Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coastal birding

The Beach in Winter

How cold is it?  Just ask this puffed up Mockingbird!

This weekend, my wife and I went in search of Snowy Owls.  While we were thwarted by the fact that the big white owls are superstars of hiding and stealth, we did get some great views of birds this weekend.  Savannah Sparrows, Gulls, Black Ducks, Horned Grebes, Common Loons, one Common Eider, and some surfing Brant.  We visited Avery Point which is one to a UConn Campus that focuses on marine science and biology.  It is quite a trip to be looking for birds among buoys, rigs, boats, and lighthouses.  If you are ever birding in eastern Connecticut, a trip to Avery Point is definitely a fun and nice visit.

The visit was definitely worthwhile.  I was able to add 2 birds to my year list.  Horned Grebe and Common Eider.  The Points rugged coastline provides for lots of opportunities to see some great sea ducks.  I had never had the ability to appreciate the chestnut tones of the Common Eider.  Usually the males stark black and white get all the attention.  But seeing the juvenile Eider was a great opportunity to enjoy this awesome sea duck.  I have to remind myself that while I may be cold all bundled up, Eiders find their homes and flourish in some of the harshest and coldest environments on the planet.  Their down is renowned for trapping heat and keeping others warm worldwide.  Until the next time, get outside and go birding!

Sparrow in silhouette

Common Eider

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebes and a female Red-Breasted Merganser

My Own drawing of a Common Loon in Winter Plumage since you all seemed to enjoy my drawings

2014 Year List: 120 (130 to go!)
Common Eider
Horned Grebe

CT Year List: 115 (110 to go!)

1 comment:

  1. have quite a list going! Do you live in CT? My mom lives there and it is where I am from, but I currently live in Maine after moving there earlier this month from Tucson! Oh, and I love your loon drawing!