New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Friday, October 25, 2013

September and October Highlights 1- "Another Golden Plover" -

                           September and October Birding Diary Highlights! :

     September 16,- It was 7:15 am and I stopped for a coffee to go in "town" at the Dunkin Donuts (yes that's right- Killingworth has a Dunkin Donuts). On my way down to Hammonasset, I had just pulled into the parking lot and heard that familiar deep croaking call; it was one of Killingworth's Ravens. The Ravens have been regular residents in Killingworth since showing up around fifteen years ago. It started with one pair that set up a homestead behind our house, and then slowly grew to multiple numbers. Now a day doesn't go by when you don't hear or see a single or several Ravens around our house or in town. This Raven landed on the utility pole>

     It flew across the street and landed on the wires.....

     .....and off it went.>

      At Meigs Point in Hammonasset, the first Scoter (a juvenile drake Surf) swam by the jetty>

      Two flocks of Greater Yellowlegs flew into the small marsh at the beginning of the Moraine Trail.....

     .....where they joined a small group of Cattle and Great Egrets and a handful of these immature Little Blue Herons>

     Snowy Egret>

     Great Egrets and Black Ducks>

     One of the few remaining Ospreys in the area and in the Park>

       Excellent balance>

     Great Egret>

     I looked up just in time to see the first Common Loon of the fall season. This one was migrating; it came from the north over the Park and continued flying southwest over the Sound until it vanished into the overcast distance>

    Hammonasset's resident- the Tri-colored x Little Blue hybrid Heron in the marsh by the Meigs circle>

     While I was watching the Heron, this Common Yellowthroat upstaged the Heron for a moment or two!>


     I wish I could carve a Heron decoy in each and every preening pose I see. Herons are the masters of animated postures that project beautifully into sculpture!>

     September 17- Hammonassett, Meigs Point- The sun returned this morning offering a beautifully clear sky. The only Shorebirds I saw were three Spotted Sandpipers on the Meigs Point jetty>

    On Willard's Island a good morning flight of Passerines were hopping through the trees including this Red-eyed Vireo>

     Prairie Warbler>

      Palm Warbler>

     Way off in the distance, a female Kestrel circles the marsh.....

     .....and lands on a high perch>

     The second Golden Plover in a week. This transitional adult started the morning at the Nature Center parking lot, but eventually ended up on the field near the west beach parking lot where it had joined a flock of Kildeer>

      Wing stretch>

       Stunning bird!>

       This Plover was very actively feeding>

      Good rear view showing the typical Plover "square-head" look>

     The Plover started looking up into the sky overhead.......

    .....and suddenly became very agitated and nervous!>

     Then it started slowly sinking into a sitting position.....

     ......and began settling into the grass.>

     Once in the sitting pose, the Plover began to flatten out its shape and silhouette..... the point of almost disappearing and blending perfectly into the grass. I knew that there had to be a winged predator somewhere over head. Looking up revealed what had the Plover worried.......

      .....a circling Peregrine!>

      It is amazing how this bird disappeared into the grass. Even the white supracilliary stripe blended beautifully appearing as a highlighted blade of dead grass!>

     With the Peregrine and the danger gone...the Plover cautiously stands up again.....

     .....and starts feeding again.>

      Success! A small grasshopper>

     Time to wash down the grasshopper!>

     Back to the field to hunt more grasshoppers, crickets and beetles>

      Preening Kildeer>

                       September and October Highlights 2 continues......Long-billed Dowitcher-
                                  Click on "Older Posts" below right-