Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 22 - Southern Connecticut

I made a trip to Stamford this morning in hopes of seeing the Common Black-Headed Gull that had been reported on both Thursday and Friday of this week. I arrived just after 7 a.m. however the bird was not present. There were some Bonaparte's Gulls, but the dozen here were a far cry from the 200-300 recently reported.

There were some nice birds to be seen though with Monk Parakeet being a highlight.
Duck species seen Shoveler, Black, Mallard, Bufflehead, Wigeon, Gadwall, and Lesser Scaup. Also Red-Breasted and Hooded Mergansers were about. My first Blue-Winged Teal of the year was a nice surprise.

On the ocean side of the park there were beautifully plumaged Long-Tailed Ducks, Horned Grebes, Common Goldeneye, Brant, and Great Cormorant. Also a Merlin was observed.

Having dipped on the gull, my next stop was the CT Audubon's Coastal Center at Milford Point about 25 miles further east. I had been here once before in July 2006 when my friend Rob F. took me to see the Red-Necked Stint. This morning I was able to see very close look at a dozen Common Redpolls.

On the water here was my first Osprey and Oystercatchers of the spring, and numerous duck species. They being Blue-Winged and Green-Winged Teal, Canvasback, Pintail, Black, Mallard, Wigeon, Gadwall, and Goldeneye. Two large rafts of Greater Scaup were out in the ocean, as was a Common Loon, many Horned Grebes, and RB Mergansers. There were more Monk Parakeets seen here also.

Alas, the target was not seen today, but it was a fine morning of birding.