[CT Birds] 11/29/12 HBSP afternoon

Russ Smiley arsmiley at comcast.net
Thu Nov 29 20:16:53 EST 2012

11/29/12 Hammonassett Beach SP - I visited for two hours before sunset. I
found a pair of mallards and some black ducks in the Swan Pond, and the
familiar flocks of pigeons and common gulls were on the west end lot.
Chickadees were numerous, most low to the ground with some white-throated
sparrows (all getting out of the stiff wind). The Boulder Pond held just a
pair of greater yellowlegs. Four SURF SCOTERS were off Meigs Point as were
some RT and common loons.  A trio of GREATER SCAUP flew offshore from the
Moraine Trail. Willard's Island yielded one mourning dove and nothing else.
Based on a couple distant photos, there were a half-dozen or so RED
CROSSBILLS in the air, but I found none in any of the pines, neither west
end nor east. There was one SNOW BUNTING with a handful of HORNED LARKS in
the grass parking lot before the Nature Center. I saw a pair of juncos by
the fenced in pool, and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH flew under the back deck for
cover.  Beside a small flock a Canada geese, the last bird I saw was a male
MERLIN on a post in the east-central marsh. I miss the abundance of just a
couple weeks back (when I spotted fifty-four different species in two days).
In hindsight I should have known that the onshore wind, low temperature, and
late hour weren't conducive to good birding, but the onset of the winter
birding norm is sobering. Russ Smiley, Marlborough, CT

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