[CT Birds] 8/19 AM coastal birding

Comins, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Sun Aug 19 15:35:28 EDT 2012

Salt Meadow Unit of McKinney NWR in Westbrook.  Great place for fall birding and if there's a low tide in the morning, Nearby Menunketesuck is worth a stop (park in town beach and walk through shallow water out to or scope sandbars, but please stay off the island.).  You can always check the marsh at the Refuge after the landbird action dies down, which is best at high tide.   Like Bluff Point, SMU is weather dependent and an early morning show.  The warblers tend to start out in the shrubs and trees behind the office and move to the east facing wall of trees as the rising sun starts to warm up the leaves.   I've had some of my best birding days in CT there on an September mornings after a frontal passage. 

Patrick Comins, Meriden

From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org [ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] on behalf of Nick Bonomo [nbonomo at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 3:11 PM
To: CTBirds
Subject: [CT Birds] 8/19 AM coastal birding

I got out this morning hoping to catch some passerine migration along
the coast. It continues to amaze and frustrate me just how poor the
autumn passerine migration can be along the CT coast (particularly in
the New Haven area). Two factors working against you: little habitat
and difficult access. There just aren't many good-sized coastal areas
of woodlands and weedy edges. (Of course there's also the problem of
just not as many warblers around these days to begin with.) I'm not
expecting Higbee Beach or anything, but the pickings are rather poor
except for Bluff Point and maybe one or two other places. I arrived at
Lighthouse Pt early to find that they were charging ($20 for what
undoubtedly would have been a handful of species of warbler at best?
No thanks). I decided to try East Shore Park instead, which had a few
birds reorienting north along the harbor's edge, but not much. Just a
few Redstarts and Yellows really. Highlight was an overhead
DICKCISSEL, which was one of the few flight calls discernible over the
white noise of the adjacent sewage treatment plant. I'm going to have
to find a new place to bird on autumn mornings, but the price of gas
and distance doesn't really warrant many trips to Bluff Point.

That being said, I'm interested in trying the Salt Meadow Unit in
Westbrook. Can anyone who has witnessed morning flight of passerines
there give a brief synposis of where and how to bird that location? Is
there a "hot corner?"

Sandy Pt was birdier than I though it would be given that cold fronts
often clear out shorebirds and terns along our coast. Nothing unusual
to report other than two ROSEATE TERNS. A juv Piping Plover continues,
two Saltmarsh Sparrows were cooperative in the marsh, and a few
Clapper Rails including one chick were visible for an extended period.

As Patrick already eluded, Milford Pt held an average number and
diversity of shorebirds for the date, highlights being AMERICAN
GOLDEN-PLOVER and RED KNOT, both adults.

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT

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