[CT Birds] Good Birding Day!

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Thu Jan 16 20:00:10 EST 2014

Since I was waiting for the paint to dry on a decoy I am working on,  
today turned out to be a good day for birding.

I started the day at 8:00 at the Windsor landfill expecting good  
fortune with a host of rare Gulls! Well, that didn't happen. In fact  
it was slow! I actually left after two hours...not much there and I  
had never seen it so slow! But I did see 2 Redtails, 1 Bald Eagle and  
a Sharp-shinned diving into a ball of Starlings!

 From Windsor, I drove to Long Wharf (arriving 11:00 am) hoping to  
find the Snowy Owl again on the end of the Amistad pier, but it wasn't  
there. Over to the West Haven boat ramp I found 13 REDHEADS mixed in  
with the Scaup near the pilings out in front of the New Haven yacht  
club. There were huge numbers of Scaup and Brant everywhere but the  
fog made it hard to get a good idea of how many.

I next stopped at Long Beach in Stratford and found 2 Kumlien's Gulls  
(1st cycle and the adult) standing near each other on the last jetty  
to the east on the point. The much discussed "possible" White-winged  
Gull hybrid was in its usual place at the jetty at the end of the  
parking lot. In the middle of the marsh was a single SNOWY OWL perched  
on a snag of driftwood.

At Frash Pond, were a handful of Canvasbacks. In the cove south of  
Short Beach was the continuing drake EURASIAN WIGEON.

Back to New Haven Harbor (3:00 pm) I made a quick stop at Bradley  
Point and there were over 300 Goldeneye in scattered small rafts from  
Bradley Rock to the seawall behind Jimmy's Restaurant. I didn't stop  
to look through them, but if anyone is in the area they may want to do  
so .....there may be a Barrow's or two mixed in. I have seen both  
drakes and hens here before. At the West Haven boat ramp the sky was  
finally clear and you could see Scaup and Brant covering the entire  
harbor from the outer breakwaters to way up by Lenny and Joes at Long  
Wharf. My conservative guess would be 1200 Brant and 6000+ Scaup. I  
did notice that Lesser Scaup were numerous in every group and raft. I  
only spotted 5 Redhead this time by the pilings.

Back to Long Wharf- no Snowy Owl.

My last stop was at Circle Beach (4:00 pm) and the continuing adult  
Kumlien's Gull ("FC") was feeding in the East River marsh with a bunch  
of other Gulls. I didn't take the time to search through them.

Keith Mueller

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