The American Coot photo was taken at Birdseye Boat Ramp in Stratford this past Saturday. I spent the day at the western shoreline with a few other birders who are also working on their Big January lists.
One of our first stops was at Sherwood Island State Park. We spotted 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches upon entering the park. This Red-tailed Hawk was posing in a tree as we entered the beach area. Maybe it's compiling a people list for the month of January. We scanned the water and spotted numerous Long-tailed Ducks gathered together in the distance.
We saw a small flock of Boat-tailed Grackles gathered in a small urban park in Stratford. The female is easier to identify with its bronze coloring.
The weather was terrific on Saturday. It was clear and sunny with temperatures in the upper 40's. You can't expect much better than that for a day in the middle of January in the state of Connecticut. I've been using Meopta Meostar 8x42 binoculars binoculars for over a month now. They've performed really well in the dismal weather conditions we've had during that time but it was great to finally use them on a cloudless day. We stopped at Long Beach and found a few Lapland Longspurs foraging for food in some vegetation along the bay side of the beach. There were also a few sparrows including this Savannah Sparrow. Some of the Savannah Sparrows at Long Beach are of the Ipswich variety.
The Great Cormorant like the one in this photo taken toward the end of the trip is the more common of the two cormorant species to be found in Connecticut during January. it has white showing near the base of the bill on the side of its face. We were also able to find 2 Double-crested Cormorants.
I didn't get home until dark on Saturday and by Sunday I needed a break from the hectic birding pace of the previous day. I took a ride to a place along the Farmington River where a male Harlequin Duck had been reported for several days in a row. After an hour of looking around we were finally able to locate the Harlequin Duck next to a Common Merganser. That was a nice addition to my January list and a lifer as well.
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Notice how this coot takes a quick break to do some preening before continuing on with its search for food. I hope everyone else is coming along well with their January lists. I'll look forward to reading your posts soon.