[CT Birds] Lighthouse Point Park -- GOLDEN EAGLE, CAVE SWALLOWS, SANDHILL CRANE, HUMMINGBIRD (?!), PURPLE FINCH and a few others
Steve Mayo and Rebecca Horowitz
rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net
Sat Nov 14 19:32:00 EST 2015
155 raptors today, many on the deck, on 12 mph WNW winds -- very frequently gusting to 20+ mph. A photographer's dream. The GOLDEN EAGLE was in-the-Park, apparently a 2nd year bird (brown/gray flight feathers but a very prominent white tail, 'cept for the tip).
An amazing 63 Harriers, mostly close. Of these, a truly an amazing 33 Gray Ghosts, and 6 adult females, 13 ochre-bellied imm; remainder not noted or too far to determine.
The SANDHILL CRANE was seen out on the Sound flying with great effort, E to W, very shortly after reported overhead at Branford's Ecology Park, ie, around 910 am. It then banked right towards West Haven. An intriguing HUMMINGBIRD sp. zipped by from E to W to the S, at 10:45 am. 12 distant swallows, all presumably CAVE SWALLOWS (2+ had dark mantle/wings and buffy rumps) were seen today; most were seen in the am; one was seen at about 230 pm.
I'd earlier stated "over 100,000 passerines". You can't count what you don't see, but I'm still ok with that estimate. I started 30 minutes after sunrise. Besides, there were hundreds per hour not counted along the beach, and tens of thousands per hour north of the Oaks. 'And I rarely took a pen to paper. Here's the breakdown that was recorded. Note the lack of Laughing Gulls, and note the good numbers of PUFIs, constantly flying by and calling, in groups of 2s and 3s:
DC Corm 19; Can Goose 198; Am Black Duck 5; SANDHILL CRANE 1; RB Gull 88; Herring Gull 55; Gr BB Gull 6; Mo Dove 25; HUMMINGBIRD sp 1; RB Woodpecker 8; No Flicker 2; Downy, Woodpecker 1; Bl Jay 4; CAVE SWALLOW 12; BC Chickadee 7; WB Nuthatch 5; Am Robin 16,400; Ea Bluebird 21; Am Pipit 94; Cedar Waxwing 3680; YR Warbler 17; Snow Bunting 18; BH Cowbird 880; RW Blackbird 6490; Com Grackle 33750; PURPLE FINCH 237; Ho Finch 25; Finch sp, 200+; Am Goldfinch 1260
Other highlights included almost stepping on a Snow Bunting upon arriving at the watch site (one of the first birds observed) and a Merlin having a significant disagreement with a female Coop (photographed).
Thanks to all who helped out and enjoyed the day.
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