Most of my success this weekend came in Old Saybrook. I was able to get my first really good look at Long-tailed Ducks (old Squaw) through my scope. The lighting allowed me to get a really detailed view of the markings and shape of these striking birds. I saw four of them all together including two males.
I moved on to a place around the corner from Saybrook Point that I've always referred to as the causeway. A portion of the water always seems to remain open there in the winter. It is difficult to get a good view of the birds here because you can't stop on the causeway. I thought I caught a glimpse of what might have been Bufflehead on my way over-(the duck not a driver) but I couldn't be sure. I parked my car on the end and walked all the way over to the other side. As you can hear from the video it was quite windy as it has been much of the month. I spotted about seven of them in the distance as I have before in this same location for the past three years. That's one thing good about doing Big Januaries each year. You start to remember locations that certain species always seem to be. It was on my way back that I my real surprise came...
I was pleased to find a Ruddy Duck swimming directly below the bridge and that was my 90th species of the month! A certain tune came to mind that Kermit The Frog used to sing, although my words are a little different for the occasion: -Ruddy Ducky-you're the one. Number 90 is so much fun!That same day, I also visited Hammonasset again. I figure keep on checking there until the well runs dry. The well finally ran dry for me at Hammo but I did manage to add a single species that has been eluding me all winter. I saw 6 White-winged Crossbills in the ornamental pines in West Beach Parking lot. They flew in, landed on some cones, and flew away after staying for all of 10 seconds. They were easy enough to identify though. I found some Dunlin (above photo) that were feeding along the shoreline edge near Meig's point. Nice to watch even though they were already on my list.
Here's the video to go with it. You can see how they have that down-curved bill. They are darker than the Sanderlings that you see in Connecticut during the winter.