[CT Birds] Lighthouse Point hawk Watch, Thursday, 9/5

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Fri Sep 6 07:50:23 EDT 2013

With a decent northwest breeze the activity picked up a little  Thursday 
for the first time. The definite highlight is the Osprey migration, and  
things are very different this year. Normally at this time, very few of the  
Osprey are migrating, although we see lots of them, flying lazy circles around  
the park and most all carrying a fish (usually menhaden aka bunker) which 
they  eat on the fly. Yesterday almost every Osprey we saw was heading west 
and no  mistaking it. We counted 50 birds and only one was carrying a fish. It 
was a  flounder.  Other years, even if we saw 50 only a very small number 
would  have been counted as migrating.
Several weeks ago there was a report on CTBirds that the supply  of bait 
fish in the Sound was very low, and apparently that is still true, and  these 
birds are leaving early in hopes of finding "greener pastures". It may not  
bode well for this year's fledglings, as some may be left alone before they 
are  able to fully fend for themselves.
Perhaps because of the wind there seemed to be a pattern that  many 
followed yesterday. They spiraled steeply up over the marsh to the east,  and when 
high enough set their wings and headed due west with hardly another  flap of 
the wings. We had one group of 9 that showed up together and did exactly  
that, streaming west  in a line after getting several hundred feet high. 
The other birds seen yesterday were in small numbers, a few  Kestrels, 
Sharp-shinned Hawks, etc. The most notable was and adult Bald Eagle,  first of 
the season I believe. Actually we spotted an immature eagle on  Wednesday, 
but it went off to the east and was not counted. 
In addition to migrators  we saw 2 Black Vultures and  a Glossy Ibis, which 
was heading west until intercepted by the current  "park"  Merlin, and then 
quickly made tracks back to the east. There is  also a pair of Broad-winged 
Hawks which seem to be just hanging around the park.   

Don  Morgan

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