[CT Birds] Mansfield's storm bird history

Chris Elphick elphick at sbcglobal.net
Tue Aug 30 21:54:58 EDT 2011

Now that power has returned to least our small part of Mansfield, I took the time to read up on past seabird occurrences in the Storrs area.  The Birds of Storrs (Clark 1999 - available from the fine UConn Coop bookstore or from Steve Morytko on behalf of NOS) reports only two species of tern for the area.  Perhaps surprisingly, almost all of the past tern sightings were of black tern.  Who'd have thunk?  The only other tern reported prior to 1999 was - perhaps even harder to guess - sooty tern (one from Eastford in 1876).  In 2003, I also had a common tern.  The other three species seen Sunday - least, Forster's and Caspian - are all new for the Storrs area.  

Leach's storm-petrel is also new for the area, although two unidentified storm-petrels were seen at Mansfield Hollow after Hurricane Belle in Aug 1976.

And, the only phalarope records in the Birds of Storrs are a single Wilson's and a red (boy, I wish ours had been less than half a mile away ....).

So, at least 4 new species for the area, and probably the only time more than 1 species of tern has seen in the area on the same day ... between us we managed 6.

Chris Elphick

Storrs, CT

elphick at sbcglobal.net

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