[CT Birds] Stratford RUFF, American Bittern, Black Skimmer - 4 May 2011

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 4 17:33:54 EDT 2011

5/4  Stratford, Long Beach Blvd., Stewart McKinney NWR - About 1:30 pm I 
discovered an adult female RUFF (Reeve) in the salt marshes of Great Meadows 
Refuge during the high tide.  Though the marsh was largely flooded, the bird was 
foraging in the short Spartina patens grass - along with Willets, both 
yellowlegs, Dunlin, SB Dowitchers, Black-bellied Plovers, and Least Sandpipers - 
landward of Lewis Gut.  I was in a restricted area of the Refuge (I have special 
permission); see Scott Kruitbosch's earlier posting explaining the restriction. 
 I was able to obtain a few record digiscope photos, despite the incessant rain 
and overcast skies. I hope to post some later this evening.
My recommendation for looking for this rarity is to drive to the Restoration 
Marsh at # 650 Long Beach Blvd (designated by signs depicting a camera), in 
hopes that it may appear here with yellowlegs, etc.  This site is not that far 
from where I saw it in the adjacent salt marsh.

Elsewhere, I also saw a flying AMERICAN BITTERN at the "Warehouse Pond", which 
can be viewed from the parking lot near # 600 Long Beach Blvd.
And later,
Stratford, Short Beach Park (3:15) - 1 adult BLACK SKIMMER on sandbar viewed 
with scope (during rain) from covered picnic tables just past the tennis courts. 
 Also 3 Green Herons and 8 Semipalmated Plovers were around the nearby tidal 

Frank Mantlik

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