[CT Birds] Mainly Goldfinches & Coastal Forreys

dennis.elphick at tiscali.co.uk dennis.elphick at tiscali.co.uk
Sun Dec 26 17:33:17 EST 2010

Hi all

The number of Goldinches at our feeders has gone from three early 
Deccember to 7 or so from 20th thru 23rd (no counts 24th-25th) and now, 
with snow (26th), up to 50 frantically eating through the sunflower 
seeds which will now need replenshing every 2 days as opposed to once a 
week in early Dec.

One of two Carolina Wrens, seen once or twice searching for insects 
around the door/window frames earlier in the month, was also on the 
feeder.  Otherwise the usual B C Chickadees (4), Tufted Titmouse (4); 
occasional House Finches (3); first White-throated Sparrows (3); two 
"pair" of Cardinals; up to 10 Juncos, although 16 on 9th/10th (when 
temperatures dropped?) increasing to 18 with the snow today, and a Red 
Shoulder keeping a watching brief!  Earlier in the month up to 3 W B 
Nuthatch and a couple of Downy Woodpeckers regularly seen but only one 
WBN recently (today) and a couple of Blue Jays heard in the woods mid-
month but none in the yard.

Chris did the counting but it was good to see the Dunlin, Sanderling 
and Ruddy Turnstone at Long Beach (pity about the access!) Friday 
23rd.  Also a close Common Loon, 30 or so distant Goldeneye and a 
Northern Harrier over the marsh with several Hooded Mergs either side 
of 113.  Nearly 20 Canvasbacks, several (9?) Hooded Mergs and 4 
Buffleheads on Frash Pond. The Calliope Hummer was doing its stuff mid-
day. It was then a real pleasure to see 15 or so Purple Sandpipers 
(it's a long time I've seen that many in one place if ever) pushed 
close in shore at Hammo by the exceptionally high tides along with 
Dunlin, Sanderling and Ruddy Turnstone.  A Red-throated Loon & male 
Eider very close inshore and a couple of Surf Scoters (apparently!) 
well offshore. 30 or so Horned Lark, a couple of Snow Bunting and a 
single very colourful Longspur by the Nature Center.

One or two Cooper's Hawks and Red Tails en route with one probable 

However, the real star was a mink!  It was diving under the ice on Swan 
Pond, just where the water (ice!) between the reeds and the road are at 
their narrowest, collecting small fish one by one from what seemed to 
be a well stocked larder within inches of the dive hole.  Each fish 
took just seconds to retreive before the mink stood on the ice to eat 
it before diving again for the next.  This was fascinating to watch 
from the car at such close range.  The word "cool" comes to mind!!

Dennis Elphick

Ashford CT 

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