Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Milford Point & Rumps

Recently, there has been a small invasion of these young juvenile Yellow-rumped Warblers, this one was foraging through my backyard compost pile.
When I was fishing off Norwalk and Westport on October 17th, hundreds of these birds were passing me, as I was positioned two miles south of the Connecticut Coastline. All of these birds were heading north  towards the Connecticut coastline, they were flying in from the Long Island area.
My thoughts were that they were blown out to LI from the nor-west gale winds that I fished and discussed from Oct.15-16
Their natural migration is way inland from the coast, but these are young birds, and this is there first southerly migration, they have to find it out all on their own.
You would have to think that these birds flying north across Long Island Sound and finding the mainland, is a great example of their ability to globaly reposition themselves when off course.
(Don't forget to click on these pix to enlarge, some are worthy of it)
I spent a day this week with the crew from CT DEP DIV OF WILDLIFE attempting to capture and band shorebirds at Milford Point. as we did in earlier this year.
There are still many shorebirds around, Dunlin (landing on the outer bar, in the above photo)
Sanderling, Black-bellied and a few American Golden Plover.
A view towards the Sound showed  White-winged Scoter, several Black Scoter, Common and Red-throated Loons, closer in, several American Oystercatchers were still hanging out as were multitudes of 
Double-crested Cormorants.  
The gear was hauled out to the sandbars, the net was set and the explosives ready to fire the net.
Now it's time to sit  and wait for the tide to come in and hopefully push the birds to the pre-planned area.
One hour before the expected shoot, what happens?
A couple of fishermen (a lovely elderly couple, by the way) walk out to the end of the bar to fish, between us and the birds, of course they are warned about the explosives and eagerly stay away from that area.
We sit, we wait...  I have my camera and spend the quiet time photographing anything that moves.
The white chested, light gray backed shorebird in the above photo is a Sanderling.
( click on him, he's really cool)
These birds are common along the CT. coastline in the Autumn, Winter and Spring Months, they are always in flocks, anywhere for a few individuals to thousands.
They do prefer the sandier areas of the coastline.
Nothing like a early afternoon siesta, both these birds are keeping an eye opened for me.
Sanderling in the foreground, Dunlin in the back.
Note the comparison between these two, the Dunlin has a brown mottled chest and brownish head and back.
Both these species are in basic plumage, in alternate (breeding plumage) they have a totally different look.
Much more red/rufous coloring on the head and back, plus the Dunlin grows a very black belly patch.

The Mute Swan, an elegant bird, a favorite of many people.
It is an introduced species from Europe, but often upsets the balance of nature in North America.
In local ponds it will push out all native species of nesting waterfowl, including Mallards, Wood Duck, Teal,
Black Duck and others, it is very territorial and protects its adopted nesting area from many native species.
But they are pretty?
A nice mixed bag of mostly Sanderling and Dunlin.
Perhaps one of my last Osprey photo of the year, as these birds have been migrating south for a few months now, many to as far away as Latin and, South America .
This bird could be spending this winter in Suriname, Guatemala or Brazil to name a few.
Oh by the way, we never did get a chance to shoot off the net, to band the birds, sometimes it's just
 Natures Way.

No comments:

Post a Comment