[CT Birds] Mansfield Center purple gallinule - more details

Chris Elphick elphick at sbcglobal.net
Mon Sep 28 14:26:24 EDT 2015

A few more details on the Mansfield Center purple gallinule, now that I have a real keyboard.
The bird was first seen on Friday evening by Tricia Reid who reported it to the NOSbirds list as a bird she could not ID with certainty, but that was perhaps a leucistic moorhen (common gallinule).  Steve Morytko and I refound it at lunchtime today and identified it as a young purple gallinule.  Steve has lots of photos.
The bird is in a small, mostly dried up pond at the corner of Rte 195 and Basset's Bridge Rd in Storrs.  Turn onto Basset's Bridge at the light (towards Mansfield Hollow SP), and park on the left (small pull-in).  This is a town property and there is a track that runs ~100 m north to the pond.  The only area of standing water is at the south end of the pond, but we saw the bird a little distance north of there where there is a small bay (viewing from the west side of the pond, before you get to the line of trees) - mud in here was quite damp with a couple of little puddles.  I think that this is where Tricia saw it too.  We watched it for ~10 mins then it went back into the vegetation.  I'd guess it will be quite active towards dusk.  Watch for the white undertail coverts as it flicks it's tail - very conspicuous even when surrounded by vegetation.

I don't have reference books at hand, but I'm pretty sure this is the first Storrs record, and quite likely the first for the county.

Chris Chris Elphick @ssts 
Storrs, CT 
elphick at sbcglobal.net

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