Saturday, July 10, 2010

Stratford Point 7/4-7/10

The scorching and record-setting heat of the past week has kept nearly everyone indoors. Some of the surveys here this week were conducted in the evening. Even during the hottest moments, I have seen plenty of Spotted Sandpiper flying about, often foraging on the shores during low tide. They seem to be all over the place this year. On Independence Day, I heard a Forster's Tern flying close to shore with some of the Common, the same circumstances as the last sighting of one here. They have such a distinctive call. I also saw a few Least Tern flying around. None of the terns has been least yet. I hope that we will be seeing some at the end of the month at the latest. Another period of very high tides is coming up. Whatever beach they are nesting on the eggs will hopefully have hatched and the young mobile enough to seek higher ground. Speaking of the tides, here are a few photos from high tide this morning.

Storms and rain falling over Milford, Orange, and points beyond. See the rain?

Somehow this does not produce rain on Stratford Point.

A few rumbles of thunder over Long Island Sound.

Another fly by bird we saw this week is the Laughing Gull. When I say bird I mean it - every sighting I have had this year at Stratford Point has been of one individual. Most of the time they simply fly by, but I did see one feeding on the water with Herring and Ring-billed Gulls, possibly on plankton. Sadly, I have not been able to spot any Wilson's Storm-petrel here, a species that is most often found from land in the extreme heat of the summer. The dispersing swallow continue to show up. There were repeated sightings of young and fledgling Barn Swallow all week. Overall, the birds are definitely on the move. The shorebirds are starting to trickle in, and even the common birds are beginning to flock up before migration. I saw well over 2,000 Starling in Stratford Great Meadows IBA on Wednesday. It might not feel like it but autumn is on the way...

Photos © Scott Kruitbosch

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