Monday, April 5, 2010

Stratford Point

Have you been to visit us at Stratford Point? The Connecticut Audubon Society conducts waterfowl surveys for DuPont, the owners of the site, on a daily basis. When the gate is open, usually during typical business hours Monday through Friday, we encourage you to stop by. Visitors are welcome to hike the designated areas 28-acre site, do some birding, biking, fishing, take their dog for a stroll, and enjoy the beautiful views on this wonderful property. The site's location makes it ideal for many species of duck, loon, grebe, and shorebird. The grasslands in the upland area invite a variety of passerines and raptors, from some typical backyard species to tough-to-find sparrows and various owls. A large number of rare birds have been seen at Stratford Point during our time monitoring the site.

This past weekend brought several new faces to Stratford Point for the year. A stunningly cooperative and tame Pine Warbler was on Saturday. It took a liking to the small pines surrounding the driveway to the facilities. The bird probably decided to stop and refuel at the first piece of land it saw with some type of pine trees after a very long journey. It continually foraged with a Golden-crowned Kinglet. The Pine Warbler was gone on Sunday, likely continuing it's march to lands to our north. This weekend also yielded two Brown Thrashers, a rare scrub species that is one of Connecticut Audubon Society's Top 20 "Conservation Priority" Bird Species. They were quite conspicuous and vocal, hopping along the fences on the edges of the property. Also notable were three Hermit Thrush, a common woodland species that can overwinter in Connecticut in certain areas. After being surprisingly absent from much of Fairfield County this fall these migrant birds represent one of the first signs of the main brunt of spring migration. Today did not feature any new passerine migrants, but there was a Merlin hanging around in our trees looking for a snack. The birds should keep moving in moderate to high volume all week long because of the warm southerly flow we're currently all enjoying. Please stop by to visit them - and us!

Photos by Scott Kruitbosch

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