[CT Birds] Fairfield - Hoyden's Hill

Alex Burdo aburdo10 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 14:07:55 EDT 2012

I conducted this month's first Fairfield BBS at Hoyden's Hill Open Space
this morning. Being a breeding bird survey, I took it slow and worked
almost the entire open space area as thoroughly as I could. Some of the
confirmed breeders included Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted
Titmouse, European Starling (eh), Brown-headed Cowbird (getting pretty
unavoidable for me to not confirm this bird lately), and Gray Catbird. A
number of notable 'Probable Breeders' included Brown Thrasher, Orchard
Oriole, Blue-winged Warbler, Eastern Bluebird, and Indigo Bunting, among

Only one likely migrant was encountered today, in the form of my second
Alder Flycatcher in the last three days in Fairfield in a wet, shrubby area
of the open space. Unlike the last bird I saw at Sherman, this bird was
quite vocal and responded to pishing immediately. Because of this, although
I'm not the biggest fan of playing tapes, I decided to experiment by
playing one burst of song, as this bird was indicating some territorial
behavior. Immediately upon playing the vocalization, this bird flew right
at me, perching out in the open just over ten feet away. I quickly turned
the tape off and sat there rather dumbfounded. Most of the migrant
Empidomax flycatchers I encounter are not very vocal at all and most never
respond to tapes (and certainly not in the way this bird did). A quick look
at the Breeding Bird Atlas of Connecticut upon returning home, yielded
exactly what I thought: quite a few nesting records across the Northwest
corner, with just scattered reports from the coast, none of them confirmed.

I'm not saying I definitely think this bird was a breeder, but the behavior
it was displaying certainly was indicative of one. Does anyone have any
thoughts? Do you think it could just be a very 'excited' migrant, or is
there a slight chance this bird might be calling Hoyden's a favored site
for raising a family. I guess another visit in the next ten days will
certainly tell.

>From Alex Burdo
06/01/12 - Fairfield, Hoyden's Hill Open Space -- 2 Pileated Woodpecker, 1
ALDER FLYCATCHER, 1 Eastern Bluebird, 2 Veery, 3 Wood Thrush, 1 BROWN
THRASHER, 7 Ovenbird, 7 Blue-winged Warbler 4 Common Yellowthroat, 3
American Redstart, 4 Yellow Warbler, 2 Scarlet Tanager, 2 Indigo Bunting, 1
ORCHARD ORIOLE, 2 Baltimore Oriole

Alex Burdo

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