Birding Bridgeport & Afternoon BGBY

3 01 2009
Bonaparte's Gull - Captains Cove

Bonaparte's Gull - Captains Cove


Popped out this morning to do some birding with Tina Green, Penny Solum and Sara Zagorski in Fairfield and Bridgeport. Results on the day were kind of mixed with no luck on the Snowy Owl or the gull flocks at Seaside Park but we did do nicely at the  Captains Cove in Bridgeport. Highlights there included a pair of fantastic NORTHERN PINTAIL (the hen is really just exquisite in my opinion and the drake is no slouch in the looks department either). We also managed to locate  a few LESSER SCAUP, PEREGRINE FALCON and a couple of BONAPARTE”S GULLS (which are named for Charles Lucien Bonaparte not his slightly more famous uncle Napolean).The only other real birds of note were a couple of AMERICAN PIPITS at Ash Creek.

Also a little note to people searching for Rough-legged Hawks, just because you have a hawk hanging in one spot don’t immediately assume it’s a Rough-legged, we had at least two Red-tails ‘kiting’ on the day which gave a very good impression of being ‘hovering’ Rough-leggeds. Hovering is a good clue to picking up Rough-leggeds, as is their propensity to sit right on the tippy-top of trees (they use these slender branches due to a small talon size and always look slightly humorous to me precariously perched on these thin branches) but confirm some field marks to be sure.


After getting home and making a couple of essential phone calls I popped out for a bit of ‘bigbying’. Perhaps one shouldn’t be allowed to bigby on the same day that one has been out in the car (a moral conundrum for me to contemplate)?

I tried a little secret area just up my road and was thrilled to have it pay off in a big way. First I picked up on the little two noted chip of a WINTER WREN and it greeted me with some jaunty scolding. After that I picked up a scolding Titmouse and as I hiked up the slope to investigate the cause of its ire, a BARRED OWL, flopped out of the Hemlock stand that the Titmouse was in. The Owl sat out on the branch of a deciduous tree for a good 15 minutes and soon became oblivious to my presence – what a treat! To round off the brief bigby walk I also added a Hairy Woodpecker. Three new species for the list – not bad for a quick stroll.  Add that to the PINE SISKINS  in the birches in the yard at about 6:45am and it was another fine bigby days work. Still no Blue Jays though!