Jump to content
Whatbird Community

Recommended Posts

Starting next weekend, I will be taking a trip down to Connecticut to visit family for a few days! I know its a little early to be posting this, but I am just a little excited. I've been scoping out places I've been to before, and am open to suggestions for new places! Looking at bar charts, there are a few species that should be easy lifers for me, a few that would be tricky, and a plethora of who-knows birds.

I plan to go to Napatree Point, and should be able to get Brant (a nemesis of mine) and Piping Plover easily. Brant is in 95% of checklists there in April. If I miss it, I'm quitting birding (kidding... maybe). Barn Island is another spot I am familiar with, and I might be able to pick up Seaside Sparrow, Louisiana Waterthrush, Worm-eating Warbler, and Yellow-crowned Night-heron, though that may be a stretch.

I will be able to travel New London Co. in CT, and Washington Co. in RI.

The lists below are just from looking at Bar Charts, so I have no idea if I'm being delusional or not.

All Maybe Birds: White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Prothonotary Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Seaside Sparrow, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Louisiana Waterthrush (if I don't get it here first), Cliff Swallow, Worm-eating Warbler, Tricolored-Heron, Iceland Gull, American Coot, Clapper Rail, Summer Tanager

Birds I'm Probably Delusional About: Northern Bobwhite, Chuck-will's-widow, Common Gallinule, Cattle Egret, Orchard Oriole

And obviously, I'll have a much better chance to find these birds (and many more) in the summer, which I hope happens!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

@millipede, are you familiar with these areas?

No...  I grew up in Massachusetts but have been residing in Arkansas for the last 20 years or so... and didn't get into birding til about 7 years ago.

I'll leave this page open and look at it again tomorrow, I hope... Ugh... it's 11:36...  but you're starting tomorrow so... I'll go look now anyway. I love digging through eBird data for this sort of thing. I'll go take a look at your list and see which hotspots might be best, etc... will post back in a while, I hope.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Already looking like Napatree point is going to be your best place for brant and piping plover...
seaside sparrow isn't looking good to me. There's almost nothing this year so far, I think it's a little early for them? Don't know but I wouldn't expect one.

louisiana waterthrush - Arcadia management area(ben butter trail or roaring brook)(rhode island)
worm-eating warbler - It's looking early, I wouldn't bother looking right now.
yellow-crowned night heron - nothing recent that far up the coast but, not impossible. Barn island looks good for them but wouldn't bet on it.
white-eyed vireo - I think we're a touch early for them, wouldn't go out of my way to look.
yellow-throated vireo - not seeing anything recent.
prothonotary warbler - nothing recent, would not expect to find them now.
hooded warbler - A little early maybe, or just not common. Nothing recent.
cliff swallow - nothing recent
tricolored heron - Seen around this time in 2015 and 2017 but nothing recent
iceland gull - not looking very likely
american coot - I'm not seeing much recent in those areas except for one almost a week ago at "Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Wakefield US-RI"
clapper rail - nothing recent in the counties mentioned but just west there was one recently seen at "Clinton - Indian River CemeteryMiddlesex, US-CT"
summer tanager - nothing recent, not likely.
northern bobwhite - not really seeing a good place to look for them.
chuck-wills widow - not likely
common gallinule - nothing recent
cattle egret - nothing recent but not impossible
orchard oriole - nothing recent

Man... seems like brant might be easy compared to most everything else you're thinking of... piping plover should be possible too.  Wish I had had better results for you...
This rare bird alert shows there's been a red-headed woodpecker in new london county recently... I don't know if that's something you need or if it's still there.
https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN36365 


Here's the rare bird alert for washington county in RI... don't know there's anything exciting on that list...
https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35662

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, millipede said:

Already looking like Napatree point is going to be your best place for brant and piping plover...
seaside sparrow isn't looking good to me. There's almost nothing this year so far, I think it's a little early for them? Don't know but I wouldn't expect one.

louisiana waterthrush - Arcadia management area(ben butter trail or roaring brook)(rhode island)
worm-eating warbler - It's looking early, I wouldn't bother looking right now.
yellow-crowned night heron - nothing recent that far up the coast but, not impossible. Barn island looks good for them but wouldn't bet on it.
white-eyed vireo - I think we're a touch early for them, wouldn't go out of my way to look.
yellow-throated vireo - not seeing anything recent.
prothonotary warbler - nothing recent, would not expect to find them now.
hooded warbler - A little early maybe, or just not common. Nothing recent.
cliff swallow - nothing recent
tricolored heron - Seen around this time in 2015 and 2017 but nothing recent
iceland gull - not looking very likely
american coot - I'm not seeing much recent in those areas except for one almost a week ago at "Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Wakefield US-RI"
clapper rail - nothing recent in the counties mentioned but just west there was one recently seen at "Clinton - Indian River CemeteryMiddlesex, US-CT"
summer tanager - nothing recent, not likely.
northern bobwhite - not really seeing a good place to look for them.
chuck-wills widow - not likely
common gallinule - nothing recent
cattle egret - nothing recent but not impossible
orchard oriole - nothing recent

Man... seems like brant might be easy compared to most everything else you're thinking of... piping plover should be possible too.  Wish I had had better results for you...
This rare bird alert shows there's been a red-headed woodpecker in new london county recently... I don't know if that's something you need or if it's still there.
https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN36365 


Here's the rare bird alert for washington county in RI... don't know there's anything exciting on that list...
https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35662

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the rare bird alerts, and I even signed up to see every single bird species reported. I figured many of those species weren’t there yet, but I’ll have a fun time nonetheless! There was also a Painted Bunting not too long ago in the town where I’m staying. Thanks for the info! Most of those birds I knew where way too early, and I’ll have hopefully another chance this summer to see them. 
 

Those woodpeckers wouldn’t’t be lifers, but I would definitely try to find one that’s close!

Edited by Avery
Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1:

We arrived around 5:00pm, and it was cloudy, so the lighting wasn't too great. My great-aunt and uncle live on the water in a small cove, so there was plenty of waterfowl. Some were too far out, but I was able to ID most of them. Ton's of Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Eider's, some Common Loons, Mallards, Canada Geese, DC Cormorants, possibly some Great Cormorants, Black Scoter, and my first breeding plumaged Horned Grebes! Also had a couple Lesser Black-backed Gulls, which were a welcome surprise! Tomorrow, I'll be heading out early to Barn Island Management Area, and then will have all day to bird the neighborhood.

Day 1 Total: 27

Trip Total: 27

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 2: 

I got up bright and early and headed over to Barn Island WMA, and was keeping my fingers crossed that the bugs weren't out in force yet. They weren't! I stepped out of the car to a chorus of Eastern Towhees, Carolina Wrens, Cardinals, a Catbird, a Brown Thrasher, Pine Warblers, and blackbirds. I did a quick loop down to the boat launch and back and was able to get a recording of the thrasher singing, and heard the Common Loons wailing and yodeling. And of course, the Red-breasted Mergansers were everywhere.

I hit the trail, only to flush a large raptor maybe 15 steps in. I heard a "kek...kek...kek" and immediately thought owl. After standing in the same spot, waiting for a sign of movement, I see it fly. A Cooper's Hawk! Not what I was expecting, but it got better! It flew over to a pile of sticks in a tree, and sat in it! I then heard a second one whistling! A nest! I remembered the spot, and then left. 

At the first impoundment, there were tons of Greater Yellowlegs, and singing Willets! There were a few egrets out in the marsh, and a Peregrine Falcon. The Osprey were building nests on the platforms, and there were turkeys gobbling somewhere. I walked through the rest of the impoundments, and added Green-winged Teal, Black Duck, Mute Swan, Tree Swallow, and tons of Song Sparrows. Back at the parking lot, I decided to try and get some photos of the Towhees, and a flock of birds flying in formation overhead caught my attention. At first glance I thought they were cormorants, but after a double-take I realized they were Glossy Ibis! A walk out the the shoreline in the bay added American Oystercatcher, and even more Loons and Mergansers, as well as a Red-tail and Harrier. I then decided to try and get photos of the hawk nest. I stayed on the road, which provided a great view. I watched the female breaking off sticks and adding them to the nest, while the smaller male just kind of watched me, clucking to himself. 

Back at the house, I watched a pair of cormorants fly back and forth with sticks and grasses, building a nest on one of the islands out in the bay. A good day of birds I hadn't seen in a while!

Day Total: 59

Trip Total: 66

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3: 

Got up before dawn again and went to Napatree point, and my mom tagged along to collect rocks and shells, as well as see the birds. The point is a Wildlife Management Area and most of the interior of the spur is roped off for dune restoration and for breeding birds, and there are a few designating crossing points where you can switch sides. There were Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Tree Swallows, and Barn Swallows flying over the vegetation at the start of our walk, which was great to see. Also, I almost immediately got my lifer Brants! They were unafraid and were dabbling and trumpeting along the shoreline, maybe 20 feet from us. As we got about halfway down the beach, the shorebird activity really picked up. I got my lifer Piping Plover, and there were a few small flocks of Dunlin and Sanderling, with a few Oystercatchers and Black-bellied Plovers. I looked carefully (and listened) for Golden-plovers, but without luck. We enjoyed watching the Brants and sandpipers for a bit (plus a flyby Merlin) before continuing down the point. There were a few Osprey nesting, as well as some Great Egrets in the tidal pool. We also came across a few dead Common Eider, presumably from the rainstorms a couple nights ago. 

As we got near the end of the point, the shoreline got pretty rocky, and there was another large flock of shorebirds. I immediately was able to pick out a few Ruddy Turnstones, and also was happy to see some Purple Sandpipers! I kept my distance, and was able to get some OK shots. We then continued out around the point, picking up a few more PUSA, and a Snowy Egret. Once we rounded the corner, I set down my scope and scanned the water. I saw a few eider, but they looked weird. I assumed they were all the same species, as they all looked kinda similar and were mingling. Suddenly, they split into two groups. Eider on one side, and something else on another side. I spent a minute studying them, until it finally clicked in my brain. White-winged Scoter! 2/3 scoters for the trip! We continued back towards the car on the bigger beach side that faced the open ocean to the south, and suddenly a few Piping Plovers appeared! I crept closer, then laid down in the sand to try out that angle for photos. It was a little far, and the sand was getting hot, but I was able to get some decent shots. After I got up, two of the birds started puffing up and facing off! They started calling and strutting, and one took off and flew away. The other started flying in a wide circle, constantly calling. I was able to get a recording of it, which I was very happy about! Both lifers were photographed and recorded! I'm guessing it was either a territorial display or a mating display.

Other species of note were my first feral Mallard (don't laugh West Coasters) flyby Blue-winged Teal, a few Gadwall, 3 Green-winged Teal, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and a few harbor seals!

Day Total: 53 species

Trip Total: 87 species

Trip Total:

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4:

Got up a little later, and caught a few Scaup out in the cove before heading out.

We went back to Napatree, mainly because my sister wanted to see the adorable shorebirds and collect some of the insanely smooth rocks. We followed the same path as the day before, but instead of going all the way out around the point, we just went back on the harbor side and crossed over briefly to see the ocean. I was able to get much better pictures of the shorebirds today, as I realized they were fearless. I was able to walk up to them, then lay down 10 feet away and army crawl closer! The Dunlin, Sanderling, Turnstones, and Purples were cooperative; the Oystercatchers and Plovers, not as much. They let me get close, but nowhere near as close as the others. I still managed to get some close shots of the Black-bellieds and Oystercatchers, and a few good shots of the Pipings. Best thing of the day was watching a male PIPL creating a (presumably) nest by shoving its breast into the harder sand at the brush edge! I sorta got a photo of it doing it. The loons were yodeling, which is always nice to hear. Other notable birds were a couple HOLA flying over, as well as a GRYE flyby. Also, more Harbor Seals! 

Back at the house I was taunted by NRWS flying over my head as I failed to get a decent picture of them. Little buggers. But, the Mockingbirds were cooperative for photos!

Day Total: 49

Trip Total: 91

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...