[CT Birds] Lighthouse Point migrants

greg hanisek ctgregh at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 15 19:57:28 EDT 2016

This morning Bill Banks and I spent about 3 hours at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, starting at about 7 a.m., conducting a migration watch on light NW winds and good cloud cover. When we did this on a cold front in the second half of July we logged 44 species. Today we had 51, including what I think qualifies as the season's first migrant hawk, an imm. Northern Harrier that followed the standard path straight over the middle of the park westbound and crossed New Haven harbor.
The big early Red-winged Blackbird flight is winding down, with 1000+ today compared to 4000+ in July. Up significantly over our first visit where Eastern Kingbirds, at 41, and Bobolinks, at 35. Other typical migrants for this time of year in moderate numbers were Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Chimney Swifts, three species of swallows, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Yellow Warblers.
On special interest was a group of six Northern Mockingbirds that flew in together, crossed the point and disappeared into the trees along the harbor. We don't know if they crossed. Over the years we've occasionally seen what appears to be small passage movements of "mockers" here but their migration is not well understood.
Any cold front from now on will produce noticeable movements. In  addition to hawks we've had some stunningly large Aug-Sept. movements such as 400+ Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, 600+ Eastern Kingbirds and numerous 4-digit flight of Bobolinks. Dickcissels are now possible at any time as well.
Greg HanisekWaterbury

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