[CT Birds] Possible Waterthrush in Kent

Sat Dec 13 17:11:42 EST 2014

Today, 12/13, 11:00 AM.
Parking fields below Sloane-Stanley Museum in Kent, about 1/2 mile north of town. Fields are to the left of the museums, down by the Housatonic River.
Observers: John Johnson and Marge Smith

Single bird foraging in grass tufts at edge of small pond at edge of a large field, on the left just as you drive down into the fields.
Size and shape of a Waterthrush.
Movement a bit jerky; definite tail bobbing.
Uniformly dark on top, whitish underneath.
Fairly heavy streaking on sides.
Marge saw yellow wash on body when it flew (we were sharing binoculars, so I didn't see that),
No obvious markings in flight (no white edges to tails, etc.).
Landed on a more open area of field for ten seconds or so, then flew into or through trees toward the river. Unable to relocate it.

Our conclusion is a very late Northern Waterthrush.

Angela Dimmit and Jim Dugan suggested Palm Warbler, but distinct top/bottom contrast, distinctive large streaking, and lack of white in tail during flight rule it out for me.

Maybe a dark pipit with heavy streaking, but wouldn't that would be unusual also? Any other possibilities?

BTW, Jim: thanks for the recommendations on binoculars last summer. I couldn't have seen as much without the 10x power.

John Johnson

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