Fargeorge Walk, New Haven – Nov 4, 2017

Fargeorge Wildlife Refuge Trip Report: 11 people attending the New Haven Land Trust – New Haven Bird Club joint fieldtrip on Saturday Nov 4, 2017 to the New Haven Land Trust’s Fargeorge Wildlife refuge off of Quinnipiac Ave in New Haven. The weather was chilly and a little cloudy to start. Temperature = 40F to 50F Beginning to End. The Tide was ½ in to start. We had a light North West wind. We got 54 Species. A great thank you goes to the good folks at the New Haven Land Trust.

And now, “The Case of the Juggling Eagle”: We had just finished up a truly successful walk around the 2 major loops at the Fargeorge Refuge and decided to go out to the old steel yard to try for some turkeys, (this close to Thanksgiving they are in hiding). Looking up, we saw an adult bald eagle with a small silvery fish. As we watched, it flew up slightly and let go of the fish. It then dropped down and grabbed it again. A few seconds later, it let go of the fish again. This time it didn’t even bother to try to catch it again, it just let it go. Several attendees caught it with their cameras. They got great shots of the eagle and the fish in the same frame. We stood there awe-struck for a while and then started to speculate. Was it playing with the fish or just trying to get a better grip? We then ended the trip as we all agreed that we were not going to be able to top that.

The following is a list of bird species seen and /or heard by the attendees:

Brant Canada Goose Mute Swan American Black Duck Mallard Hooded Merganser Double-crested Cormorant Great Blue Heron Black Vulture Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle (4) Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Red-tailed Hawk American Woodcock Laughing Gull Ring-billed Gull Herring Gull Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove Belted Kingfisher Downey Woodpecker Northern Flicker Merlin Eastern Phoebe Blue Jay American Crow Fisk Crow Black-capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse Carolina Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet Eastern Bluebird Hermit Thrush American Robin Northern Mockingbird European Starling Cedar Waxwing Palm Warbler Pine warbler Yellow-rumped warbler Dark-eyed Junco White-throated Sparrow Song Sparrow Swamp Sparrow Northern Cardinal Red-winged Blackbird Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird House Finch American Goldfinch House Sparrow

Total Species Seen = 54

Species order

Trip Report for Naugatuck State Forest

Naugatuck State Forest Field Trip Report

On Sunday, May 21, 2017, twenty-five club members went on a memorable hike through the Naugatuck State Forest West Block in search of breeding birds and migrants. We started at the brushy overgrown field south of Hunters Mountain Road. We got great looks at Prairie Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Scarlet Tanager there. We then hiked down the trail heading south from the end of the road. We eventually made it to the large freshwater pond along the trail. There, we saw pairs of Eastern Kingbirds and Tree Swallows near a beaver lodge. We were pleased to find a Solitary Sandpiper and a Northern Waterthrush foraging at the edge of the lesser pond near the main trail. Notable sightings along the trail included Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-throated Vireo, and Worm-eating and Magnolia Warbler. We then walked down the scenic ravine trail that parallels a cascading brook. Species we encountered there included Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Swainson’s Thrush. We then walked along the Spruce Brook Road, past the rifle range, and then back to our starting point, seeing and hearing several nice birds along the way. Before we called an end to our long but rewarding trip, we hiked through the brushy field north of the road. There, we saw Indigo Bunting, Eastern Bluebird, and Blue-winged, Yellow, and Prairie Warblers. We recorded a total of 67 species, a fine total for a fine day.


Chris Loscalzo

First Wednesday Field Trip Report Milford Point – April 5th

Report for First Wednesday Walk, April 5, 2017, Milford Point. Leader, Steve Spector On a calm, relatively warm (beginning at 43 degrees and rising to 49), 20 birders gathered at the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center at 8:00 AM, about 49 minutes after high tide. Because the main sandbar is split in half at high tide, we first observed the marsh from the parking lot platform. Good numbers of ducks were around, including Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Black Duck, Mallard, American Wigeon, Red-breasted Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead, and a dozen Northern Shovelers. Brant (the most numerous bird), Canada Goose, and Mute Swan were also seen, as well as waders (Great Blue Heron, Great & Snowy Egret). A single Osprey was on the platform next to the CACC, but a pair were nest building on another platform further north. Tucked into the SW corner of the marsh were, as is their habit, 4 recently arrived Greater Yellowlegs. Overhead, we were treated to a constant flow of returning Tree Swallows. After about 50 minutes we began walking out to the main sandbar (watched by a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk perched on a small tree near the path between Smith’s Point Road and the viewing platform). As we doing an initial scan of the main sandbar from the platform,Tina Green and Frank Mantlik noticed a shape, and suddenly Frank announced, “Short-eared Owl,” as one flew up from the grassy area to the west. Great looks were had by all. We moved slowly onto the shore, and heard, and then saw well, the breeding birds (Piping Plover, Killdeer, and American Oystercatcher), all exhibiting courting and territory-establishing behavior and vocalization. Offshore there were no rafts of ducks around, but we saw Common Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, Horned Grebe, Red-throated Loon, and many Common Loons (at least 35). On the main sandbar, where earlier there had been a pair of Horned Lark, we found 4 Black-bellied Plover, while Sanderling and Dunlin formed foraging flocks of at least 200 each, at times merging into spectacular masses of fast-moving shorebirds. As we were leaving Frank Mantlik again found another treat, a silvery-gray Iceland Gull that was mixed in with a small number of other gulls. Al in all, we totaled 56 species, and at the end of our trip the sun came out. Steve Spector charsjs@sbcglobal.net

Dick English Fieldtrip report

We had a wonderful fieldtrip yesterday (Sat 4/8/17). It was the annual Richard English Memorial Fieldtrip to Lighthouse Point Park, The Richard English Bird Sanctuary at the Deer Lake Scout Camp in Killingworth and Hammonasset Beach State Park. We had lovely weather although quite windy in the morning.

Some of the highlights were:

3 – Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (LHPP)

1 – Little Blue Heron (LHPP!)

1 – Wilson’s Snipe posing for pictures (Hammo)

100+ Brants

3 – Glossy Ibis

3 – Eastern Phoebes

1 – Raven

1 – Eastern Bluebird

2 – Golden Crowned Kinglets

I want to thank very much Laurie Reynolds for acting as scribe and posting her lists and pictures from all 3 sites on e-bird.


Mike Horn

Trip report on Rhode Island Coast

Field Trip Report—Rhode Island Coast—February 25, 2017

Seventeen club members ventured east to our neighboring state of Rhode Island for a full day of birding. We drove through a fog, but it cleared as we arrived at our first destination: Beavertail State Park in Jamestown. The visibility was fine and it was unseasonably warm, making the birding easier than usual at this coastal location. Here, we saw Harlequin Duck, Common Eider, and all three scoter species, with Black Scoter being the most abundant. We also saw a lone Purple Sandpiper and a Northern Gannet. Some of us were fortunate to see a Razorbill as it flew out of the harbor and out to the sound. Our next stop was at Easton and Green End Ponds in Newport. There, we saw Ruddy Duck, Lesser Scaup, and all three merganser species. It was a short drive from there to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. There, we saw more Harlequin Duck, Common Eider and scoters, and a large flock of Purple Sandpiper. It was pleasing to see so many of this species as it has been in a steady decline for years. We added Ruddy Turnstone to our trip list at Third Beach just west of the refuge and then were pleased to find the drake Barrow’s Goldeneye off Seaside Drive in Jamestown during our brief stop there. Our next stop was Moonstone Beach where we observed a light phase Rough-legged Hawk perched on a radio antenna out in the marsh. We didn’t stay there long, as we decided that we would observe the birds in Trustom Pond from the observation platform at the refuge rather than from the beach. That turned out to be a good decision as we were able to see the waterfowl well from that vantage point. And, there were lots of waterfowl, including a number of rare species. Highlights included four Tundra Swans (two adults and two juveniles), Redhead, and a drake Eurasian Wigeon. There were also Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, and both Great and Double-crested Cormorant. We observed a total of 21 species of waterfowl at Trustom Pond. It was a memorable experience and the highlight of our day. We were also able to observe the Rough-legged Hawk that we had seen earlier, but now it was also soaring and hovering over the marsh. It is a beautiful bird, indeed. The walk to and from

Megabowl of Birding results

Mega Bowl Summary The first annual Mega Bowl of Birding in New Haven County was held on February 5, 2017 (Super Bowl Sunday). Twenty four birders participated in the event and a good time was had by all. Birders teamed up in groups of 3-5 people and went to birding locations throughout the county, from Southbury to New Haven and from Milford to Madison. They saw an impressive total of 103 species and garnered 237 points in doing so. Birders got creative in coming up with names for their teams. The names of the teams were as follows: the Abominable Snow Buntings, the Avianophiles, the CT Young Birders’ Club Darth Waders, the Suet Blockers, Winging It, and the Winter Wrenegades! By a narrow margin, the CYBC Darth Waders pulled off an upset and came up with the most species and earned the most points of any team. Their team’s name has been inscribed on the Mega Bowl Trophy! They saw a total of 82 species on the day and amassed 175 points. At the end of the day, the participants met at the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby for a scrumptious dinner (prepared expertly by my wife, Marianne) and to receive awards and prizes. Wil Schenck won an award for being the youngest participant and Bill Batsford won an award for being the most senior participant (all of the other participants were very young, according to Bill). Prizes were given to every participant through the generosity of the proprietors of The Fat Robin in Hamden and The Audubon Shop in Madison. A number of rare and uncommon birds were seen during the day, including: Eurasian Wigeon, Black Scoter, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ring-necked Pheasant, Rough-legged Hawk, Killdeer, Iceland Gull, Long-eared Owl, Brown Creeper, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-crowned Night-heron, Wilson’s Snipe, and Eared Grebe. Although all birds are equally valuable in the eyes of a birder, for this event species were given a point-value from 1 to 5 based upon their abundance or rarity in early February in New Haven County. Collectively, the teams saw 100% of the 1-point birds, 90% of the 2-point birds, 80% of the 3-point birds, 30% of the 4-point birds, and 3% of the 5-point birds. Seeing the Eared Grebe earned each team 7 points (and every team went to see this rarity at Nathan Hale Park in New Haven) as the species had not been recorded previously in

Fargeorge Trip Report

Fargeorge Wildlife Refuge Trip Report: 22 people attending the New Haven Land Trust – New Haven Bird Club joint fieldtrip on Saturday Nov 5, 2016 to the New Haven Land Trust’s Fargeorge Wildlife refuge off of Quinnipiac Ave in New Haven. The weather was chilly and a little cloudy to start. Temperature = 30F to 45F Beginning to End. The Tide was Dead Low to start. We had no wind at all so there were no active migrators.

Some of the highlights were: lots of Ruby and Golden Crowned Kinglets – See Picture below, a Woodcock, and a Purple Finch. A grand time was had by all. A great thank you goes to the good folks at the New Haven Land Trust.

The following is a list of bird species seen and /or heard by the attendees:

Mute Swan American Black Duck Mallard Double-crested Cormorant Great Blue Heron Cooper’s Hawk Red-tailed Hawk American Woodcock Ring-billed Gull Herring Gull

Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove Belted Kingfisher Downey Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker Eastern Phoebe Blue Jay American Crow Fisk Crow

Common Raven Black-capped Chickadee Tufted Titmouse White-breasted Nuthatch Carolina Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet – See photo below Eastern Bluebird American Robin Northern Mockingbird

European Starling Cedar Waxwing Song Sparrow White-throated Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Northern Cardinal Red-winged Blackbird Common Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird Purple Finch

House Finch American Goldfinch House Sparrow

Total Species Seen = 43

Species order from: “A Checklist of the Birds of New Have County Connecticut”. Rev of 2009 for the New Haven Bird Club by Chris Loscalzo

Report submitted by Mike Horn 11/5/2016

Trip Report – First Thursday Walk – Milford Point – Sept 1, 2016

On a rainy September 1st Thursday morning at Milford Point, ten weather-defying birders headed out to the main sandbar, targeting especially its western end, to search for migrating shorebirds. On the way out we found a singing Marsh Wren that posed nicely in the Spartina near the beach. More entertainment was provided by at least 4 juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Herons hunting at the Spartina edges. Small numbers of Semipalmated Plovers, Semipalmated Sandpipers (mainly juveniles), and Sanderling were scattered on the main sandbar’s southern edge, and a few hundred Tree Swallows passed heading west, but the far western fugitive sandbars (sandbars that are tidal and disappear with every high tide) had our sought-after migrants in good numbers and variety. We counted 52 American Oystercatchers (they gather here each fall before migration) and around 125 Black-bellied Plovers. Mixed in were 4 Short-billed Dowitchers , 2 juvenile Red Knots, 6 Ruddy Turnstone, and 2 American Golden Plover. After we found a first Golden Plover, a rather uniform brown-buff bird with small bill and dovish head–a good contrast to the adjacent Blackbellied Plovers–we were alerted by Frank Mantlik, who was scoping the sandbars from Short Beach in Stratford, to the presence of an adult with with dark back and under parts dark from neck to vent, a dark cap with a striking white supercilium and descending white line down the side of its face and neck. On our return, made exciting by a water hazard created by the inrushing tide washing over part of the sandbar, we were treated to the sight and sound of a pair of dueling Peregrine Falcons. Not bad for a rainy morning.

Field Trip Report – Massaro Farms, Woodbridge – May 15, 2016

There were fifteen participants on this mid-afternoon walk on the Massaro Farm property in Woodbridge. The farm is community-supported and is open to the public. There are weedy fields, farm fields, and wet woodlands. We hiked through some of the fields, and then walked the nature trail through the woods. Despite the cool, blustery day, we saw a number of interesting birds, including Broad-winged Hawk, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Wood Thrush, Northern Parula, and Savannah Sparrow. A total of 31 species were observed. Many of the participants were beginning birders, so they were quite delighted to see all of these showy representatives of the avian world. They’ll be out birding again!

Chris Loscalzo

Field Trip Report - Naugatuck State Forest - May 15, 2016

Fifteen birders had a fine morning at this beautiful and wild locale. We hiked from Hunters Mountain Road, down through the ravine, up Forest Road, and then across to the fields north of our starting point. It was a windy and cool day, but we saw lots of good birds. Highlights included: Hooded Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Swainson’s Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-throated and Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Field Sparrow. All of these birds were seen in the State Forest. We also saw some good birds at our meeting place at the commuter lot off Route 8 at exit 25, including Black Vulture, Chimney Swift, and Belted Kingfisher. We observed a total of 64 species, including 18 warbler species. A good time was had by all, and it was good exercise, too!

Chris Loscalzo

Field Trip Report – Nehantic State Forest & Hartman’s Park, Lyme – May 14,2016

Twenty six early rising birders met at 7 am Saturday morning at the Keeny Road entrance to the Nehantic State Forest, to be greeted by both Turkey and Black Vultures warming their wings in the morning sun. During the next three and a half hours we birded the road, stopping at Falls Brook crossing, Uncas Pond and the Keeny Marsh. We heard or saw fifty six species in the Forest, including nine species of warbler, plus orioles, vireos, thrushes and flycatchers. From there the group moved on to Hartman Park, where the highlight was three Cerulean Warblers seen chasing each other and singing in the tops of several oak trees. The Gungy road power cut yielded the expected Prairie and Blue-winged Warblers plus Indigo Bunting, as well as a surprise pair of Orchard Orioles and Broad-winged Hawks. A total of sixty three species were found on the trip, on a warm spring morning with birdsong heard throughout the trip.

Reported by Paul Wolter

Field Trip Report – Rhode Island, February 27,2016

Rhode Island Coast Field Trip Report

February 27, 2016

We had a very good day. Twenty-five birders strong, our resolute group invaded the state to our east for a full day of birding. We started our day at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown. It was seasonably cold, but pleasantly calm and clear, and there were lots of birds. Most notably, there were several Razorbills just off the point at the south end of the park. We saw two or three at a time as they rested on the water’s surface or dove in their characteristic way into its depths. We also got great looks at an adult Iceland Gull on the rocky shore. All the while, we were being serenaded by the whistling calls of the numerous Black Scoters that were there, along with Common Eider, Surf Scoters, and the spectacular Harlequin Ducks. We also saw Common and Red-throated Loon, Great Cormorants, and Horned Grebes. Our next stop was Easton Pond in Newport. We saw Lesser Scaup, all three merganser species, a Ruddy Duck, a Kingfisher, and a drake Canvasback there. Then we went to the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown. There, perched on a log by the shore, was a Snowy Owl. It seemed undisturbed by our presence (it must be used to people gawking at it) and we noted that it was fitted with a radio tag attached to its back. There were more scoter, eider, and Harlequin Ducks there. A brief stop at nearby Third Beach netted a flock of Sanderlings. Then it was time for us to head west along the coast. Some of us were lucky to see a Northern Gannet as it flew past the bridge that connects Jamestown to Narragansett (others kept their eyes on the road). We stopped at Moonstone Beach and walked the beach to the south end of Trustom Pond (the trip leader makes us take this trek every year) where we saw Greater Scaup, Ruddy Ducks, Great Cormorants, and a wintering Double-crested Cormorant. From a distance, we spotted a Northern Harrier, two Common Ravens, and a Red-tailed Hawk flying over the fields and marsh. To our dismay, we found a dead seal pup washed up on the beach. Life and death are always intermingled. Our next destination was the Burlingame Park campgrounds area, but a locked gate thwarted our efforts to see the Red-headed Woodpecker that had

Trip Report on Hammonasset - January 9, 2016

1/9/16 Hammonasset Beach SP, Madison, CT.

The first New Haven Bird Club weekend walk of the year saw 25 participants find 43 different species over four hours this morning in the park while negotiating an extremely high tide. The weather was perfect given the date. Highlights included two first winter Baltimore Orioles, a single Purple Sandpiper and a Dunlin with ten Ruddy Turnstones on the jetty, a Fox Sparrow and a close Northern Harrier.

Photo by Kelvin W. Cole










Paul Wolter

Field trip report - Lake Chamberlain/Cooper farm - 11/14/15

Our trip to Lake Chamberlain and the Cooper farm was a splendid fall day. 25 People, including a number of new birders, gathered by the marshy field to watch robins, cedar waxwings and white throated sparrows. Our trip across the dam was rewarded with a flock of 5 bluebirds posing on a bush so that we all got a great look at this beautiful bird. To top off our walk across the dam a mature bald eagle spent several minutes circling above the lake and took a couple of attempts at having duck for lunch! There were mallards and buffleheads on the lake. There is also a large flock of ringneck ducks in the area but not visible this morning. The hike up to the top of the Cooper farm was a little quieter than usual but a red shouldered hawk and red tailed hawk gave us good views. We found several woodpeckers including a pair of Yellow bellied sapsuckers. We did review some of the new material covered in Tom Wessels’ presentation at the indoor meeting. We were looking for evidence of the history of the farm lands as Tom had explained. The views from the upper fields of the west river valley and Long Island sound are breathtaking. The wind had picked up on the way back across the dam to speed up the pace. We had a total of 29 species

Lake Chamberlain, New Haven, Connecticut, US Nov 14, 2015 7:30 AM – 10:30 AM Protocol: Traveling 3.0 mile(s) Comments: New Haven Bird Club field trip led by Pat Leahy. 28 species

Mallard 50 Bufflehead 12 Turkey Vulture 1 Bald Eagle 1 Red-shouldered Hawk 1 Red-tailed Hawk 1 Mourning Dove 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 5 Downy Woodpecker 2 Hairy Woodpecker 1 Northern Flicker 1 Blue Jay 10 American Crow 12 Black-capped Chickadee 12 Tufted Titmouse 6 White-breasted Nuthatch 2 Eastern Bluebird 6 American Robin 30 Gray Catbird 1 Cedar Waxwing 12 Dark-eyed Junco 6 White-throated Sparrow 2 Northern Cardinal 1 Common Grackle 6 House Finch 2 American Goldfinch 1 House Sparrow 6

Trip Report – Fargeorge, New Haven – 10/31/2015

There were 11 of us that braved the Beautiful Fall Weather and went on the joint trip with the New Haven Land Trust and our Bird Club. The big features were lots and lots of Cedar Waxwings and Loads of Robins plus a roosted up American Bald Eagle. The tide was dead low so Hemingway Creek was empty, so no ducks. It was, however, a really fun trip with a great time had by all.


Mike Horn

The following is a list of bird species seen and /or heard by the 11 people attending the New Haven Land Trust – New Haven Bird Club fieldtrip of Saturday Oct 31, 2015 to the New Haven Land Trust’s Fargeorge Wildlife refuge:


American Black Duck

Turkey Vulture

American Bald Eagle

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

American Woodcock

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Downey Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fisk Crow

Black-capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing – Lots

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler

Song Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Song Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Total Species Seen = 39

Weather: Lovely Fall Day – Sunny with a Light Breeze

Tide: Dead Low to start

Temperature = 34°F to 45°F Beginning to End

Trip Report – Hammonasset – 10/17/2015

18 birders took advantage of a spectacular fall day for a walk through a number of Hammonasset spots. A total of 42 species were seen on a birdy day. Highlights included a cooperative Pied-billed Grebe on Swan Pond with several Killdeer on the field across the road. Willard’s Island held many Kinglets, both Golden and Ruby-crowned as well as a plethora of Yellow-rumped Warbler. Seeing two cooperative Brown Creeper was a treat. Some birders got photos of a Brown Thrasher as well. The walk along the edge and trail to Cedar Island had many of the common sparrow species as well as a Hermit Thrush. As a special treat to finish the walk two Royal Tern were seen from the platform at the end of Cedar Island. The day was beautiful and was enjoyed by all. It was especially fun to have some newer birders along, adding some new species to their lists.


Bill Batsford

Trip Report - 5-17-15 - Nehantic State Forest

Eighteen enthusiastic birders went to the Nehantic State Forest and Hartman Park in Lyme on May 17th for a full and satisfying morning of birding. We drove on Keeny Road from west to east in the Forest, stopping numerous times along the way. Noteworthy sightings in the Forest were: Great Blue Heron, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (two separate birds at the northeast section of the Forest), Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, a first-year Orchard Oriole (at the Uncas Pond picnic area), and 14 warbler species, including: Blackburnian, Magnolia, Pine, Worm-eating, and Canada. We also heard several Northern Waterthrush. At Hartman Park, it took some effort, but we eventually saw a Cerulean Warbler. Other observations of interest included a White-eyed Vireo (in the brush at the power line cut), Yellow-throated Vireo (heard only), Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Prairie and Worm-eating Warbler, and Indigo Bunting. For the day, we saw about 63 species. These are two beautiful locations in the heart of our fine state that we will go back to year after year.

Chris Loscalzo

Trip Report – 5-16-15 – Naugatuck State Forest

About 16 club members went to the Naugatuck State Forest on May 16th for a fine morning of birding. We had to wait out the rain for about an hour or so, and it was a bit wet as we started on the trails, but it dried up eventually and we saw great birds everywhere we went. We started out at the parking lot at the end of Hunters Mountain Road, hiked the trail south from there through the woods and past the pond, and then took the scenic trail through the gorge. We then walked up Forest Road up to Hunters Mountain Road, and walked through the fields on the north side of the road. In taxonomic order, we saw the following birds of interest: a pair of Wood Ducks (they flew out from behind the log cabin at the corner of Forest Road and Hunters Mountain Road), two Great Blue Heron (remarkably observed flying through the woods over the stream that parallels Forest Road), a Green Heron (a flyover over the fields north of the road), a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (on a tree near the cabin), an ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (probably the rarest bird of the day, seen first over the river in the gorge and then over Forest Road), a Winter Wren (heard at its usual location in the gorge), a pair of Eastern Bluebirds (in the field north of Hunters Mountain Road) and fifteen warbler species, included Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Prairie, Worm-eating, Hooded, Canada, and Louisiana Waterthrush. We also got glimpses of the LAWRENCE’S WARBLER at the same location as last year: at the power line cut on Forest Road. We also saw and heard numerous Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, and Indigo Buntings. Talk about colorful plumages! All total, we observed 63 species on this fine spring day.

Chris Loscalzo

Trip Report – 5-10-15 – Racebrook Tract, Orange

28 birders participated in the Mother’s Day bird walk at the Racebrook Tract in Orange and Woodbridge. We walked through beautiful deciduous and mixed coniferous woodlands, through the open brush of a power line cut, and along picturesque woodland streams. We were treated to fine looks at several beautiful and striking birds, including Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Scarlet Tanagers. We also were pleased to see and hear a male Pileated Woodpecker. Ovenbirds were plentiful in the woods, but easier to hear than see. We heard several Louisiana Waterthrushes and saw several other warbler species, including Pine, Blue-winged, and Black and White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Northern Parula. We saw and heard Wood Thrushes and heard a Veery. Other species of note observed on the trip included: Wood Duck, Red-tailed Hawk, Chimney Swift, Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Towhee, and Field Sparrow. All total, 45 species were observed on the walk. This was a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day.


Chris Loscalzo

Trip Report – Rhode Island Coast – Feb 14, 2015

Rhode Island Coast Field Trip Report

Five brave club members ventured to the RI coast on this cold and wintry day, despite the threat of an approaching storm. Confident that there’d be time for some good birding before the snow began to fall, we met at the commuter lot in Branford at 7 am and headed northeast. We were not disappointed. We saw lots of great birds.

Our first stop was at Seaside Drive in Jamestown. A drake Barrow’s Goldeneye had been seen there several times earlier this winter. When we arrived, we were discouraged to find much of the bay frozen over. However, after a short search, we found the Barrow’s Goldeneye in a small patch of open water. He was a handsome bird, with distinctive markings. We also saw Surf Scoter at this location. Our next stop was at Beavertail State Park. Here, we were treated to excellent views of Common Eider, Black Scoter, and Harlequin Duck, all feeding and floating in the water close to shore. We also saw Brant, Great Cormorant, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, Red-throated and Common Loon, Horned Grebe, and Purple Sandpiper here. We made a good study of an adult Iceland Gull that has been wintering at the park and compared and contrasted it with the nearby Herring Gulls. We were pleased to see two Killdeer on the beach as we drove north away from the park on the way to our next destination.

Given the forecast, we elected to head west along the coast next, rather than go further from home by going to Sachuest Point. We probably missed out on seeing a Snowy Owl by doing so, but we ensured that we would get back to CT before the blizzard hit. So, we drove west, stopping on Cards Pond Road on our way to Moonstone Beach. The road has several farm fields and is a good place to see grassland species and sparrows. We saw a Snow Bunting in a flock of Horned Lark along the road and some of us got to see a coyote run across the road, too. We didn’t stay long at Moonstone Beach, but we did see a Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, and Red-shouldered Hawk flying over the marsh while we were there. Our next stop was the nature center at Trustum Pond NWR. Uncommon species seen there included a male Purple Finch, a male