What’s new in Connecticut?

22 02 2009

Annette Cunniffe - LE Owl

Annette Cunniffe - LE Owl

With spring migration noticeably underway for blackbirds (a half million plus of them being noted in the center of the state this week in one giant flock) I thought I might start to make some weekly notes on what might be showing up locally in the form of either migrants or rarities during spring migration. The last week of February and leading into March spring migration is only just underway so the only real signs of northbound movement tends to be blackbirds in the shape of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds. As the month draws to a close we might even get to see the first few Tree Swallows winging their way north but it’s still very slow on the migration front although of course there is still the chance of something being found heading in the other direction with Bohemian Waxwings seemingly often arriving in the state in February (on the odd occassion that they do arrive!)

On the topic of rarities here are some possibilities of rarities that have a history of showing late in February in Connecticut: Tufted Duck, American White Pelican, Thayers Gull (as evidenced this year up in Windsor), Tundra Swan and Western Tanager. Extralimital sightings over the last couple of years locally have included such goodies as Ivory Gull (Piermont Pier NY), Scott’s Oriole (PA) and Smith’s Longspur (Jones Beach NY). So like the owl in the above picture my friend Annette sent me keep your eyes peeled for interesting late February birds.

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2 responses

1 03 2009
Susan

Hi, Luke. We had a fox sparrow in the backyard for a while. Definitely different than the usual white-throated sparrows

2 03 2009
underclearskies

Hi Susan,

That’s great – Fox Sparrows winter in Connecticut in small numbers but become much easier to find as they begin to migrate in March. A very distinctive an handsome sparrow – enjoy!

Luke

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