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Volume 2, Issue 3††††††††††††††††††† Natchaug Ornithological Society's Newsletter†††††††† November 2001









On November 2nd, refreshments provided by Steve Morytko will be served at 7:00 p.m and at 7:30 p.m. the meeting will begin. The program for the evening will be presented by N.O.S. member Chris Elphick. He will discuss the newSibley Companion titled ďThe Sibley Guide to Bird Life and BehaviorĒ which was released on October 2, 2001 and was featured in last monthís newslettter.Chris is the editor and contributing author of this book.This is an absolutely incredible book and it will be wonderful to hear about how this book was created.

Field Trips


There has been a substitution of trips.On November 10th, we will be going to Plum Island and Salisbury Beach to look for late migrants and early winter arrivals.Plum Island is always a good place to visit with varied habitat for sea birds, coastal birds as well as upland species.Many rarities show up at Plum Island.Anything is possible including: Seaside Sparrows, Black Scoter, Gyrfalcon, and even a Garganey.The meeting time will be 7 a.m.It is a very good idea to pack a lunch when going to Plum Island as you actually have to leave Plum Island to find a place to eat.This is especially difficult if the birding is good.If you wish to join us, we will be meeting at the town hall, but please contact Sam Higgins at 455-0063 in advance to make carpool arrangements.


On the 18th, we will have an adventure along the Thames River with stops also at Smith's Cove, Fort Trumbull in New London, Hammonasset and Harkness.This trip will be good for late migrants and early Winter arrivals we can expect almost anything.Again we will be meeting at 7 a.m. at the town hall.






The auction will be held on April 5th at the Mansfield Public Library.So start thinking about what bird related items you want to donate to the auction.It has not yet been determined to what special project this money might be donated, but what is known that it will be lots of fun.More information will be included in subsequent newsletters.


Field Trips


Date††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Location


December 1st & 2nd †††††† Cape Cod/Race Point - two days of birding

Tentative Scheduling


January 12th†††††††††††††††††† Daniel Webster, MA

January 21st†††††††††††††††††† Moose Bog, VT or White Mtns, NHdepends upon boreal species sightings

February††††††††††††††††††††††† CT River Ė Bald Eagles

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Cape Ann Ė Tentative overnight trip

March††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Rhode Island Shore

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pelagic

April†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Local Areas- Bruce

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Northwest Park, Windsor

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Forsythe Natíl Wildlife Refuge, NJ

May††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Local Area

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† White Memorial

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Jamaica Bay, NY

July/August††††††††††††††††† Sandy Point, CT




December††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Christmas Bird Count

††††††††††††††† Trailwood Count

May††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† May Count

June††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† June Breeding Bird Count






AKA The Birds of Storrs, CT and Vicinity by George Clark

We still need to sell a few more of THE BOOK.Remember the holidays are coming.What better gift is there, other than making a donation to a worthy cause, than knowledge especially knowledge of the environment.Even if the person who is receiving THE BOOK is not a local person, THE BOOK captures the vitality and movement of birds beautifully.If the person is local, but not a birder (I know there are a few people out there), THE BOOKís in depth and immediate descriptions of local areas could spark an interest or at least enlighten these people of what surrounds them.Now if you are a local birder, the book is just a must have.It is good to have one at the house and one in the car, in case you want to check out if the bird you just saw should be here or if it is unusual and you might want to let other people know about it.It also comes in handy as an excellent reference source on those days where you know you want to go out and bird but you just canít make up your mind on where you want to go.To order the book, you can send in a request and a check made out to N.O.S. for $13 dollars to our mailbox: N.O.S., P.O. Box 192, Mansfield Center, CT06250.You could also pick one up at the meeting or drop by either Bruce Carverís store a Wink and a Smile in Willimantic or the Co-op Bookstore on the UConn campus.




You know you want to


To anyone who has anything they wish to contribute to the newsletter, their participation is greatly encouraged.I would love to include other peopleís ideas and viewpoints.If you have an interesting birding story to tell, news worthy pieces of information, editorial comments, or pieces of art work to be featured please contact Sarah Hume phone 860/429-2346 or by email at (which I check infrequently) or (which I have on continuously at work).





Getting connected


N.O.S. has a listserv for its members that have access to email.The listserv enables quick dissemination of information on events that are coming up, trips, and bird sightings.If you wish to subscribe, send an email from the account you wish to be subscribed to maiser@lib.uconn.eduIn the message body area, on a separate line, type: subscribe nos and send the message. The email account from which you sent the message will be subscribed to the list.


N.O.S. also has a website which has lots of interesting information and great links to other electronic birding resources.

Be sure to check out our web site at:


Local reports


On October 14th, Steve Morytko took over leading the group for the local stomp.We visited several locations around Storrs including in order MIRROR LAKE, LOT W, CEMETARY ROAD,THE DAM and PLEASANT VALLEY ROAD.We started off at 7:15 a.m. and were finished no later that 12:30 p.m.†† The group was very dynamic including individuals who have been birding the Storrs area for years to one of us who was just beginning birding.There was a vibrancy about us as we discussed what we knew about birding with Mike, the neophyte.Hopefully we didnít scare him off.HA.It was wonderful to be able to describe information about the common birds to somebody who is just seeing them for the first time.The birds seem to dusted off and their coloration and charm are brightened as you look at them through new eyes once again. The bird above is not just a crow anymore, to be discounted as just another tic on a daily list. How do you know the black bird flying over head is a crow, and how do you know it is an AMERICAN CROW?What is the gestalt of a RING-BILLED GULL?Though we didnít see anything truly rare, we were able to get some life birds for some of our members and we able to definitely able to get life birds for our new birding associate, but even more importantly we were able to share our knowledge with an interested party.We also were able to re-examine some ingrained knowledge and therefore learn from it again.It was great just to get out and bird with new and old friends Ė feathered and hairy alike.


Unfortunately, I lost my checklist with all my notes on it. So, the below list is what I remember.I seem to remember we saw 43 species.If that is true, I am forgetting 1 species.


Pied-billed Grebe†††††††††† Double-crested Cormorant

Great Egret†††††††††††††††††† Great Egret

Mallard†††††††††††††††††††††††† Wood Duck

Canada Goose†††††††††††††† Ring-billed Gull

Killdeer†††††††††††† Turkey Vulture

Red-tailed Hawk†††††††††† Red-shouldered Hawk

Mourning Dove†††††††††††† Rock Dove

Belted Kingfisher††††††††† Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker††††† Blue Jay

American Crow††††††††††††††††††††††† Horned Lark

Black-capped ChickadeeTufted Titmouse

White-breasted NuthatchEastern Bluebird

American Robin††††††††††† Northern Mockingbird

Gray Catbird†††††††††††††††† European Starling

American Pipit††††††††††††† Yellow-rumped Warbler

Northern Cardinal††††††††† White-throated Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow††††††††††† Song Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow††††††† Dark-eyed Junco

Red-winged Blackbird†† Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird Eastern Meadowlark

American Goldfinch†††††† House Sparrow


Trying out something new


On October 21st, Sam Higgins, Judy Marcus and myself went on a trip to check out a few hot spots at which good birds had been reported.We left the Town Hall after catching up with each other and Steve Morytko and birding the area around the hall.The day was perfect. Too perfect as it turned out.We were well layered ready for anything except absolutely fabulous weather.It was a picture perfect fall day.The air was crisp with a few tendrils of warmth still left.It began at about 32O F but warmed up significantly.By late morning, you could still smell the earth, a smell we will too soon be without until next spring.The atmosphere was perfect migration weather too perfect as Sam astutely projected early in the morning.Unfortunately, nothing seemed to be stalling or waiting but just flying right on by.Good for the birds but not so good for the birders who were looking for rarities, except that the birders did get tobask in some of the last glorious rays.Our first stop was Stewart B. McKinney, National Wildlife Refuge in Westbrook.None of us had ever been there and it was supposed to be good for sparrows this time of year.I have to admit that it was very good for sparrows but it was even better for RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS.I believe that we have more RED-BELLIES there than anything else.For those of you that havenít been there, it is a pretty good place to stop.We didnít get any rarities but the area in front of the house was very birdy.We walked along the trails which we nicely kept and easy but the woods didnít yield anything too productive except some tantalizing thrushes.One was definitely a HERMIT THRUSH, there was a group of at least three with one not quite fitting a typical HERMIT THRUSH look , but it left before a complete identification could be made.There is an over look of the marsh there that will be awesome when they are able to get funding for a platform.After the NWR, we stopped at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.There was a huge walk occuring and so the area was not good birding but we did get a nice mixed flock of sparrows at Meigís Point.We had wonderful looks at FIELD SPARROWS and HORNED LARK.We also stopped by Sandy Point before heading up to Station 43.At Station 43, we were again teased with a half sighting of an interesting bird.Sam was able to catch a glimpse of a grebe that was definitely not a PIED-BILLED GREBE, but further id of it being an EARED, RED-NECKED or HORNED was not possible even though we stayed there as the sun light faded behind the trees.††



Double-crested CormorantGrebe Sp. (not Pied-billed)

Great Egret ††††††††††††††††† ††††††Snowy Egret

Great Blue Heron††††††††† ††††† Mute Swan

Canada Goose†††††††††††††† ††††† Black Duck

Bufflehead††††††††††††††††††† †††† Turkey Vulture

Ring-billed Gull†††† Greater Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull††††††††††††††††† ††††† Dunlin

Common Snipe††††††††††††† ††††† Red-tailed Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk†††††††††† Cooperís Hawk

Rock Dove†††††††††††††††††† ††††† Mourning Dove

Ring-necked Pheasant††††††††† Downy Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker†††† Tree Swallow

Blue Jay†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† American Crow

Red-winged Blackbird†† ††††† European Starling

Eastern Meadowlark††††††††††† Horned Lark

American Pipit††††††††††† ††††††Hermit Thrush

Northern Cardinal††††††††† ††††† Eastern Towhee

Golden-crowned Kinglet††††† Northern Mockingbird

Black-capped Chickadee††††† White-breasted Nuthatch

Yellow-rumped Warbler††††† Savannah Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow††††††††† ††††† White-throated Sparrow

Field Sparrow††††††††††††††† ††††† Song Sparrow

American Goldfinch ††††† ††††††House Sparrow







Compiled from RBAs on Birdeast by:Sarah Hume


In Connecticut. in late September, an immature EVENING GROSBEAK was seen at a private residence in Riverside on the 27th. There were 30 PINE SISKINS seen flying over the Bent of the River National Audubon Society Sanctuary in Southbury on the 30th.Also on the 30th, a YELLOW_BELLIED SAPSUCKER was reported in Sterling. A SEDGE WREN was found at the back of the Emmanuel Jewish Cemetery in Wethersfield on September 28th. Bluff Point in Groton had GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, two BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS, one BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, one "oporonis type" warbler, CAPE MAY WARBLER, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, one RUSTY BLACKBIRD as well as an immature BALD EAGLE. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen in the field at the intersection of Brooksvale Avenue and Mt. Sanford Road in Hamden on October 2nd. At the brush dump of Cove Island Park in Stamford on September 29th, there were one CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, one LINCOLN'S SPARROW, and one WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. On the 7th there was an immature BLUE GROSBEAK and on the 11th there was 1 DICKSISSEL and continued through the 12th, when it was joined by a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, a LINCOLNíS SPARROW and three WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. During the COA Fall Field Day, there were PURPLE FINCHES, a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, and a BROWN THRASHER. At Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, there were one adult and three immature LITTLE BLUE HERONS on September 28th.On the 30th, there was one LAPLAND LONGSPUR and one immature BALD EAGLE. On the 6th, there were 1 WHIMBREL and 3 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS. On the 28th, there was an adult female DICKCISSEL at the feeder of the Audubon Shop in Madison. A DICKCISSEL was present in the area of the marina basin at Short Beach in Stratford on the 3rd. The other notable sighting of the last week was that of a WESTERN KINGBIRD in West Hartford. This bird is located at Elizabeth Park. While at Short Beach, there was a PEREGRINE FALCON. At Sikorsky Airport, there were 26 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS. At Naugatuck State Forest on the 6th there were 2-3 LINCOLN'S SPARROWS, 2 COMMON RAVENS, and numerous PURPLE FINCHES. On the 5th in Norwalk there were numerous SNOW GEESE flying over. On the 7th at Greenwich Audubon there was a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.On the 11th in Stamford at Holy Pond there was a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. At Great Pond in Simsbury on the 10th there were 1 VIRGINIA RAIL and 1 PEREGRINE FALCON. In Southbury on the 11th, there was 1 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and hordes of PURPLE FINCHES seen at Bent of the River Sanctuary. There was a probable RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD visiting flowers at a private residence in Southington. On the 7th in Windsor there was 1 SOLITARY SANDPIPER and 1 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. On the 13th, several other species of sparrows were seen here, including one CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and one VESPER SPARROW.


In Massachusetts, a CATTLE EGRET discovered last week in Amherst continues on Meadow Street. Two BOREAL CHICKADEES were found at Moran Wildlife Management Area in Windsor. The TUFTED DUCK has returned to Sterling and the West Waushacum Pond. On the 12th, two AMERICAN AVOCETS were reported in the saltmarsh near the entrance gate to the Parker River Refuge on Plum Island.Also there were a RED PHALAROPE, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, a WESTERN SANDPIPER, a STILT SANDPIPER, a CLIFF SWALLOW, and 21 LAPLAND LONGSPURS. At Hellcat on the 19th,a GYRFALCON was seen. The EARED GREBE that has spent the last six winters in East Gloucester has once again returned to the vicinity of Nile's Beach. Provincetown has reports that include 1 MANX SHEARWATER, and 1 PARASITIC JAEGER.There was a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL in downtown Boston and a REDHEAD in the Boston Public Gardens.There was a SCARLET TANAGER at Hall's Pond in Brookline. MISSISSIPPI KITE flew by the summit of Mt. Wachusett in Princeton. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was seen at Seaside Cemetery in the Lanesville section of Gloucester on the 15th. The second state record of A ROSS'S GOOSE was discovered on Martha's Vineyard. In Rhode Island on September 29th, a BROWN PELICAN was seen on Ninigret Pond in Charlestown.A male KING EIDER was reported at Point Judith on October 6th. On the 2nd a CONNECTICUT WARBLER was seen at Camp Cronin in the Point Judith area. A MARBLED GODWIT was found at the Charlestown Breachway on October 3rd.That same day, a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was seen on Charlestown Beach. Trustom Pond in South Kingston had an EARED GREBE on the 14th. On the 14th and 18th an AMERICAN BITTERN was seen at Succotash Marsh in South Kingston near the sign at the marsh. Marsh Meadows in Jamestown had a STILT SANDPIPER on the 16th.


In New York on September 29, a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was reported in the Town of Sheridan. On the 19th a GREAT WHITE HERON continued to forage at Jones Beach. A CATTLE EGRET was found near at Roanoke Reed's Avenue in Riverhead. An AMERICAN AVOCET was at Nyack in Rockland County. A WHITE-WINGED DOVE has appeared at a feeder in Cedarhurst. On Saturday, 4 PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen northwest of Montauk Point. An adult POMARINE JAEGER was also seen at Shagawan flying directly over the surf. A NORTHERN WHEATEAR appeared near the Fire Island National Park Headquarters.On the 20th,an AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was found in Shirley. At the Niagara Frontier Region there was a SABINE'S GULL during this week. In New Jersey A NORTHERN WHEATEAR was found on October 5 at Bivalve, along the Wetlands Restoration Site Nature Trail.Three MARBLED GODWITS were also present, and another was seen on Oct. 10 at Stone Harbor Point. A WHITE-WINGED DOVE was reported from near Sunset Beach on October 6, but we have no details. A WOOD STORK was reported flying over the Raritan River October 5, seen from Route 9 near Raritan Center. A TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was reported on the Kittatiny Ridge in Stokes State Forest Monday October 22.


In New Hampshire, two RED PHALAROPES were seen at Odiorne Point in Rye on September 29 and two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were there on the 6th. Two LEACH'S STORM-PETREL were seen in the middle of Great Bay on the 1st. In Vermont, three BLACK GUILLEMOTS, one on a flyby and two sitting in the water,were observed off of the west shore of Grand Isle on the 18th. An immature ROSSĻ GOOSE was seen at Dead Creek (Addison) as early as Friday, the 12th. On September 30th in Ottawa, an early GREAT GRAY OWL was seen this morning in the Briargreen at Ankona Court and Meadowbank, near Baseline and Greenbank.