[CT Birds] BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE plus, Fairfield

Alex Burdo aburdo10 at gmail.com
Wed May 16 19:33:01 EDT 2012

I spent a few hours this afternoon covering a number of locations along the
coast of Fairfield, in preparation for this weekend's Fairfield Big Day.
The main targets were lingering waterfowl and concentrations of shorebirds.

The highlight of my birding was definitely a female Boat-tailed Grackle at
the Fairfield Country Club. I've been seeing this species annually every
year of my life down in Florida, and upon coming across this bird, I
immediately was able to put a name to it. This individual was perched up in
a marshy area of the golf course, and although I was viewing from across
the harbor in Southport, the buffy-brown upperparts, tawny head, dark
upperparts and keel-shaped tail were immediately apparent. For the entire
short 2 minute period this bird was perched in the open, it was repeatedly
harassed and even dive-bombed by both sexes of Red-winged Blackbird. After
a couple of minutes, perhaps due in part to pressure from the Red-wingeds,
this bird took off (providing even better looks at the tail), flew to
another portion of the marshy area and dove out of sight.

As far as I'm aware, this is the first report I've seen of this species
from Fairfield. Are there any other records of BTGR in Fairfield? Other
highlights below:

>From Alex Burdo:
05/16/12 - Fairfield, Southport Beach -- 1 Common Loon, 1 Black-crowned
Night-Heron, 2 Killdeer, 1 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 1 Least Sandpiper, 3 Common
Fairfield, Fairfield Country Club -- 1 female BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE present
in a marshy area on the golf course, 2 Black-crowned Night-Heron, 1
Killdeer, 2 Least Sandpiper, 1 Common Tern, 1 Eastern Kingbird
Fairfield, Sunken Island -- 1 Common Loon, 1 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER
foraging on the island, 22 Common Tern
Fairfield, Penfield Reef -- 1 Common Loon, 1 Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2
LEAST TERN flying over the reef, 4 Common Tern

If anyone has birded Fairfield in the past two weeks, and has seen any
'good' birds, in particular linger waterfowl, raptors (nests!!), uncommon
songbirds (including possible breeders), owls, uncommon coastal species
(including shorebirds, herons, etc.) and any others, please send those
reports my way!


Alex Burdo

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