Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stratford Point bird walk 1/5 results

It was a cold and cloudy morning at Stratford Point today, with a steady westerly wind keeping all of our visitors bundled up while they scoped out waterfowl. Upland birds were quite quiet, though early in the morning Twan got a brief glimpse of a bird that was likely the Palm Warbler spotted during the Stratford-Milford Christmas Bird Count at nearby Russian Beach.

A couple of visitors saw likely Razorbills far off in Long Island Sound. There was also a Northern Gannet early in the morning. Otherwise, mostly everyone got very good views of birds like Long-tailed Duck, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Gadwall, Common Goldeneye, Great Cormorant, Sanderling, and Surf Scoter.

 We had good views of both typical loon species - do you know which one this is?

Here's the full list:

Canada Goose
Mute Swan 
American Wigeon
American Black Duck 
Greater/Lesser Scaup 
Surf Scoter 
White-winged Scoter 
Long-tailed Duck  
Common Goldeneye 
Red-breasted Merganser  
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon 
Northern Gannet 
Great Cormorant 
Ring-billed Gull 
Herring Gull (American) 
Great Black-backed Gull 
Rock Pigeon 
Mourning Dove
Carolina Wren 
Northern Mockingbird 
Song Sparrow 
House Sparrow 

This continues to be a somewhat slow winter for uncommon upland birds that can frequent Stratford Point in winter like Eastern Meadowlark and Short-eared Owl. We still have a lack of any snow along with above-average temperatures in much of the region. It was frigid for a short time this week but that will be coming to an end with temperatures nearing 50 this weekend. Some species, like Mallard, American Black Duck, and Canada Goose were clearly moving south as waters to the north froze, but that will not be a problem.

What a strange season...keep an eye out for our February walk date which may come after the prescribed burn of the site.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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