Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catching up

fall colors afloat on the Oyster River

Among other excuses, I have had a cold for the past two weeks and opted to stay indoors knitting, rather than go out birding - so, the list this week is 100% attributable to Ms. Lynn Jones - her photos too.

Bird list for the week of October 31 through Nov 4th.

Wild Turkey
Canada Goose
Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias, G B H, passing through West Campus

Ring-billed Gull
5. Herring Gull
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
American Kestrel
11. Mourning Dove

Rock Pigeon
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
American Crow
16. Fish Crow
Common Raven
Blue Jay

A small amount of birding involves unsolved mysteries. Here's half a hawk Lynn saw this week. An immature Buteo? - I was going for young Red-tail, based on the rufous head, pale belly, dark back, vertical streaking. Who knows?...

American Robin
Hermit Thrush
21. Tree Swallow

European Starling
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Black-capped Chickadee
Song Sparrow
26. White-throated Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Brown-headed Cowbird
31. House Sparrow

Here's a beauty - the Blue-headed Vireo, Vireo solitarius, Lynn saw last week.

New Haven Bird Club's Feederwatch (link, or see below) started this week, and Lynn has begun keeping a tally of our feeder birds, as she has for the past two winters. So far, the usual visitors are a pair of Blue Jays, a few chickadees and sparrows, Mourning Doves, woodpeckers and a gray squirrel. This week a huge flock of juncos descended - sixty at the highest count!

NHBC 19th Annual Winter Feeder Survey November 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012 This is a yearly census to help determine the number and frequency of birds visiting feeders in the Greater New Haven area. You are invited to observe and record the activity at your feeder at least once a week for the entire time period. Contact-Peter Vitali: 203.288.0621,

So, in last week's post I mentioned a taste of winter, with more to come. Saturday, October 29th the northeastern US was hit with a snowstorm - a nor'easter on a scale usually only seen in mid-winter. [hmm, interestingly, I took no photos] Parts of the state were without power for 7, 8, nine days, as heavy snow brought down trees which still had a full complement of leaves.

Read Scott Kruitbosch's well-written account of the storm - from the perspective of a birder. Local news media provided plenty of coverage of the storm's aftermath - from the perspective of disgruntled customers of the state's electric utilites. Now, close to two weeks after the storm, here's a link to a blog in which the writer posted power outage maps for October 31st.

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