[CT Birds] Lighthouse Point Park - Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Brown Pelican

Steve Mayo rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net
Sun Oct 23 21:34:04 EDT 2011

I was stunned to read about Glen Williams' 10,000 sparrows at Bluff Point this morning!Lighthouse had an impressive movement of birds from dawn till about 10 am, but not as impressive as those Groton numbers.  
Counting was complicated by the Breast Cancer Walk.  Van Halen, Madonna, Cindy Laupert, Michael Jackson, Journey, the Electric Slide and the Cuban Shuffle went on the PA around 9 am and didn't let up until 3:15.  Catching call notes of Palm Warblers, Bluebirds, finches and Pipits became very, very difficult.
Our tally included Am Pipit - 15+, E Bluebird 39+, Ho Finch 45, Am Goldfinch 36, Palm Warbler 6, RW Blackbird 7555, Am Robin 1330, BH Cowbird 270, C Grackle 60, C Waxwing 110, C Swift 1, Pu Finch 53, Scaup, sp,- 6, Gr Egret 1, YR Warbler 17, Brant 47, Black Duck 28 (I am convinced that they took flight from the marsh because of the sound system; Anas Rubripes is apparently terrified of "Cotton-eyed Joe"), Can Goose 193, Tree Swallow 220, E Phoebe 4, Com Loon 8, Savannah Sparrow 11.  
The Blue Jays have petered-out. We had perhaps 20.  
At 7 am the road margins and woods contained 150++ WT and Song Sparrows, 4 Chipping Sparrows, 12 Swamp Sparrows, 2 Hermit Thrush and piles of Juncos, YR warblers and RC Kinglets.  There were many others but alas, I had to get on the job and missed a bunch of birds.  
A very tame Yellow-billed Cuckoo was seen by Job Dekker across from the butterfly garden around 10 am and then again out in the open (forever), around 3 pm.  There was also a late and very accessible and tame,  Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, at 315 pm.  Julian Hough had a Royal Tern mid morning and the BROWN PELICAN reported by Steve Broker in West Haven, was also seen concurrently from Lighthouse, at 1:00 pm, flying south, by Fred Buchard.  
Oh yeah, the hawks. The falcon feeding follies were especially entertaining today.  We tallied SS 34, CH 7, NH 5, PG 2+ (there was also a probable local), ML 3, AK 11, OS 2, TV 6, RT 4 (there was another non-migrant), UF 2, UR 1.  
At 1 and again at 2 pm, there were classic kettles of 25-30 Herring Gulls, which rode the thermals and then peeled off, in line, in a glide.  Interesting.  'Very reminiscent of Broad-wings.   
Steve Mayo

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