There were a dozen Ring-necked Ducks on the Connecticut River next to route 17. I used an ice scraper wedged into a guardrail as a makeshift tripod with the squeegee end serving as a nice base for the camera.
I entered Wangunk Meadows from Glastonbury instead of Portland because the Portland entrance hadn't been plowed. There was a flock of birds picking through a sparsely weeded area in the field. At first, I thought they were going to be Horned Lark since there were so many of them but after taking a closer look, I realized the vast majority were Snow Bunting with only a couple of Horned Lark mixed in. I counted 50 bunting before the birds were scared off by some dogs which were running loose in the field. I wish that I had a chance to see if there were any longspur there as well. 1/8/11: I was heading home, traveling along route 154 Haddam when I saw a hawk perched on a power line. I stopped the car and cleverly disguised myself as a snowman so that I could get closer at species #53 on my January list-Red-shouldered Hawk.
1/8/11-Old Saybrook: I took a ride to Old Saybrook on Saturday morning to look for water birds. This is scene looking out from the causeway.
As I had expected, there were some Bufflehead there but I was surprised to find a few American Coot there as well.
I found a flock of Monk Parakeets on a road right before the causeway. Some of the birds seemed to be exhibiting amorous behaviour. I don't think their mating season begins until spring, so maybe they were just practicing.
I saw these Bufflehead Just down the road at Saybrook Point. I was also found two new species for January there, Red-breasted Merganser and Long-tailed Duck. It took me an hour before I was finally able to find the Long-tailed Duck.
Sunday 1/2/11-Hammonasset- It was a foggy morning with temperatures near 50 degrees. The birds were unusually quiet throughout most of the park. I had my best luck finding birds at Meig's Point. My favorite find for the morning was the Common Eider seen in the photo. Other birds that I was able to add to the list included: Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, American Pipit, and great Blue Heron.
My plan for this month is to keep a list of species seen in January but to go about my birding at a relaxing pace so that I can enjoy what I'm seeing along the way. ( I'm at 61 species now which is about 10 behind where I was last year at this time).