[CT Birds] Long Island Sound Bird Count 12/2

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Tue Dec 3 20:39:51 EST 2013

I was with Tom Robben yesterday for the first day of this Long Island  
Sound seabird survey. The morning was overcast with hanging fog with 1  
mile visibility. Winds picked up later to northeast at 10 knots  
diminishing to calm by early afternoon with clear skies. We traveled  
78 sea miles starting in Old Lyme, then headed East from the mouth of  
the CT River to Race Rock near Fisher's Island, turned back west and  
headed along the mid-Sound along the CT/NY line to Milford Harbor  
where part one terminated.

Bird numbers were very sparse and frequency of sightings were slow.  
The most numerous were Loons (mostly Common). Waterfowl included: 20  
Surf Scoters, 1 Black Scoter, 7 White-winged Scoter, 9 Oldsquaw, 1  
drake Common Eider (at Race Rock), 9 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Common  
Goldeneye, 11 Bufflehead, 17 Black Ducks, 25 Mallards, 6 Greater  
Scaup. Gulls sighted around 100 split evenly between Herring and  
Greater Black-backed with mostly adult cycles with fewer 1st and 2nd  
cycle, and  3-3rd cycle Herring Gulls). 1 Bonaparte's Gull off Old  
Lyme, and only a few Ring-billed Gulls near Milford shoreline. 1 adult  
Greater Black-backed Gull landed on the water off New Haven for what  
appeared to be a deceased 1st year Gannet. We also noted 18 Gannets  
(mostly flying) and mostly adults- with 3-3rd year and 1 second year  
birds observed.

Keith Mueller

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