The Great Stratford Bird Festival takes place next weekend, September 24-26. Of course, it is set in Stratford, with the vast majority of the events taking place in one of Connecticut's best birding towns. You can find full information on the event on this website. The Connecticut Audubon Society is one of the main donors, and many of the scheduled events take place right at Stratford Point. If you are still looking to see the White-tailed Kite (which is still here!) come down for that and so many other wonderful programs.
This schedule by day shows you exactly what is taking place where. You can see that Stratford Point is hosting live raptor shows, bird banding, decoy carving displays, falconry, bird walks, photo contests, and so much more. Whether you are taking in exhibits in one of the buildings or walking around seeing what you may have only read about in this blog I am sure you will enjoy your time there. Also, note that many of the events are free of charge, especially those at Stratford Point. Charges are only made for costs otherwise, or very special events such as a dinner with Phil Donahue. Yes, the Phil Donahue, who is a very caring donor and contributor who has a particular interest in the Purple Martin.
I will be at Stratford Point for a good portion of the weekend, as will Twan. We will be happy to talk to you about the White-tailed Kite or address any other topic or question you may have. On Saturday and Sunday, I will also be at Boothe Memorial Park to host the Boothe Park Hawk Watch, a viewing of migrant raptors. You can find information on our Boothe Park site on the Hawk Migration Association of North American website, where I record all of the data for scientific use, at http://www.hawkcount.org/siteinfo.php?rsite=703. Additionally, the official website for Boothe Memorial Park is located here: http://boothememorialpark.org/.
My only hope is that we have weather conditions conducive to a big flight. If you are wondering how productive the site can be...well, last Wednesday, with only 1-3 observers, we recorded 2,055 raptors including 1,848 Broad-winged Hawks. It was a spectacular sight. That is an exceptional day, and not a typical one, but I would not be surprised to get a day of hundreds of raptors next weekend. Long-range models have a cold front passing through next Friday, which would mean Saturday would be a fantastic day for hawk watching.
So if you have never been to Stratford and always wanted to take the trip, or learn more about the best birding spots, Stratford Point, the White-tailed Kite, anything - this is the time!