[CT Birds] Great finale' (almost) at Lighthouse Point

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Fri Nov 28 20:54:48 EST 2014

With only 3 days left in the hawkwatch season and a really good  weather 
forecast (for raptors) I thought I'd go back to the lighthouse once  more. I 
did the count yesterday and even with lousy weather I had a few raptors  and 
saw a Cackling Goose tagging along with some Canadas, so I thought today  
might be good. 
Didn't start out so well; the gate wasn't unlocked until 8:45,  but with 
that out of the way we started looking. (Dana, the official counter,  had 
walked in earlier). 
It was slow for a while but picked up steadily and we were  building a 
great total for such a late date - probably a record for the last 10  years or 
so. Things slowed down around noon, but then we had a great bird come  by; a 
Northern Goshawk right through the park and giving us excellent if brief  
After a few more acciptors someone spotted first one, then 2  adult Bald 
Eagles circling to our north near the edge of the bay. But instead of  heading 
out they began chasing each other around like they were playing or  
courting, frequently almost brushing wings. And they circled up and right over  the 
park, almost over our heads and relatively low. But the real reason why 
soon  became apparent. One of them had a fish and the other one wanted it. 
The chasing and circling went on for a good 5 minutes or more,  putting on 
a show for their almost unbelieving audience. And even after that  they 
circled high above the park for a while. 
Once they finally moved off, things were slow again until  around 2 PM - 
when we spotted a flock of "Canada Geese" up high against a cloud.  But they 
didn't look or act like Canadas. At first just a bunch of birds - no  line or 
"V" formation, and they were flying strangely, bobbing around a bit.  When 
we got scopes on them it became apparent they were NOT Canada Geese. I  
remember saying "They CAN'T be Sandhill Cranes. They ARE Sandhill Cranes!" After 
 several quick counts, 23 of them!
There was no doubt, easily visible in the scopes although too  far for 
pictures (I tried but the camera wouldn't focus on them). After we first  saw 
them they did form a couple of loose lines before heading a little to the  
north and directly across New Haven harbor. I suspect that's a 1 day record  
total for Ct. 
That was pretty much it, and we packed up and left by 3 PM. But  I'm pretty 
darn glad I decided to make the trip today!
Pictures of the Eagles frolicking here:
Don Morgan, Coventry, Ct  
mntncougar at aol.com

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