Date: 11/7/18 6:32 pm
From: Steve Mayo and Rebecca Horowitz via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Mega Grackle Count Help Needed
Dan, I think estimating a "rate" is an excellent tactic.  As you know, the problem arises when there are so many, it's hard to quickly get "calibrated", that is, familiar with your base number or grouping.  You have to pick a number 100 or even better,1000.  (I wish I had the mad hops to be able to group by 10,000.)

Then you estimate what that looks like and try to start breaking up the flock into these units. Maybe studying photos would help with this.  Narrow rivers are easier than wide rivers, and the whole process takes intense concentration.  

Lighthouse had a several million flock reported once.  But usually it's easier at Lighthouse, where the flocks are much more manageable, a quarter mile, a half mile, 30,000-300,000.  These typical numbers sound small compared to what's going on at Exeter Marsh.  What an amazing phenomenon.

Steve Mayo
Bethany

From: Dan Rottino via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
To: CT Birds <ctbirds...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 8:51 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Mega Grackle Count Help Needed

I would like to request some assistance in estimating the numbers of an extremely large grackle and blackbird flock in Lebanon.  There are at least hundreds of thousands of birds in the flock or more. The birds roost in Exeter marsh at the junction of route 207 and 16 overnight.  They leave the marsh first thing in the morning forage in the farm fields in the greater area and return to the roost late afternoon.  I believe they return around 3 o’clock and it takes them a half an hour or more to all enter the marsh.  They form columns or rivers of birds several miles long sometimes coming from Colchester at other times coming from Lebanon Center all heading into the marsh.  If anyone can go and confirm the numbers or come up with some kind of an estimate I would appreciate the help. There is a pulloff next to the cemetery across the street from the March for parking.  I try to estimate the numbers with hundreds of them coming in per second and multiplying that by the time.  There is a leak could be some rarity  such as a yellow headed blackbird or maybe Rusty blackbirds etc.  In previous years I took video and photos so this is a regular phenomenon.  This is a temporary staging area so they will be gone in a week or so I believe.  Please let me know if you were able to go and check them out thanks.
Dan Rottino
East Haddam, CT
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This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
 
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