Finally, a relief from the Doldrums!
Before I say more, I am just stating that I’m super excited. I leave for the Olympic Peninsula Tonight! Woohoo!
This trip was a great way to kick off what is sure to be an amazing week. 5 CYBC members (including myself) took the van from Fairfield up to Windsor, where our first stop was Station 43, an extensive network of freshwater marshland that had recently been a good spot for Least Bittern and Virginia Rail. We met up with a group of Hartford Audubon birders and began birding the site. We sloshed through mud and grass, but the place was relatively dead, besides for a few Green Herons, a Wood Duck, some Swamp Sparrows and a Marsh Wren. Birding the surrounding woods and farmfields really only turned up a single Bank Swallow.
Our next stop was the fields behind Cabela’s, a great spot (one of the best in CT) for grassland birds. Upon arriving we picked out an Eastern Meadowlark in the tall grass. We moved farther in, and soon found a breeding male Bobolink singing it’s heart out. Every once and a while a Savannah Sparrow would pop up too. Soon another sparrow emerged, this time a Grasshopper Sparrow, a nice find. The Sparrow stayed in the open, singing it’s insect-like trill over and over, and providing nice scope looks, a rare thing with sparrows. While we were watching the sparrow, another bird appeared, gliding in to perch on a pole. Upland Sandpiper! A life bird, clearing a gaping hole on my life list. What a cool shorebird- looks nothing like any other sandpiper. The bird kept moving, but everyone got scope looks and were able to follow it with bins. We spent some time with the Upland, and then started making our way back to the van. My friend Alex Burdo had had an Alder Flycatcher in the shrubs the week before, and an empid was spotted, but we never clinched the ID. Too bad. In the parking lot we were able to pick out a Cliff Swallow among the the Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows.
It was really nice to explore an area of CT I hardly ever bird, and like I said, a great start to the week. Go CYBC!