Im.	4_0_5_3
Herring Gull Ad.   	95_48_137_111
Herring Gull Im.   	0_2_8_2
Great Black-backed Gull Ad.	6_4_6_1
Great Black-backed Gull Im.	0_0_1_0

In addition to analyzing the results of a survey it is wise to look  
the collection itself. It will tell you the strengths and weaknesses  
of the data and what can and can’t be analyzed. At 250 surveys, I  
thought such a look would be interesting.

The purpose is to collect information on wintering birds and to  
quantify any observed changes for future comparison. I Initially went  
from October to April, but over time I expanded the survey.

Winter 2004-5	10
Winter 2005-6	64
Winter 2006-7	31
Winter 2007-8	38
Winter 2008-9	41
Winter 2009-10	44
Winter 2010-11	20

The surveys of 04-05 were preliminary and where I got the idea to do  
it regularly and standardize the observation procedures. The Winter  
of 05-06 I seem to have been most enthusiastic and did many more  
surveys. Eliminating the first and last years, the average number of  
surveys a season is 43 and I appear to be on schedule this season.

Survey Distribution by month shows that May through August contains  
insufficient numbers for analysis. Eliminating May through August the  
average number of surveys per month is 29. If I project 5 surveys per  
month for the rest of the season, it becomes 31 surveys per month


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