Monday, July 25, 2011

Fall migration heating up

There was no pun intended in that title considering all of the heat we have had. We will highlight some of the record-setting warmth later this week. It really has not felt like fall, but for the birds, it has arrived. Many are now moving south from swallows to shorebirds and early warblers. Stratford and Milford Points are filling up with these migrants and our surveys are tallying higher totals of species and birds nearly every day.

We may not have something like a White-tailed Kite hanging around, but we have plenty for visitors to enjoy. The last few weeks have brought mega rarities as well, albeit tough ones to "chase" or photograph, including a Sandwich Tern found by Nick Bonomo and a White-winged Dove found by our Coastal Center Director, Frank Gallo. There have been countless "good" birds that you can see below in this list covering only the last few weeks at the mouth of the Housatonic River:

Mute Swan
American Black Duck
Common Goldeneye
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Glossy Ibis
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Least Tern
Caspian Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Sandwich Tern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
hummingbird sp.
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Willow Flycatcher
Empidonax sp.
Eastern Kingbird
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Carolina Wren
House Wren
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

August 1 is not only the one-year anniversary of discovering the White-tailed Kite; it is also the beginning of a month of many more migrants. The list above will nearly double in size very soon. We hope you visit the Coastal Center at Milford Point or the CAS-managed Stratford Point to help us find the next amazing Connecticut record and to enjoy the unique habitats we are working to restore and maintain.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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