If I had to summarize the past week at Stratford Point I would say it was very similar to the previous week. Shorebirds were the main story followed by the somewhat rare species we frequently see - Bobolink trickling in and Orchard Oriole still singing away for a mate. More terns are flying around each day, with Common being seen the most. Occasionally a Least Tern will make an appearance. In the next week or two, we will see a few more tern species as well. Last July we had a Black Tern providing excellent views between the point and Short Beach. A pair of Eastern Kingbirds, and sometimes even another individual, is constantly hawking insects by the front gate and fence as well as the grass and shrubby area in front of the main building. They very likely nested here last summer, though we could never locate the nest. We will this year!
Sometime during the upcoming week, we will be erecting new Purple Martin gourds on a couple poles at Stratford Point and Milford Point. The old Purple Martin houses were removed a few days ago. Between being used by European Starlings and beaten up by the harsh winds and salt water of Long Island Sound they were in poor condition. Twan actually observed a Purple Martin checking out one of these old houses this week. Unfortunately those same Starlings ran it off. Nevertheless, this gave us a bit of hope that even though they are being installed a bit late in the season the gourds might be used this year. If you have an open habitat that is near water, you should definitely look into purchasing Purple Martin gourds to help this rare species. They are dependent on manufactured homes and gourds for nesting which means that providing these domiciles is necessary for the survival of the species in Connecticut.
On the right hand side of our Osprey cam page, which you can find by clicking here, there is an amazing Purple Martin Cam in Westport. Updates and more information about it can be found there and on the cam site. Next week we will show you pictures of the new homes at Stratford Point - hopefully with some Purple Martins!
Photo © Scott Kruitbosch