Sunrise Bird Walk – TBV – Aug 1st

2 08 2009

Red Admiral - Juliet Balian

Red Admiral - Juliet Balian

Trout Brook Valley is really one of my favorite birding sites in Fairfield County. The site was saved from development 10 or so years ago now, and it really offers a fantastic opportunity to birders from spring through fall. A mix of habitats provides great birding with good migrant action in both directions and I have had a few memorable days and birds at the site.

Summer at the site can also be interesting with a good mix of interesting breeding birds including both cuckoos and Acadian Flycatchers and a nice variety of warblers. Summer highlights can also include rarities and my personal tallies have included singing Dickcissel and Mississippi Kite. Of course this year there famously was a very elusive Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

One of the highlights at Trout Brook during the year is when the blueberries are ripe in the orchard. It seems as if the blueberry patch suddenly becomes alive with a wealth of birds as they tuck into the veritable feast. The bounty draws in large numbers of orioles, woodpeckers, waxwings, flycatchers and others looking for an easy meal.

Saturday was no exception with Baltimore Orioles of all shades hitting the berries as well as at least four Orchard Orioles, a number of Cedar Waxwings, Scarlet Tanager, Great-crested Flycatcher and five Eastern Bluebirds all perched on the same crook to name a few. Other neat sightings included a number of brilliant blue Indigo Buntings, many Field Sparrows with young, Eastern Towhees and other scrub/edge specialists such as Blue-winged Warbler and House Wren.

It was nice to see a pair of American Kestrels on site but although I hopes they bred they might just have been wandering? Another possible wanderer was a female American Redstart that just seemed to give the feel of being a migrant. Down by the farmhouse there were two young Red-shouldered Hawks showing their distinctive primary crescents in flight and we also found a Solitary Sandpiper in one of the many puddles from the recent heavy rains to add to the two flyovers early in the day. A lovely warm day and although nothing incredibly rare to be seen it’s always a heartwarming trip out there to see these birds scoffing down blueberries, we even nabbed a few ourselves!

ps – The picture is of a Red Admiral using my arm as a salt lick – never had that happen before!

Trip List Birds:

Double-crested Cormorant, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel, Wild Turkey, Killdeer, Solitary Sandpiper (3), Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Chimney Swift,  Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Black-capped Cickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, American Crow, Cedar Waxwing, Red-eyed Vireo, American Redstart, Blue-winged Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Towhee, Indigo Bunting, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Orchard Oriole (4+), Baltimore Oriole, Brown-headed Cowbird, European Starling.

Some Butterflies: Monarch, Common Wood Nymph, Pearl Crescent, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Red Admiral, Cabbage White,