The first bird that caught my eye was a very strange looking American Robin. As you can see from the photo above this robin is partially leucistic. This is a genetic condition in which pigment cells for color are not present in parts of the skin or feathers. Have you ever seen albino or partially leucistic birds?
Here was the star of the show today. A Western Tanager is a pretty rare bird to see in Connecticut (also a lifer for me). Last time I checked, Connecticut is in the eastern part of the country, not to mention it's the middle of winter! Luckily for this bird, there is more than enough berries in the park for her to eat. There was a handful of us watching it this morning. We stayed fixed in one location for about an hour so that we could get more viewing opportunities. I was pleased to see that it was a bit more colorful than I expected. We did have a nice view of it but I didn't want to risk scaring it off so my photo had to be taken from a distance. We also observed three species of warblers from the same location. These included a Pine Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler-(another lifer!), and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Not a bad for day for warblers in February!
Other birds of note included Cedar Waxwings, Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Fox Sparrows, and Red-breasted Nuthatch. When I was walking along a nature trail, I thought I heard the squeaky toy call of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. It turned out to be just the sound of my boots. I was also fooled when my lungs made whistling sounds as I exhaled cold air. I enjoy birding by ear, not by air! Oh well, nobody's perfect (not even the Patriots). I also saw all three of the Connecticut mimids today; Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, and Northern Mockingbird. The poor lighting made it a difficult day to take photos, so I decided to record the ever-accommodating Northern Mockingbird.
I'll leave you with this short video of a Northern Mockingbird plucking berries from a tree.
Can you name the bird heard in the background?