Where to start…

3 05 2010

Nashville Warbler - Mike Ferrari

Well it’s been a little while since I posted anything here mainly because life has been hectic what with trips to Colorado (see Dominic Mitchell’s blog entrys from the tour here), a little birding at my mini patch in NYC and a fair amount of birding in Central Park in preparation for this weekends Sunrise Birding tour. Couple that with preparations for a Sunrise Trip to NY State and North Carolina and it’s been a rather busy few weeks. Anyway I’m sure I’ll post some thoughts on all of the above in the not too distant future but for now lets update on the latest walk with Sunrise Birding.

At the weekend we popped over to Trout Brook Valley on the Weston/Easton border and spent our time looking for some early spring warbler migrants. Although predictions for a big movement this weekend were not forthcoming there was a nice selection of quality birds around but nothing in the way of large numbers. Highlights of the trip were an incessantly singing Nashville Warbler which showed down to just a few feet from the group (see Michaels picture above), it was so close it even allowed great views of the sometimes difficult to see chestnut cap. Other highlights included a few first of year birds for Connecticut including a singing Wood Thrush (does bird song get any more enchanting?), an fantastically obligingly perched Scarlet Tanager which picked the one fairly bare tree to parade from (why does everything have to be so leafed out already this year – frustrating!!!!), a brilliant male Baltimore Oriole and one of Trout Brooks breeding specialties Worm-eating Warbler. Thrown in Warbling Vireo, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher and Blue-winged Warbler and you had quite a representative mix of early May migrants but just not the large numbers that one might have hoped for.

Trout Brook Valley really is an exceptional spot in lower Fairfield County with its large size and varied habitats providing nesting sites for a large variety of neotropical migrants. It really is one of my favorite places to bird locally and although I am not going to be around for much of the rest of May I hope that others will avail themselves of this great site for some spring birding. I had helped to put together some information on the site for Frank Gallo’s book on birding in Connecticut and Rhode Island and hope that that publication sees the light of day soon. It’s a great but rather underbirded site which really deserves more attention. After all it’s not every place in the state where you might find a singing Dickcissel and a Mississippi Kite in the same day as I did one June a few years back.

Trip List (includes heard only species): Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Worm-eating warbler, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, White-throated Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole.