[CT Birds] CT Big Day, 5/18 - 191 species
nbonomo at gmail.com
Fri May 19 21:41:00 EDT 2017
Yesterday the Raven Lunatics (Frank Gallo, Dave Provencher, Dave
Tripp, Fran Zygmont, and myself) completed a statewide Big Day. We did
quite well for not having many passerine migrants around; the inland
breeders and coastal birds definitely came through.
We got off to an inauspicious start. A few minutes before midnight, as
we pulled up to our first location, we stepped out of the car and were
greeted by the hissing sound of of a tire quickly losing air. Like a
NASCAR pit crew we executed a pretty efficient tire change, each of us
rotating out from the job to listen for migrants and hoot up owls. We
were back on the road at 12:15am with an Eastern Screech Owl calling
next to the vehicle. Other than a bit more coastal traffic than usual,
things went pretty smoothly from there. The heat didn't seem to have
much effect on birdsong until midday or so. We were greeting by a very
welcome sea breeze on the coast.
We didn't turn up anything too flashy, as is often the case during
very target-focused Big Days. And since we were adhering to ABA rules,
which means no active or passive communication with the birding
community at all, we unknowingly drove right past the Cattle Egret in
Stratford. Our "best" birds were probably the continuing KING EIDER at
Long Beach in Stratford, WHIMBREL at Hammonasset, RED KNOTS at Milford
Pt and Hammonasset, a continuing ICELAND GULL at Long Beach, a
FORSTER'S TERN at Long Beach, BLACK SKIMMERS at Milford Pt and Sandy
Pt, a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER on private property, and a nocturnal
migrant GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH.
Many thanks to friends who helped us with information leading up to
the day. We're already looking ahead to 2018.
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