[CT Birds] Nor'easter alcid possibility

Nick Bonomo nbonomo at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 16:40:31 EST 2017

The strength and duration of the impending nor'easter may force some
locally rare alcids into Long Island Sound. Winds will be sustained
NE-ENE at 25mph+ for several hours Monday and Monday evening. It would
be worth checking the coast [safely] during and after the storm for
species such as Thick-billed Murre and Dovekie, which are especially
prone to displacement during storms. Birds could turn up anywhere
along the coast (or even, rarely, on an inland body of water), though
your best bets are probably points of land that jut into LIS for birds
that are actively moving/flying or sheltered coves/harbors for those
that were exhausted by the storm.

Even after the storm passes, on Tuesday and even Wednesday, birders
should be on the lookout. These pelagic birds, when exhausted, may
even take shelter very close to shore or piers/jetties/breakwaters as
they attempt to rebuild their strength before heading back to sea.

As usual, these pelagic birds' appearance in CT waters are very rare
and never "expected," but this is a particularly good setup for such
an event to occur, particularly since there were inshore sightings of
these offshore species from eastern Massachusetts and Long Island last

On the other hand, if you actually want a decent shot at seeing any
eastern alcid not named Razorbill, a trip to Cape Ann or Cape Cod
during early-middle week would likely pay off.

Good luck!

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT

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