Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year avian presents

2012 has yielded a lot of great bird sightings already including a bunch of warblers like Nashville, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler, and even a rare Yellow-throated Warbler that has apparently been hanging out at a feeder in Madison since October! There have been Great Egrets seen in numbers all over the coast. A Little Blue Heron is still around, and Nick Bonomo found a Northern Rough-winged Swallow yesterday at the East Shore Park treatment plant. The warm weather is definitely to blame for those birds. On New Year's Day Frank Mantlik found a Snowy Owl, possibly even the same one we had on November 30 based on appearance, at Stratford Point.

Snowy Owl at Stratford Point by Frank Mantlik

Whether or not it was the same bird it did not stick around for long, like the last time, and was not seen since that day. Despite all these lingering birds I mentioned to Frank and Charlie Barnard that I was surprised in all of our Christmas Bird Counts and New Year birding that no one had found an extreme rarity in Connecticut. The very next day Mike O'Leary found a Pink-footed Goose, a third state record, on Somersville Pond in Somers with a few hundred Canada Geese. It has been moving around the general area quite a bit, but once again Frank Mantlik was on it and provided us with these photos.

Pink-footed Goose photos by Frank Mantlik

Congratulations to Mike for the awesome find and thanks to Frank for the great shots of a very rare bird. The warmth, in relative terms, and snow-free days should continue so be on the lookout for more odd overwintering birds and the big passerine rarity I still feel the state is so due for. If you ever have any crazy sightings please email us!

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos © Frank Mantlik

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