Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Common Goldeneye and June oddities

There have been a couple of notable rarities seen in Connecticut this June. However, what has interested me even more than that have been sightings of more common Connecticut species…but birds that are not typical in the month of June. One example of this came in the first week of the month when Frank Mantlik reported a Cape May Warbler singing in his yard. This conspicuous bird would have been noticed had it been present before that day. When I checked eBird I saw there were no records of the species in June in Connecticut. Those are “good” birds to find, and it shows us how even after we think the typical songbird migration period is over, there are still individuals trickling through the state.

Twan found a different sort of strange summer bird on Monday at Stratford Point. It was a male Common Goldeneye, an odd duck to say the least.

The species had never been recorded in eBird in Connecticut in June, either. It seems content (for now) in the mouth of the Housatonic River, going between Stratford Point and Short Beach. It did not appear to be injured. While it allowed for close approach, it also did not appear ill – just very tired. Maybe it took a wrong turn and ended up on a long trip in the wrong direction? Quite often you find some unexpected birds that wander after a failed breeding attempt. Finding and recording oddities like these help us piece together the gigantic conservation puzzle.

Photos © Twan Leenders


  1. I've always wondered about the breakdown, by percentage, of the causes of lingering waterfowl. Gunshot survivors? Illness? Thoughts of breeding? Unknown? Other?

    We'll never know.

  2. Indeed...maybe one day, but not any time soon. For now I'll be content with just finding and recording all of these odd ones. I wonder how many we miss. And I wonder what the next one will be at Stratford Point.