[CT Birds] Pine Creek chat, grosbeak +

eyeflight16 at optonline.net eyeflight16 at optonline.net
Sun Oct 16 17:09:33 EDT 2011

I headed over to Pine Creek today, hoping to find a rarity that would have gotten blown in. I wasn't expecting much given the heavy winds, but I was amazed at how many birds there were, especially sparrows, and it ended up being probably the best trip I've had to Pine Creek. Jan Hollerbach joined me and we birded the landfill and surrounding area. Highlights included fantastic looks at a female BLUE GROSBEAK, as well as brief but great looks at a Yellow-breasted Chat, (I'm guessing this must be a different individual than the one two weeks ago), and two Dickcissels, which also provided great and long looks teed up on the grasses and bushes. There were  tons of sparrows, over a hundred, but the actual diversity of the sparrows was low; not even a single White-crowned, Chipping, or Lincoln's. Other highlights included:

1 Little Blue Heron
1 Northern Harrier
1 Cooper's Hawk
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Merlin - flew right down the trail only feet away scaring the wits out of me (and the sparrows)
1 Belted Kingfisher
3 Red-bellied Woodpeckers
1 Northern Flicker
5 Eastern Phoebes
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Black-and-white Warbler - getting late?
7 Eastern Towhees - most I've ever seen at once in Fairfield
4 Field Sparrows
30 White-throated Sparrows
50 Song Sparrows
40 Swamp Sparrows - most I've ever seen on one trip 

James Purcell

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