Saturday, March 27 eighteen people gathered for my annual Rhode Island trip at Sachuest Point N W R under a beautiful sunny sky. We started out along the trail at the oceans edge quickly spotting several waterfowl species such as Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, Common Eiders and Black Scoters as well as several Horned Grebes and a Red Throated Loon. We soon ran into a local birder who informed us that there were only a couple of Harlequin Ducks present. Boy was she wrong! As we rounded the bend we spotted probably 30 or more of them and they were close in affording excellent views! Also seen on the off shore rocks were a number of Great Cormorants.
Our next stop took us to Trustom Pond N W R where we always add songbirds to the list as well as more duck species. Here we added common birds such as Black Capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White Breasted Nuthatches etc which we see every year but the male Eastern Towhee was a nice addition. Also heard but not seen was an Eastern Phoebe. This was near the bird feeders and the parking lot. As we ventured along the trail near the open field we saw the first Tree Swallows of the day. Upon arriving at the pond we added additional duck species such as both scaup, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. One birder spotted a far off Northern Gannet and there was a pair of Ospreys here.
Our last stop was at Ninigret Park where we hoped to see the long staying Lesser Black Backed Gull but unfortunately it could not be found. Here a Killdeer was seen for our only shorebird of the trip. We ended up with 52 species which is somewhat lower than I had anticipated but it still was a fun trip.
Paul Desjardins, guide