Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stratford Point 4/25-5/1

The birds are pouring into Connecticut. Stratford Point had nearly 50 species in the past week despite some odd conditions. A couple of days were exceptionally windy, with others cold and wet. Despite these circumstances, we had some nice sightings. Hundreds of Double
-crested Cormorant are moving, frequently flying right over the Point. Sometimes they stopped overhead there or at Milford Point, changing direction and formation. The Black-crowned Night-Heron pictured to the left can be a year-round species in Stratford, but right now is a good time to pick them up with ease. If you are looking for a taste of the winter, Stratford Point can provide it. Brant are still here, popping in and out of the waters near the perimeter every day. We had sizable numbers of Red-breasted Merganser, as 21 were spotted on the 27th, and more on other days. We even managed to find another rare Northern Gannet. It should be the last of the season, but please keep your eyes open. It is getting to be shorebird season, and the observations are backing up the calendar. Dunlin and Sanderling are being seen on a daily basis. Black-bellied Plover can be found resting on rocks, foraging on the beach, or flying by at high speeds. Today I found a couple of Ruddy Turnstone flying by with about 100 Dunlin and a few Black-bellied Plover.

The next week should bring many passerine migrants to every corner of the state. If we have a day with fog or rainy conditions - and we may as soon as Sunday night - the Point is a great place to check for birds grounded by the weather. They often are stuck there, especially by the front gate and the trees we have on the property. Regardless, I have a feeling we will see our first Orchard Oriole and Bobolink returning any day now. They are just a couple of the rare birds Stratford Point hosts regularly. Hopefully they will be included as being seen in the last seven days when I am writing this entry next weekend.

Photo © Scott Kruitbosch

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