Sunrise Birding Walk – July 12

14 07 2009

Snapping Turtle - Luke Tiller

Snapping Turtle - Luke Tiller

It was billed as a return of the shorebirds trip but they were disappointingly not on time to make the trip. Apart from one Greater Yellowlegs. Anyway it was nice to be out with a large group of birders and to catch up with some regulars and a few faces that I hadn’t seen in a little while and a few newbies to the group.

Birds were a little few and far between but it was nice to make the most of one of the first nice days we seem to have had this summer. Best of all the humidity still doesn’t seem to have kicked in as of yet this summer! Still no need for air-con in mid-July – amazing! Highlights bird wise were a couple of Yellow-crowned Night Herons that were looking for crabs out on the far side of the river and a couple of Marsh Wrens that always amaze me by breeding right don smack bang in the middle of downtown Westport – talk about prime real estate! Other than that it was fairly quiet although it was good to see some Glossy Ibis that have loitered over the summer at Sherwood Island – have they nested there?

Highlight for me of the trip was Tom Walker finding a baby Common Snapping Turtle (see picture above – hand-modeling by Tom ). Now that is the size of snapping turtle that I like. In general it just worries me that eventually he/she will turn into one of those dustbin lid sized ones. That alone is enough to keep my squeamish self from swimming in lakes and rivers in New England – it makes my skin crawl imagining sharing space with these prehistoric looking beasts. You can read more about them here.

Trip List:

Mallard, American Black Duck, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Double-crested Cormorant, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, American Robin, Grey Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat, European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, House Finch, Northern Cardinal