Date: 1/28/19 7:50 am
From: Gina Nichol via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] 1/27/19 Waterman Field Trip Highlights at Hammonasset
January 27, 2019 - Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club Field Trip to Hammonasset
Beach State Park, Madison, CT.

Thanks to all of the CTBirders who provided info and reports in advance
of this field trip. It has been fairly quiet at Hammo recently but we
had a great day. Below are highlights. For anyone interested, also
below is commentary about our birding victories of the day.

Highlights:
Common Eider (4), Lapland Longspur (1), Peregrine Falcon, Northern
Harrier (2), Sharp-shinned Hawk, Dunlin (278), Ruddy Turnstone (87),
Black-bellied Plover (5), Cedar Waxwing (18), Horned Lark (25),
Yellow-rumped Warbler (6), Sanderling (3+), Surf Scoters (3), Common
Loon, Red-throated Loon, Common Goldeneye (4), Red-breasted Mergansers
(4) and others

Gina Nichol & Steve Bird
Branford, CT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Steve and I drove through the Park on our way to meet the group and
witnessed the Horned Lark flock (presumably with the attendant Lapland
Longspur) departing the parking field by the nature center. We're they
gone for good :?

When we arrived back at the nature center parking lot with the group of
nine smiling birders from Dutchess County, New York, the Lark flock had
not returned. We set off walking toward Willard Island all the while
watching the parking field and scanning the marsh to the east. As we
reached the far corner of the parking lot, I could see a small flock of
birds coming across the marsh straight at us. They flew right over our
heads, almost within reach, and landed in the field and for the next 20
minutes gave us great views with everyone able to admire the Lapland
Longspur in great light.

Willard Island was dead quiet except for a few Yellow-rumped Warblers.
At the far end, though, we had great views of a Northern Harrier and our
first Red-breasted Mergansers.

The water in the Long Island Sound was kicked up by the wind coming out
of the southeast and that, along with the kite boarders on the beach at
Meig's Point, meant the lonely Red-throated Loon hanging out very close
to shore quickly worked it's way along the jetty and away.

We walked out the Moraine Trail to the end and found 4 Common Eiders.
There, as well, the water was washing over many of the large rocks in
the river so no seals or birds on the rocks. We scoped Surf Scoters and
Common Goldeneye as well as some distant Brant and Canada Geese. Steve
found a Peregrine Falcon perched on a stump on the beach near Cedar
Island and we surmised that this could have been what put up the 60 or
so Black Ducks out of the marsh earlier. I kept seeing flocks of
shorebirds flying in the distance but never close enough to id. Then,
all at once, the flocks converged and made a beeline across the river
straight toward us landing on the rock bar right in front of us. Facing
toward us and into the wind, the birds occupied nearly every space on
the bar in front of us offering gorgeous views at fairly close range. We
took our time and went right through them to enjoy them and make sure we
didn't miss anything. Our inland birding visitors were elated.

Gina Beebe Nichol
Sunrise Birding LLC
Worldwide Bird Watching Tours & Wildlife Safaris
PO Box 274, Cos Cob, CT 06807
<gina...>
www.sunrisebirding.com
USA 203.453.6724

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