Last Monday I wrote about seeing a Grasshopper Sparrow in the community gardens on Connors Lane in Stratford. Today I was with another expert birder - Charles Barnard Jr. - in the same gardens. There were many sparrow migrants, mostly Savannah with some Swamp, Song, and Field. While we looked through them we quickly found a Blue Grosbeak, a rare species in Connecticut.
The photo was taken after it flew out of where we found it and went to a nearby yard. It then went back into the gardens, going out of sight and hiding from my camera. As we looked for it we noticed an Eastern Meadowlark sitting out in the open and flying about, providing very nice views. This Connecticut Special Concern species can also be found regularly in some times of the year at Stratford Point, even in the winter. You may be able to come and find one in the snow in a couple of months.
The community gardens illustrate the difference between a patch of lawn and an organic and uncut area of vegetation. The open lawn across the street held several Canada Geese and nothing else. The gardens are always full of a wonderful variety of birds, some obviously quite rare. If you wonder why your yard has only a handful of species try growing a garden with as many native flowers and vegetables as possible. Do not use pesticides of any sort. The birds can and will help you take care of it. Kudos to my hometown of Stratford for allowing residents to use this area for organic gardening. I hope it will stay that way forever.
Photos © Scott Kruitbosch