Sunday, March 9, 2014

Orchestra Section? This way to the Horns

This weekend at Hammonasset State Park was quite the place to be.  A continuing Snowy Owl was easily seen from the trail but my wife and I were able to see some of the harder to see visitors as well.  We found a a Hermit Thrush while investigating the remains of an owl attack amongst some cedars along with robins thrashing about in the leaf litter and cover.  

There was a fairly huge flock of Horned Larks in an open grass parking lot and usually, one can find Snow Buntings or Lapland Longspurs mixed in there as well.  So in an open grass parking lot, we began the exciting tasking of sorting through dozens and dozens of Horned Larks.  The Snow Buntings were easy to find but the Longspurs took a bit more effort.  This became harder as we noticed that some larks enjoyed taking dirt baths, making them look more sparrow-like.  Eventually, we found a Longspur and a Lapland at that!  We found it by looking for the rufous/red cap that distinguishes it from the Horned Larks but also does not necessarily distinguish it from the ground, but if it wasn't hard, birding wouldn't be half as fun!

The other amazing experience we had at Hammo was with a Horned Grebe that was really fighting the tough waves of against the rocky spit.  Eventually, it couldn't take it anymore and jumped onto the spit.  Right in front of us too!  We got some great shots of the Horned Grebe who was enjoying the opportunity to rest and relax from the stress of the breaking waves.  The Grebe was so tired that it didn't flinch as people walked around it!  Of course, I flinched.  People should be more considerate of our wildlife and environment but that's a whole other post.  In the Meantime, there are many birds who are arriving every day and hopefully we can all get out and enjoy the birds!  Until the next time, get out and go birding!

Can you find the Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and a Lapland Longspur?
(click for bigger image)

Active Waves pushing around a Horned Grebe

Said Horned Grebe taking a break...

2014 Year Birds: 129
CT: 123
Notable Additions:
King Eider
Lapland Longspur


  1. Awesome! Glad you had a nice time the weather was great too! Love you! Mom

  2. Great post and birds. Cool shot of the Horned Grebe!

    1. It was really cool to the Horned Grebe up on the rocks like that!

  3. Souns like you had an interesting trip, and some good birds.
    All the best Gordon.

  4. Replies
    1. He was a real trooper and it was hard fighting those waves as they crashed against the rocks

  5. I found them, but WOW!!! So many small birds in such a tricky area. All are really great birds!

    1. I love it when the Laplands stick around, their breeding plummage is really a joy to behold!