As I mentioned last Sunday, the migrants are pouring into Connecticut already. Stratford Point has seen Bobolinks coming in, one, two, up to five. These are about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. We have seen multiple Indigo Buntings, including adult males who have been singing profusely from the tops of the few trees the coastal grasslands management area has. Yellow Warblers are popping up in our bushes and shrubs. Twan saw migrant Orchard Orioles, and droves of Baltimore cannot be far behind. Large groups of the common four swallow species are moving through. I even found a Cliff Swallow amongst them in the middle of the week.
Shorebirds are back and on the move! Last year, after a very disappointing breeding season for most species because of the snow and cold that persisted throughout a good portion of Canada, we did not have many shorebirds. Those that came were a bit off schedule. This year they are right on target. Spotted Sandpiper, a local breeder, has been a constant presence. Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers have returned to Stratford Point. I am sure we will record Semipalmated Plover and Ruddy Turnstone during the upcoming week. Short-billed Dowitchers have been in the nearby Stratford Great Meadows IBA, but small numbers will be making a visit soon, possibly with Long-billed Dowitchers. The highlight of my week was seeing a Whimbrel fly by. It came from the area of Short Beach, flew over our beach, and continued over land right in front of the main building. It continued to the west past the lighthouse. It was probably the closest I have ever been to one, standing right alongside the building.
Fall migration may not be evident in your backyard or local haunt, but it is here! Stop by and have a look this week.
Photo © Scott Kruitbosch