Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Tue Dec 6 19:48:58 EST 2011

12/6  Stratford - I birded the Stratford coast for about 4.5 hours today, 
tallying 58 species, with numerous highlights:

- Long Beach Blvd., McKinney Refuge - One PALM WARBLER and a  "flock" of at 
least 4 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS foraging on low weeds and shrubs along the 
"Warehouse" Pond trail, with a flock of Tree Sparrows and a few of each Kinglet 
species.  Charlie Barnard got to see at least one of the Orange-crowneds. 
 During the flurry of activity I also saw a very plain grayish (unstreaked) 
warbler on the trail.  I saw it only briefly and was thinking it may be one of 
the rare western Vermivora warblers, but I couldn't relocate it.  Odds are, it 
was probably more likely a fifth drab 1st-fall female Orange-crowned. ???  I 
don't recall ever seeing more than one O-C Warbler at a time in CT.  The 
Warehouse Pond held 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 1 Am. Coot  and a variety of dabbling 
Along the RR Trail was a roost of 2 YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS and 11 
Black-crowned Night-Herons.

-   near Long Beach entrance, Oak Bluff Ave. - adult ICELAND GULL.  Actually I 
first saw it on a piling near the corner of Fifth Ave. and Shoreline Drive.  It 
later was on the beach there in front of some beach cottages.  I'm sure this is 
the same individual that wintered here the past two years, given the very 
limited territory this bird frequents.  Also here were 1 Ruddy Turnstone and a 
variety of sea ducks.  Long Beach Park remains gated closed, but one can park 
outside and walk on the dune path to the left of the entrance booth, then left 
along the beach.

-  Birdseye St. (town) boatramp - immature LITTLE BLUE HERON continues (first 
reported 11/30 by Barney Bontecou and Judy Moore).  Also 16 Am. Coot.

-  Stratford Greenway, accessed from Beacon Point Rd (near boatramp), behind the 
new Animal Shelter -  Gray Catbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

-  Short Beach Park - 1 GREAT EGRET, Northern Harrier, 5 species of sparrows 
(behind tennis courts).

-  Stratford Point - 1 NORTHERN GANNET (2nd-year).

-  Stratford Marina (E. Broad St.) - 6 Greater Yellowlegs, 2 DOWITCHER sp. 
(species ID under review) on a dock.  Thanks to Dennis Varza for informing me 
these have been here.  This is a private marina and access is limited, but 
permission to enter to birdwatch can be requested at the office.

There were numerous loons (about 25 Red-throated and about 7 Commons) all along 
the shoreline and up the Housatonic River. 

Frank Mantlik

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