[CT Birds] Hurricane Irene Birds 8/28

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Mon Aug 29 21:45:47 EDT 2011

8/28  Bird Highlights 8/28/2011, mostly from Stratford, during Hurricane Irene:

9:30 am Oak Bluff Ave. (road leading to Long Beach) - the salt marsh was flooded 
and a choppy "bay".  The causeway was close to being flooded.  A flock of 52 
RED-NECKED PHALAROPES repeatedly flying around in a tight flock for 15+ minutes. 
 Photos.  There were also 15 CLAPPER RAILS (including 2-3 juveniles) swimming in 
open water coming towards Oak Bluff, trying to get to dry land. Several Common 
Terns and Barn Swallows as well.

10:00 - Frash Pond - 4 BLACK TERNS foraging over water for as long as I was 

10:45 am - Bridgeport - enroute to Seaside Park, a JAEGER species was over my 
car on I-95 at exit 27.  I pulled over, viewed it with bins as it struggled 
south against the strong winds, took a few photos that unfortunately show 
little.  Based on slight size and thin wings, it was either a Long-tailed or a 
Parasitic.  Once I got near Seaside Park (main entrance closed), I could see the 
bulk of the Park was a lake, and the tide was still rising, quickly flooding the 
road near UB that I was on.  I retreated in a hurry.

11:20 - 12:10  -  Rt 1 at Housatonic River, in large parking lot of Savin Rock 
Roasting Co. restaurant.  I pulled in and saw a SOOTY TERN over the lot, just as 
Charlie Barnard was calling me to tell me.  He'd arrived 15 minutes prior. 
 Scott Kruitbosch arrived soon thereafter.  We were amazed to see a frantic 
flight of several flocks of terns, against the wind and rain, over a 
storm-swollen river.  (Calls were made to other storm-birders, who soon 
arrived.)  Species included up to 8 SOOTY TERNS, 1 POSSIBLE BRIDLED TERN, 4 
BLACK TERNS, 2 FORSTER'S TERNS, 50 Common Terns, 2 fly-by WHIMBRELS, 1 fly-by 
Blue-winged Teal. Several times the Sooty Terns flew over our cars.  I obtained 
good photos, which I'll post sometime soon.  

Most of the afternoon was spent clearing fallen tree limbs and dealing with 
minor damage to our deck.

What a day of storm-birding in CT!  I was in frequent phone communication with 
Nick Bonomo, who put even more time in, and had a bunch more great birds.

Frank Mantlik
on 8/29, now that electricity is restored.

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