Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Anhinga in Hamden

On Saturday morning, Flo McBride and others conducting part of the Connecticut Ornithological Association's New Haven Summer Bird Count discovered an Anhinga on Lake Whitney in Hamden. It was sitting on a snag in the water near some Double-crested Cormorants. I headed over there quickly - this is usually a bird reported flying by a coastal location or a hawk watch, not one that sticks in a specific spot. When I was present only the most distant photos could be taken unless you had a sizable lens, but here is one of mine of the bird.

This is the first fully-documented Anhinga in Connecticut (first photographed). As you can read on the Avian Records Committee of Connecticut website here, four previous sightings have been accepted into record. This Anhinga left us sometime on Sunday.

It seems rather obvious this tremendous bird came all the way up the coast during last week's heat wave and strong southwest winds, just as the Eurasian Collared-Doves had. In New Jersey, there has been a Wood Stork making frequent appearances overhead, and on the weekend a Purple Gallinule was discovered there. There is no easier way to say it than abnormal weather brings abnormal birds.

If you are really interested in rarities you need to follow our Twitter feed located here. It is updated as fast as possible with information about strange sightings and where to see birds like the Anhinga, as it was early Saturday morning.

Photo © Scott Kruitbosch

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