[CT Birds] New Haven SBC - Area C West Rock & East (Hamden)

Stephen Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Tue Jun 10 10:24:40 EDT 2014

New Haven Summer Bird Count, Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8:  here are the highlights for Area C West Rock & East (Hamden):

Wood Duck* 7 ad + 22 y, Great Blue Heron* 10 ad + 11 y, Black Vulture 2, Cooper's Hawk 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 2, Peregrine Falcon 1 (the "Middletown female" present since 2004, blk/grn *K/*1), Black-billed Cuckoo 6, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 8, Chimney Swift 24, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Eastern Wood-Pewee 33, Great Crested Flycatcher 17, Yellow-throated Vireo 2, Red-eyed Vireo 46, Common Raven 1, Cliff Swallow 1, House Wren 11, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1, Wood Thrush 17, Pine Warbler 9, Black-and-white Warbler 29, Worm-eating Warbler 22, Ovenbird 52, Field Sparrow 1, Scarlet Tanager 13, Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4, Indigo Bunting 16, Orchard Oriole 2.

Saturday was devoted to the southern terminus of West Rock and the Hamden lowlands.  Sunday, we did our 5 mile walk of the ridge top, and we picked up very strong numbers of forest-nesting species, most notably Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler (!), Worm-eating Warbler (!), and Ovenbird(!).  Scarlet Tanager numbers were average, and Wood Thrush numbers were low.  Each cuckoo species was in exceptional numbers.  Indigo Buntings were very well represented.  The Cliff Swallow was above the ridge top adjacent to the Shepard Farm on Route 69 Woodbridge, where Frank Gallo located a population of Cliff Swallows last year. 

The West Rock peregrines had another disappointing breeding season, with 4 eggs laid and none hatching.  We need a nest box on the cliff to protect these birds from the prevailing winds/rains, with hard rain always seeming to come at hatching time (which corresponds with the NHBC Annual Banquet).  The West Rock ravens had a rare season of nest failure, with 7 eggs being laid and none hatching.  This pair usually fledges 4-5 young each year. 

*Those Wood Ducks with swimming young and Great Blue Herons with young in the nest seen well on Konold's Pond (Area B) from the West Rock ridge top will be sorted out from our Area C totals.  

Total time in the field:  22 hours 40 minutes.  Total species:  81 (our second or third best species count).  There are just over 100 species we could conceivably get on the SBC, and those we missed this year are generally lucky finds for this area:  Common Loon (fly-over); Green Heron; American Black Duck; Bald Eagle; Killdeer; Spotted Sandpiper; Whip-poor-will; Red-breasted Nuthatch; Winter Wren; Brown Thrasher; Black-throated Green Warbler; American Redstart; Hooded Warbler.  Disappointing misses this year include Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Bluebird, Louisiana Waterthrush.

Steve Broker, Bob Mitchell, Elena Coffey, Mary Ann Lewis, Gail Cameron, Laura Lawrence

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