[CT Birds] Mansfield Nighthawks

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Mon Aug 22 20:45:23 EDT 2016

Because of the forecast for strong northwest winds I went to  the 
Eagleville dam at Eagleville Lake in Mansfield tonight to see if there  was any 
movement of Nighthawks. Although the wind was nowhere near as strong as  
predicted there was a good breeze blowing. 
I arrived at about 6:15, and saw very little of anything until  about 6:50, 
when I spotted 2 Nighthawks far to the east (perhaps over the  intersection 
of routes 32 and 275). They were circling and showed no inclination  to go 
I spotted the (presumably) same two birds several times and was  ready to 
quit about 7:30, since it was beginning to get dark. but I noticed 1  
Nighthawk fairly close  to the lake flying behind the trees, and did one  more 
And far to the north there was a large group them, obviously  flycatching, 
circling over the vicinity of the north end of Eagleville Lake. I  counted 
20 in one pass, and I think there were considerably more, perhaps 30 -  50, 
but so far away it was hard to even find them.  
Over the next 15 minutes I was able to see birds continuously,  and half a 
dozen at least flew right over the dam, a couple over my head. But by  7:50 
they were gone and it was so dark I couldn't see well, so I left. 
Usually the birds show up well before 7:30 in this location,  and I don't 
believe this was a migratory movement, but rather a feeding  foray.  The 
bright clear sky might have delayed them, and the  light-scattering haze in the 
sun might have made them less visible. But after  having seen none at all 
last year (after Sept. 1st) I view tonight as a positive  sign and perhaps a 
start. In the past I have seen flights of hundreds at this  location in a 
single evening.
Also, as last year a single Osprey flew in around 7:30, making  me wonder 
once again if there has been a nest in the area. 
Don Morgan, Coventry,  Ct.
mntncougar at aol.com

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