[CT Birds] Sherman Bittern Yes

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Sat Jul 5 10:23:09 EDT 2014

 From Roy Harvey
07/05/14 - Sherman, Wimisink Marsh -- 5:05 to 8:45 AM; American Bittern first spotted at 6:30 AM moving very slowly (maybe 20 feet in 35 minutes) on the edge of and through some grass.  At 7:10 it few away north.  Next seen back at 7:17, when it started hunting the open areas.  I never saw it with a fish, but the tadpoles seemed huge to me.  It stayed more or less visible until at least 8:10 when I went off exploring.  When I returned around 8:45 I saw it flying off, again to the north.  From what two birders who had arrived while I was away said it had been around the whole time they were there.

All this was from the platform at the end of the handicapped-accessible boardwalk that leads from the parking area.  The map of the reserve showed the parking, but also another path a bit down the road.  That was where I went exploring.  The path was a bit squishy, but the worst of it had planks down.  It took me to a smaller viewing platform over a larger area of open water where I started a good number of ducks, mostly Wood Duck.  (I had had flyby Wood Ducks before.)  There was also an adult female Hooded Merganser with a half-dozen large chicks.  I might have seen a Pied-billed Grebe but did not get satisfactory looks before it moved into the weeds.

Both spots had plenty of Green Herons.  There were large numbers of Tree Swallows along with some Barn Swallows and a few Chimney Swifts.  Some trees full of Tree Swallows may have been young birds not ready to fly around too much.  I may have seen a couple of Rusty Blackbirds; they were perched but distant, with no red on the wings and the bill and tail seemed short for Common Grackle.  A singing Veery as background to watching the bittern was a nice bonus.

All in all a beautiful spot.

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

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