I saw these Sanderlings flying as a flock and landing on a rock, but to be honest I wasn't sure that's what they were until I looked at them from 10 feet away. It was nice to be able to see their black bill, black legs, and white breast. One of the shorebirds that I saw while out there had me guessing so I asked a forum to help identify the photo of what turned out to be a Dunlin. I saw this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk while walking the trail on Willard's Island in Hammonasset Park. I was caught off guard when a Northern Harrier buzzed right over the head of the red-tail. This hawk didn't even flinch.
If I hadn't been looking right at this American Bittern , I probably never would have noticed it. Can you see the bill, the eye, and the back leg? Sneaky birds they are, I tell you!
Saturday's Yellow-breasted Chat-I was only able to squeeze in a couple of hours of birding on Saturday but I did see my first Yellow-breasted Chat on Lieutenant River Lane in Old Lyme. I was once close enough to a chat where I could actually hear the bird but never even had a glimpse of it. I had to wait about an hour but finally got a great look at it. First a male cardinal popped up on top of a bush and started chirping. After the cardinal gave "the coast is clear" signal, the chat decided to join him. It's breast looked like it was painted with yellow fluorescent paint.
Total for January is up to 66-I was able to add 22 species to the January list bringing the total to 66. Every bird from here on in is going to be much tougher for me to come by. Here are the species that I added to the list this weekend: Red-throated Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, American Black Duck, Common Goldeneye, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ring-billed gull, Horned Lark, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Towhee, and Red-crossbill.
I'll leave you with this short video of Purple Sandpipers feeding at the end of the rock jetty at Meig's Point in Hammonasset Sate park today.