While they seem to be avoiding me personally, the waterfowl have definitely returned across Connecticut. Brant have once again become common at Stratford and Milford Point, with loons flying by quite frequently. Greater and Lesser Scaup have been seen occasionally. Red-breasted Merganser are seen often enough. The three scoter species are being picked up readily in Long Island Sound, with what seems like higher than usual reports of the least common, Black. I have had some nice looks at Bufflehead, North America's smallest diving duck species.
Even on this relatively tough weather day, Twan tallied Brant, American Black Duck, scaup, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated Loon, Common Loon, and Northern Gannet at Stratford Point. If you stop by with your scope, you should be able to find some of these more rare species with relative ease. Just remember to stay away from me. I have been repelling the ducks, and scoter especially, on a nonstop basis. Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not. Experience with birds may bring a better ability to find some, certainly, but especially during lean months like November, you have to remember you will have slow stretches.
Stratford Point has plenty to offer on land as American Pipits Snow Bunting, Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, "Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow, and more can be found now. We nearly always have at least one Northern Harrier around, too. Once we get some substantial snowfall, you can expect even more. It looks like a very tough year for a Snowy Owl, but this is one of the best spots in the state to see them. Fingers crossed.
Photo © Scott Kruitbosch