Saturday, September 23, 2023

At the Shore And In The Yard

There's been a mix of things going on this time of year. I stopped by the shoreline the other day and the weather felt like perfect fall weather. A cool, dry morning in the 60's.
I was able to find a few new county birds including Ruddy Turnstone down in Westbrook. After Labor Day it's easier to get to more shoreline birding spots as rules seem to be a little less strict once the beachgoer season is over.
I haven't had a chance to look this one up in a book yet but if anyone knows their dragonflies and damselflies feel free to jump in with the answer!
When I was growing up I never saw bluebirds. Now they nest in my yard. One of life's small pleasures!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Roseate Spoonbill Was Worth Chasing!

I avoid chasing rare birds unless they show up near where I live. I even shut off the rare birds alert outside of my county so I wouldn't be tempted to drive all over the state burning gas. I am not one of the top birders that is in competition with others to build the biggest list so that is not a motivating factor. 

There are some exceptions to this rule. If: 1) The bird has been hanging around for a couple of days 2) It's a species I've never seen before and 3) It's rare for this area 4) It's a bird that interests me. (I wouldn't burn up gas to see a sparrow that looks just like another sparrow except it has a tail feather that's a centimeter longer than his cousin). 

It just so happened that someone told me that there was a Roseate Spoonbill hanging out in Milford Connecticut for several days. This a species that has only been reported in Connecticut a handful of times. I decided that this would be a bird worth chasing because it passed all 4 of my qualifiers. The Roseate Spoonbill has a pinkish color due to its diet and as you can see, has a spoon-shaped bill. What you don't see in the picture is that it makes a sweeping motion side to side when it has its bill underwater searching for food. This was one interesting bird that was worth the chase!