Stellwagen Bank Trip report - June 3,
This trip was
originally scheduled for May 19, 2018 but forecasts of high winds, high
seas and rain caused postponement until June 3rd. On that new June 3rd
date we had no rain but the winds kicked up and the seas became rough,
forcing us to abort the trip after just three hours. The Captain kindly
provided rain-checks for future trips on his whale-watching boat this
year for all of the 70 birders and whale watchers on board.
We left the
dock at 7am, with 2-3 foot seas, and a remarkably beautiful clear breezy
day, around 60F. Within several hours, however, growing winds
caused 6-8 foot seas and too much bouncing around for good bird
watching, so we elected to abort the trip and return to dock. We
did see three humpback whales in central Stellwagen Bank along with the
Gulls, 20 Greater Black-backed gulls, 3 Double-crested Cormorants, 2
Common Loons, 3 Northern Gannets, and 2 Wilson's Storm-petrels. We
tried but were unable to find any shearwaters, jaegers or waterfowl.
The weather was also too dynamic to allow our plankton tow or
deploying our Secchi disk.
fewer birds than hoped for, but enjoyed a beautiful windy sunny
morning on the ocean. The full trip report is available at
Respectfully submitted, Tom Robben
Greenstone Hollow Nature Preserve - May 26,
The day was clear and sunny. We could not
ask for a nicer day for our start of nesting season walk. The leaves were
out, so we practiced birding by ear. Five of us gathered for the
Greenstone trip, including two new members. Welcome to Hartford Audubon.
The roadside started us off with a variety of birds. A Green Heron
flew over. We had several Blue-winged Warblers that were the
abundant nester we found. We also had an Eastern Kingbird. This
was a new species for the preserve.
In the shrubby field we found a scattering of Yellow Warblers. We
are trying to improve the habitat for such shrub nesting species. We also
had a number of Great-crested Flycatchers. This was a new species
for the preserve. Several Baltimore Orioles were singing, but the
nests were hidden.
Crawling towards the road was an Eastern Box Turtle. It was just
sitting there closed up in its shell. We moved it across the road in the
direction it was heading and wished it well on its way.
In the marsh we saw a Red-winged
Blackbird nest with the female sitting on it. Then she flew off and
returned with some yummy morsel for the chicks, and repeatedly flew off
and returned to feed the young. The nest was not well hidden, so we got
to see it easily. I reported this to the Bird Atlas project. To end it,
we had a Wood Duck fly over.
We had a total of 34 species, including 4 warblers.
Respectfully submitted, Larry Lunden
Tanager Hill - May 9, 2018
Tanager Hill is, without a doubt, the most beautiful birding location in
Simsbury. And it happens to lie directly under the main approach into
Bradley Airport. For the sake of our May 9th fieldtrip we had
to add seven species of “airline” birds in order to bring our total to
forty. Take away the airlines, and our total was a meager thirty-three
species. Fortunately, our dilemma was mitigated by spectacular looks at
several very cooperative Blue-winged Warblers. Sitting boldly in
the sun along the powerline, the Blue-wings dazzled us. Admittedly, their
wings are not JetBlue, but they are blue enough to create a
wonderful contrast with their vibrant yellow heads and undersides. We
suspect that at least several were males, posturing and displaying with
the hopes of being United with a willing female. Also putting-on a
show was a very cooperative Louisiana Waterthrush. Sitting
patiently on a tree limb, it gave us a great opportunity to discuss the
differences between it and its close cousin, the Northern Waterthrush. We
wondered where this one wintered. Did it come north from the Caribbean ?
Or perhaps it arrived from the Southwest, crossing the Gulf of
Mexico and the Mississippi Delta on its way to Connecticut.
Although our target bird, the Hooded Warbler, did make a brief
appearance, it was seen by only a few of us. Fortunately, the Hooded is a
reliable nester at Tanager Hill, and at least one of our participants
returned the next day for an excellent look. Finally, a Barred Owl,
made a spectacular and unexpected appearance, to the delight of all.
Looking regal and All American, he showed lots of Spirit by
giving everyone an extended audience. Incredibly, there was no sighting
of the namesake Scarlet Tanager. Either he missed his flight, or perhaps
he continued non-stop to the Air in Canada.
Respectfully submitted, Doug Beach and Jon Ward
Quarry Park and Connecticut River
Floodplain - May 5, 2018
partly cloudy and warm day greeted us as we started out the walk. There
had been a heat wave the previous three days, and the leaves were coming
out. Eight of us turned out to see what was in the park.
The upper level had a few birds new for the year, Baltimore Oriole,
and Grey Catbird. We heard a Hairy Woodpecker, an unusual
one for this trip. The upper part of the quarry had a wind blowing, so
birds were few and far between.
On the lower levels we found several singing Wood Thrush. We had a
Red-shouldered Hawk fly over, a new species for this trip. We had
a Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing in the woodlands.
We also found several warblers, Black and White, American Redstart,
Black throated Blue, and Pine. We found an Ovenbird
skulking under a log, a new species for this trip. We had a Northern
Parula that was identified by photo. We also found two
Brown-headed Cowbirds chasing a female. The quarry part of the trip
netted 37 species.
The meadows were flooded over from the
recent rain, so we took the second part of the trip on the Wood Parcel on
Middletown Ave. In the Wood parcel we had a Green Heron fly over.
We had two warblers, Black-throated Green and Yellow, both
singing. We had a Baltimore Oriole stripping nesting material off
some small plants. A good sign of a nest to come. And we heard a
Warbling Vireo in the trees.
The Wood parcel part of the trip netted 23 species. Overall we had 46
species, including 8 warblers. The results were shared with the CT Bird
Atlas project as nesting activity was found.
Respectfully submitted, Larry Lunden
Lower Greenwood - Barkhamsted walk - May 5, 2018
On the 5th of May 14 of us explored Lower Greenwoods in Barkhamsted. The
property is owned by MDC and our birding was done by walking down the dirt
road. We were
rewarded with great views of 51 species. We had the pleasure of watching
several Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Baltimore Orioles flying and landing
in the trees together. We also observed a sapsucker excavating a hole in
the front and back of a tree. It will be an interesting tree to check on
and figure out if they use either hole as a nest site. As always a great
morning spent with friends.
Respectfully submitted, Mickey Nordell
Audibles and Edibles walk - April 28, 2018
13 of us began to look Down at 17 species of healthful
herbs and UP at 28 species of birds. The morning was cool but sunny.
Highlights were: Double-crested Cormorants(FOx33) , Turkey and Black
Vultures,Eastern Towhee and many Savannah Sparrows. The Longo Farm
Preserve,off Hebron Rd. in Glastonbury is a beautiful open space.
Respectfully submitted, Ernie Harris
Greenstone Hollow Trip Report - April 7,
Six hardy souls met around 8AM. I had
said that the walk would be cancelled in the event of rain, but had
failed to mention what would happen if there was snow. As we walked
through all the trails of the preserve, the temperature hovered around
37ºF and occasional snowflakes drifted down. Despite that, we did
pretty well sighting a total of 23 species - not bad considering how
late Spring seems to be in coming this year. As usual, Larry Lunden
kindly recorded the species and sent them to e-bird. Here is his list.
Wood Duck 4
Wild Turkey 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Mourning Dove 6
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue Jay 10
American Crow 3
Tree Swallow 5
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 3
Carolina Wren 2
American Robin 5
Northern Mockingbird 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 7
Red-winged Blackbird 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Common Grackle 3
Our next scheduled bird walk here will be
Saturday, May 26 at 8AM, so mark your calendars. However, feel free to
stop by any time and enjoy the sanctuary - it’s a delightful place to
walk as well as look for birds. It’s on Ridge Blvd, left off of Rt
187N, about 1.8 miles north of Rt. 20 in East Granby center.
Respectfully submitted, Chris Fisher
Satchuest Point RI trip - March 31, 2018
met at Sachuest Point N W R in Rhode Island for my annual trip. We
started out along the trail that overlooks the ocean finding a small
amount of the usual duck species but the best bird was one or two
Northern Gannets. However, once we rounded the curve in the trail things
picked up. We had good numbers of Surf and Black Scoters as well as two
White Winged Scoters along with the usual Harlequin Ducks. In the
distance were a number of Great Cormorants sitting on the rocks. Also
seen here near the road was a cock Ring Necked Pheasant which I was
assured by the refuge staff that it was NOT pen raised!
Our next stop
was to Trustrom Pond N W R where we picked up a number of small birds at
the feeders. We always get more passerine birds at the feeders than we
see in the woods. Probably because they know the feeders are here! Downy
Woodpecker, Black Capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White Breasted
Nuthatch, White Throated Sparrow and Northern Cardinal were new for the
day. Along the trail on the way out to Osprey Point we found a Golden
Crowned Kinglet and Eastern Bluebird. Upon arriving at the pond we
picked up good on the ducks including American Wigeon, Gadwall, Blue
Winged Teal, Green Winged Teal and best of all several Redheads to bring
our duck total to 20. Also found was one more Eastern Bluebird.
visited Moonstone Beach where we added Piping Plover.
Our final stop
was a new stop for this trip called South Shore Wildlife Management
Area. We did not see many birds here but later in the season it should
prove productive. What was here though was a huge Snapping Turtle! At
the beginning of the trip I commented I would like us to see 60 species.
Total species for the trip-60!
Respectfully submitted, Paul Desjardins, guide
Stratford, Ct Trip - March 31, 2018
With the Hartford Audubon Society walk this morning we had
some nice birds around Stratford.
A drake Blue-winged Teal off Stratford Point was a real
treat, as I had not had one there before. There was also a flock of about
400 Long-tailed Ducks, fairly close to shore. Tree Swallows, a singing
Field Sparrow and two Eastern Phoebes gave us a taste of Spring. A first
or second Glaucous Gull flyby was another treat. We had about a dozen
Great Cormorants flying by and at least one D.C.
Long Beach had thousands of gulls offshore and also both
species of scaup. Mr Long Beach, the now adult Iceland Gull put in an
appearance and an adult Northern Gannet flew by.
Birdseye had a drake Northern Shoveler. We also had a Snowy
Owl at an undisclosed location.
Respectfully submitted, Patrick Comins, Meriden
Hartford County Boat Launch Tour. Feb 2,
highlights of this years boat launch tour included Cackling and Snow
Goose at Donald Barnes boat launch in Enfield, Common Raven, Merlin and
Peregrine Falcon at King's Island boat Launch in Enfield, great looks at
a Bald Eagle nest at the Dexter Coffin Bridge launch in Windsor Locks,
five Bald Eagles at Riverside Park in Hartford, another Bald Eagle nest
at Charter Oak Landing in Hartford. We also visited the Rocky Hill
Ferry, which had a lot of ducks, but nothing unusual. By the time we
were done, we turned Super Bowl Sunday into Super Bird Sunday! Go
Eagles! You know, the ones that wear white helmets!
Cape Ann/Newburyport. Jan 20 & 21, 2018
Nine HAS members
and friends set out in hopes of moderately cold weather and lots of
birds. On Saturday morning we explored the upper reaches of Cape Ann.
The rewards included fabulous looks at
Thick billed Murre,
Red throated Loon,
and the scoter trifecta:
Black, White winged,
A small flock of
were found on Bass Rocks in Gloucester. The best highlight was the
sighting of two
Sunday in Newburyport: The Government shut down, but Plum Island was
open for birding. Sightings of
Red tailed Hawk,
(Gray Ghost), a close-up view of a
Rough legged Hawk,
and distant looks at
were the raptor delights. Salisbury Beach State Park offered closer
looks at 2 more Snowy Owls. The day ended with 12 Sanderlings. Total