Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Marked Piping Plovers from NJ and MA

Here is a request for information on marked Piping Plovers sent to us via the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection:

A few dozen Piping Plovers were banded in NJ and MA this breeding season in conjunction with a flight behavior project being carried out by the State University of NY – ESF. Although resighting these birds on their migratory and wintering grounds is not a primary objective of the project, the presence of marked birds in these locations provides an opportunity to learn more about the way Atlantic coast breeders use the rest of their range. 


These birds were only marked with upper leg bands, so be sure to closely inspect any piping plovers you see before dismissing them as bandless. New Jersey birds were marked with two color bands on the upper legs and Massachusetts birds were marked with one color band on each upper leg. Colors used this year include: yellow, orange, green, black, gray, light blue, and blue. If you see a marked Piping Plover, please write down the location, date, behavior of bird, a detailed description of the bands (see below) and send to:

Michelle Avis, State University of NY – Syracuse, michelle.stantial@gmail.com
and/or 
Chris Davis, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Christina.Davis@dep.state.nj.us 

To describe a band combination:

Type: color band (there are only color bands on these birds, no flags or metal bands)

Colors: as exact as possible – yellow, orange, green, black, gray, light blue, and blue. There may be two bands of the same color placed over each other on a leg (this may look like one tall band).

Location on bird’s leg: all bands from this project will be on upper legs (above the ‘knee’).

Please note if you are unsure of any of the bands or if you did not see all parts of the leg clearly.

The Piping Plover above would be described as: Green/Yellow upper left, nothing lower left, Green/Black upper right, nothing lower right


Thank you all for keeping an eye out!


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds update #20

This is the twentieth update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2012 season. It includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern received from 12:00 p.m. on July 23 through 12:00 p.m. on July 30 with sightings of birds spanning July 23 through July 29 by our staff and volunteers.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
Volunteer and staff surveys:
2 adults, 5 chicks at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/23
2 adults, 3 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/23
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 chick, 3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
3 adults, 4 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/23
3 adults, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 7/23
2 pairs, 4 adults, 1 chick, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
6 adults, 4 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/24
3 adults, 6 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/24
1 pair, 1 adult, 3 chicks at Griswold Point on 7/24
1 adult, 5 chicks, 2 juveniles at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/24
1 adult, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Point on 7/24
2 adults, 5 chicks at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/25
2 adults, 2 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/25
1 adult, 4 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/25
2 adults, 1 chick, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
1 chick, 3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
2 adults, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 7/26
1 adult, 2 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/26
1 adult, 2 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/27
1 adult, 2 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/27
2 adults, 3 chicks at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/27
6 adults, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/29
9 adults/juveniles at Long Beach on 7/29

American Oystercatcher
Volunteer and staff surveys:
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 7/23
2 pairs, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
1 adult at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/23
2 pairs, 1 chick at Milford Point on 7/23
2 pairs, 1 chick at Milford Point on 7/23
2 pairs, 8 adults, 3 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
1 pair, 2 juveniles at Kelsey Island on 7/24
1 pair, 1 chick at Milford Point on 7/24
2 adults at Stratford Point on 7/24
3 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/24
3 pairs, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/24
2 pairs, 1 adult, 3 juveniles at Vincent Island on 7/25
2 pairs, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
1 pair, 2 adults, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
2 pairs, 1 chick at Milford Point on 7/26
1 pair, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/27
1 pair, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/27
1 pair, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/27
1 pair at Griswold Point on 7/27
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 7/28
4 adults at Milford Point on 7/28
6 adults, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 7/29
1 pair, 15 adults, 1 chick at Cockenoe Island on 7/29
6 adults at Norwalk Islands on 7/29
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/29
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/29

Least Tern 
Volunteer and staff surveys:
24 adults at Salt Island on 7/23
12 adults, 5 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/23
12 adults at Milford Point on 7/23
25 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/23
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 7/23
8 adults at Milford Point on 7/23
80+ adults, 76 chicks, 25 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
8 adults at Milford Point on 7/24
21 adults 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/24
14 adults at Stratford Point on 7/24
18 adults, 4 juveniles, 7 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/24
76+ adults, 46+ chicks, 58+ nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/24
14 adults, 2 juveniles at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/25
4 adults at Bluff Point on 7/25
30 adults at Long Beach on 7/25
100 adults, 20 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
40 individuals at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
19 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/26
3 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/26
12 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/26
2 adults, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 7/27
2 adults at Bluff Point on 7/27
15 adults, 2 juveniles, 4 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/27
6 adults at Long Beach on 7/28
10 adults at Long Beach on 7/28
1 pair, 10 adults at Milford Point on 7/28
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/28
11 adults at Stratford Point on 7/29
25 adults at Milford Point on 7/29
50-100 adults, 33 chicks, 28 juveniles, 5 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/29
20 adults at Long Beach on 7/29

Common Tern
Volunteer and staff surveys:
4 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/23
75 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 7/23
6 adults, 2 chicks at Long Beach on 7/23
100-130 adults, 2 chicks at Milford Point on 7/23
51+ adults, 1 chick, 6 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
5 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/24
6 adults at Milford Point on 7/24
220 adults/juveniles at Stratford Point on 7/24
13 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/24
57 adults, 2 juveniles, 11 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/24
50 individuals at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/26
6 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/26
75 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 7/26
8 adults at Bluff Point on 7/27
41 adults, 1 juvenile at Bluff Point on 7/27
10 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/27
8 adults at Long Beach on 7/28
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 7/28
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/28
7 adults at Milford Point on 7/28
450 adults/juveniles at Stratford Point on 7/29
350 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 7/29
206 adults, 6 nests at Cockenoe Island on 7/29
57 adults, 2 juveniles, 4 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/29
3 adults at Long Beach on 7/29

This concludes update #20 through 7/30/12 as of 3:30 p.m.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

eBird for coastal waterbirds!

Would you like to help us better document usage of key habitats by shorebirds and other coastal waterbirds, but don't have time to do International Shorebird Surveys? Now there is an easy way! If you come across any concentrations of shorebirds, terns or wading birds (herons and egrets), or any American Oystercatchers or Piping Plovers, simply log your sightings into eBird and when you're done, share your sighting with ctwaterbirds@gmail.com. Please also include the amount of time spent birding and define your location on your observation so we can track volunteer effort and organize the sightings by location.

This will allow us to better track the areas in Connecticut that are being utilized by migrant and nesting birds. We have a good understanding of where all of the herons and egrets nest in Connecticut (with the exception of bitterns, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron), but we do need to better document the areas that these colonial nesters are utilizing to find the food to sustain their growing chicks and in the post-nesting-season dispersal. Additionally, we would like to better understand the areas that are used by terns for post-nesting staging and/or foraging and areas used by migrant shorebirds for foraging or roosting. This will allow us to concentrate our formal efforts, including International Shorebird Surveys, in the areas that will have the greatest impact.

Our target birds for this project include:
Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, Common Tern, Roseate Tern, Black Skimmer, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Horned Lark and any migrant shorebirds, especially Red Knot, Sanderling, and Semipalmated Sandpiper.

If you have time to commit to International Shorebird Surveys, that is wonderful, but if not, this can be an easy way to help out with the conservation of these birds we all enjoy so much!

Thank you!



Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

ID this eggshell

Can you tell us what this eggshell is from? AAfCW technician Gabrielle Corradino took these photos not long ago. Take a look and see if you have seen enough of them this year in the field or on our blog or Facebook page to identify it.


Here it is in hand which may help you when it comes to scale. How about now?


That would be what remains of an American Oystercatcher egg. Gabrielle spotted it in the intertidal zone at Milford Point, away from the nest site, and a few days after two chicks hatched. Multiple pairs had attempted to nest here only to lose their nests again and again for a variety of reasons. We were thrilled to see the collective persistence of staff and volunteers led to at least one pair hatching young this season. Keep an eye out for the little ones or their very agitated parents, if you venture a bit too close, at the Coastal Center.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Upland Sandpiper on ISS

Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Connecticut, and Kim Anglace, AAfCW technician, were out early this morning conducting an International Shorebird Survey at the Rocky Hill Meadows. They discovered an Upland Sandpiper in fields near the junction of the road to the ATV park. Patrick snapped off a couple record shots of it.



They had some very nice close-up views of the increasingly rare Connecticut species. AAfCW technician Ewa Holland joined them later at the Menunketesuck Island flats where they found a "Western" Willet, the geographically distinct subspecies that shows up in Connecticut in small numbers every year, as well as a Caspian Tern and a Roseate Tern.






These are only a few of the awesome finds we have had so far during the beginning of the fall International Shorebird Survey season. We know there will be much more to come! If you are unfamiliar with these surveys or want to conduct an ISS of your own, please read more about it here in this entry.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fencing removal assistance

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds are looking for assistance in removing string fencing from Long Beach in Stratford, Milford Point in Milford, and Bluff Point in Groton. Right now, we are targeting the week of August 13. The more hands we have the faster this work goes, and we would love to have anyone come to help in any way. If you are available and willing to help that week, please tell us what site(s) you can assist with and what day(s) you are available by emailing us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com. That way we can best coordinate staff and volunteer availability in this busy time of year. Any time that you give also provides us with more critical volunteer hours to put to the project.

Thank you! Any assistance is greatly appreciated.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds update #19

This is the nineteenth update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2012 season. It includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern received from 12:00 p.m. on July 16 through 12:00 p.m. on July 23 with sightings of birds spanning July 16 through July 22 by our staff and volunteers.

Informational updates:

A big thank you to everyone who signed up to help with International Shorebird Surveys! We should end up covering nearly two dozen sites with many more individual survey points this spring and fall between staff and volunteers. This is a tremendous boost to the ISS program and our own conservation efforts here in Connecticut. If you are unable to participate this season but want to help out further with waterbird conservation, stay tuned – we may have an opportunity for you to contribute to shorebird, tern, and long-legged wader monitoring in a less formal but still essential and beneficial way. We will also likely need some additional assistance later in the season (September and October) when seasonal staff work has concluded. If you are interested in taking over an ISS at that point for a few surveys at key sites, please let us know.

There are currently only two open slots remaining for our series of shorebird identification seminars taking place at the Coastal Center at Milford Point. The first seminar is this Thursday, July 26. If you would like one or both of these last spots email us as soon as you can at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com. For more information, check it out on our blog here: http://ctwaterbirds.blogspot.com/2012/07/shorebird-identification-seminars-at.html

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
Volunteer and staff surveys:
8 adults, 3 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/16
1 pair, 3 adults at Bluff Point on 7/16
1 pair, 3 adults, 2 chicks, 8 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/16
2 pairs, 11 adults, 6 chicks, 3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
1 pair, 10 adults/juveniles, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
2 adults, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 7/17
1 pair, 3 adults, 2 chicks, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/17
2 pairs, 4 adults, 2 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/17
4 adults, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 7/18
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 chicks, 5 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
2 pairs, 3 adults, 3 chicks, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/19
2 pairs, 13 adults, 7 chicks, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
4 adults, 2 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/19
5 adults, 6 chicks, 3 juveniles at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/19
3 adults, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 7/21
2 adults, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/21
1 pair, 3 chicks at Griswold Point on 7/22
1 pair, 1 adult, 5 chicks, 1 juvenile at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/22
3 adults at Bluff Point on 7/22

American Oystercatcher
Volunteer and staff surveys:
1 pair, 4 adults, 2 chicks at Milford Point on 7/16
3 adults at Bluff Point on 7/16
3 pairs, 2 chicks, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
2 pairs, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
1 pair, 1 adult at Salt Island on 7/17
1 adult at Menunketesuck Island on 7/17
2 pairs, 1 chick at Milford Point on 7/17
10 adults at Menunketesuck Island on 7/17
2 pairs, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
2 pairs, 3 adults, 2 chicks at Milford Point on 7/18
2 pairs, 1 chick at Milford Point on 7/18
2 pairs, 1 chick, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
3 pairs, 2 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
3 pairs, 1 chick at Milford Point on 7/19
2 adults, 1 chick at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/19
4 pairs, 1 adult, 3 chicks at Sandy Point Stonington on 7/20
1 pair, 4 adults at Milford Point on 7/21
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/21
1 pair at Milford Point on 7/22
1 pair at Great Captain's Island on 7/22
2 pairs, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/22

Least Tern
Volunteer and staff surveys:
12 adults, 1 possible nest at Milford Point on 7/16
2 pairs, 5 adults, 5 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/16
2 pairs, 33 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 7/16
2 pairs, 150+ adults, 79 chicks, 44+ nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
140 adults, 59 chicks, 140 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
9 adults at Milford Point on 7/17
5 adults at Menunketesuck Island on 7/17
2 pairs, 35 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 7/17
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/18
10 adults at Milford Point on 7/18
97 adults, 44 chicks, 47 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
3 pairs, 2 nests at Long Beach on 7/19
14 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/19
3 adults at East Broadway Milford on 7/19
100+ adults, 91 chicks, 28+ nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
12 adults at Milford Point on 7/19
15 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/19
3 adults at Stratford Point on 7/21
9 adults at Milford Point on 7/21
25 adults at Long Beach on 7/21
25 adults at Milford Point on 7/22
6 pairs, 46-60 adults, 12 chicks, 16 nests at Griswold Point on 7/22
9 adults, 1 chick, 2 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/22
10 adults, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/22

Common Tern
Volunteer and staff surveys:
300 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 7/16
5 adults at Bluff Point on 7/16
10 adults, 3 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/16
50-70 adults, 1 chick at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
20 adults, 1 chick, 5 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
100+ adults at Cockenoe Sand Spit on 7/17
50+ adults at Milford Point on 7/17
4 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/17
8 adults at Menunketesuck Island on 7/17
9 adults, 3 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/17
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/18
8 adults at Milford Point on 7/18
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
2 adults at Long Beach on 7/19
3 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/19
40+ adults, 1 chick, 5 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/19
50 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 7/19
7 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/19
3 adults at Stratford Point on 7/20
250 adults/juveniles at Stratford Point on 7/21
4 adults at Long Beach on 7/21
1 adult at Great Captain's Island on 7/22
66 adults, 7 chicks at Griswold Point on 7/22
2 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/22
14 adults, 1 juvenile at Bluff Point on 7/22

Additional shorebird species have begun to make their way into Connecticut. Whimbrels, Pectoral Sandpipers, and Western Sandpipers have all been noted along with individuals numbering into the thousands of the more common species at times. Please watch for and report any banded tern you may see as our local breeding species begin to spread out a little more.

This concludes update #19 through 7/23/12 as of 4:00 p.m.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shorebird identification seminars at Milford Point

The Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds is offering a series of free shorebird identification seminars at the Connecticut Audubon Society's Milford Point Coastal Center. These seminars are scheduled around tides so they are somewhat irregularly spaced. The focus will be on shorebirds, terns and other coastal waterbirds. The goal is to end sessions by 9:00 PM.

Thursday, July 26th, 6:00 PM. Field session followed by a one hour indoor general shorebird presentation. High tide 5:36 PM.

Thursday, August 9th, 6:00 PM. Field session followed by birding by ear for shorebirds and coastal waterbirds indoors. High tide 5:25 PM.

Tuesday, September 11th, 5:00 PM. Field session followed by indoor presentation focusing on advanced shorebird and tern ID. We had to push this one earlier because of 7:07 PM sunset. High tide 8:24 PM.

Attendance at all three sessions is not mandatory, but the goal is to make it worthwhile to attend all three as we will seek to minimize overlap of materials covered. The leader will be Patrick Comins, but additional staff from the two Audubons, including Sean Graesser, will likely assist. Space is limited! Please contact us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com. Pre-registration is required due to limited space. These seminars are free.

The Audubon Alliance is a joint venture of Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, with funding from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, Cross Foundation, Jeniam Foundation and Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

American Oystercatcher chicks at Milford Point

The below post, including observations and photos, is from AAfCW technician Sean Graesser:  

I went out Tuesday 7/10 to see if the American Oystercatcher had hatched yet because we were at the beginning of the hatching window. They had not, but I was relieved to see that the three eggs were still there. This year at Milford Point, we had lost five nests. The odds were against these eggs and due to a recent nest being predated by what appeared to be Herring Gulls I was nervous. On Wednesday at 12:00 PM Kim one of the other staff members from the Audubon Alliance told me that she observed an adult American Oystercatcher performing a broken wing display. If you have any experience with American Oystercatchers you know their primary goal is to escape human contact at all costs and this kind of display was obscure for them. This was a red flag that something new was occurring.


I found that one chick had just hatched most likely less than thirty minutes before I came upon the nest. I checked back at around 8:00 PM that night to see if the rest had hatched and if the first chick had gotten up yet, neither had happened.  I was worried that we were only going to get the one egg to hatch. I went out at 8:00 AM the next morning to find to my surprise that another egg had hatched and the two chicks were resting in the nest. I went out again at 2:00 PM that day to find both chicks were out and about on the beach and one egg was still in the nest. There was still one parent incubating that egg, so hopefully it hatched. I then saw the two chicks move in front of me and sit down for me to get some pictures.






If you do go out to see the AMOY chicks please observe from a distance and only take pictures if you have a telephoto lens. Our numbers for Connecticut American Oystercatchers chicks hatching this year are very low, so any success we can get is a big win. Some of the reasons we managed to get these chicks to hatch at all was due to the countless volunteer and staff hours put into to monitor these birds. So once again, we thank everyone for the group effort that is making small wins in the area of waterbird conservation.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds update #18

This is the eighteenth update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2012 season. It includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern received from 12:00 p.m. on July 9 through 12:00 p.m. on July 16 with sightings of birds spanning July 9 through July 15 by our staff and volunteers.

Informational updates:

The fall season of International Shorebird Surveys (ISS) started yesterday, July 15. We still have plenty of great sites across the state for those who are interested in helping out with these quick and easy yet very valuable surveys. All of the information on ISS is here in our blog in the right-hand column under the Important Documents heading.

As you can see below, we finally have a few more American Oystercatcher hatchlings and fledglings. These and more Least Tern young still need our constant care, not to mention a few families of Piping Plover that have just hatched or are about to. It is getting later in the season and many birds have fledged, but we still have plenty of work remaining! Please continue to be careful of the very hot weather for your own safety as well as that of the birds.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
Volunteer and staff surveys:
2 adults, 1 chick, 1 nest at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/9
1 pair, 4 adults, 3 chicks, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
2 pairs, 4 adults, 1 chick at Griswold Point on 7/9
6 adults at Long Beach on 7/10
1 pair, 9 adults, 3 chicks, 8 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/10
1 pair, 2 adults at Long Beach on 7/10
2 pairs, 1 adult, 3 chicks, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Point on 7/10
2 pairs, 6 adults, 3 chicks, 8 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/10
2 pairs, 1 adult, 3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/10
2 pairs, 4 adults, 3 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/10
1 pair, 6 adults, 3 chicks, 5 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/11
2 pairs, 2 adults, 3 chicks, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
1 pair, 5 adults, 3 chicks, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
8 adults, 3 chicks, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
3 adults, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/11
1 pair, 1 adult, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/11
1 pair, 4 chicks at Milford Point on 7/12
2 adults, 3 chicks, 1 nest at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/12
1 pair, 4 adults, 2 chicks, 1 juvenile at Bluff Point on 7/12
1 pair, 3 adults, 4 chicks, 2 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/13
2 pairs, 5 adults, 5 chicks, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
9 adults, 8 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/13
1 pair, 3 chicks at Milford Point on 7/13
1 pair, 3 chicks at Milford Point on 7/13
1 pair, 4 adults, 5 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/14
21 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 7/14
5 adults, 9 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/14
2 pairs, 1 adult, 8 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/15

American Oystercatcher
Volunteer and staff surveys:
3 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
1 pair at Whale Rock (Mystic) on 7/9
1 adult at Ram Island on 7/9
1 pair, 1 adult at Salt Island on 7/9
1 pair at Bruce and Johnson Marina (Branford) on 7/10
1 pair, 1 adult at Kelsey Island on 7/10
1 adult, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/10
3 adults at Thimble Islands on 7/10
2 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/10
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/10
1 adult, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/10
1 adult, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/11
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
2 pairs, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/11
1 pair, 2 chicks at Old Greenwich on 7/11
1 pair, 1 chick at Cos Cob Harbor on 7/11
2 pairs, 2 chicks, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/12
1 pair at Bluff Point on 7/12
1 pair, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/13
2 pairs, 1 chick, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
1 pair at Stratford Point on 7/13
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 7/13
4 adults at Milford Point on 7/14
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/14
1 pair at Stratford Point on 7/15

Least Tern 
Volunteer and staff surveys:
19 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/9
100+ adults, 31 chicks, 30+ nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
77-100 adults, 11 chicks, 25+ nests at Griswold Point on 7/9
13 adults at Long Beach on 7/10
5 adults at Milford Point on 7/10
4 pairs, 16 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 7/10
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 7/10
67 pairs, 2 chicks, 67 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/10
20-25 adults, 11 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/10
3 adults at Milford Point on 7/11
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/11
154-204 adults, 27 chicks, 53+ nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
200 adults, 7 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
40 adults, 3 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/11
5 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/11
1 pair, 12 adults, 1 likely nest at Milford Point on 7/12
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/12
1 pair, 1 adult at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/12
33+ adults, 6 chicks, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 7/12
3 adults at Milford Point on 7/13
5 pairs, 150+ adults, 37 chicks, 51+ nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
24 adults, 7 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/13
2 adults at Stratford Point on 7/13
1 adult at Milford Point on 7/13
24 adults at Long Beach on 7/14
3 adults at Milford Point on 7/14
18 adults at Long Beach on 7/14

Common Tern
Volunteer and staff surveys:
3 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/9
49 adults, 4 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
52 adults, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 7/9
5 adults at Long Beach on 7/10
13 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/10
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 7/11
1 adult at East Broadway on 7/11
50-60 adults, 7 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
3 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/11
200+ adults at Milford Point on 7/12
5 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/12
15 adults at Milford Point on 7/13
54-70 adults, 1 pair, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
187 adults at Stratford Point on 7/13
15 adults at Milford Point on 7/13
5 adults at Long Beach on 7/14
3 adults at Milford Point on 7/14
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/14
78 adults at Stratford Point on 7/15

Shorebirds are present across Connecticut in some already solid numbers. On July 15, dozens of Least Sandpiper as well as hundreds of Semipalmated Sandpiper plus Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, and more were recorded during some of our initial International Shorebird Surveys. Please sign up to conduct some of these surveys on your own as soon as possible if you want a terrific excuse to get out and see these species while aiding their conservation efforts.

This concludes update #18 through 7/16/12 as of 4:00 p.m.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Friday, July 13, 2012

International Shorebird Surveys: A personal account

Below is a piece concerning International Shorebird Surveys by Audubon Connecticut's IBA Program Coordinator Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe.

If you want to get better at identifying shorebirds……then do International Shorebird Surveys.   I consider myself a pretty good birder.  I do great with migratory passerines, can bird by ear, and am pretty familiar with CT’s raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl, etc.   I’m comfortable identifying the more common shorebirds, but sometimes I still question myself when it comes to telling the difference between Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, picking out a White-rumped Sandpiper amidst hundreds of peeps (Which one am I supposed to be looking at?), or identifying yellowlegs to species.   So this past spring I decide that the best way to improve my shorebirding skills would be do International Shorebird Surveys, one of the deliverable of the Long Island Sound Future Fund Grant that is funding the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds.    Since mid-April I have done 32 surveys at 6 locations (you do not need to do this many to participate, once a month is enough).   And I can say with certainty that my shorebirding skills have improved.  To start I can tell the difference between Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers! Finally! Confidently!  Many people know that Least Sandpipers have yellow legs while those of the Semipalmated Sandpiper are black.  But there are other more subtle differences.  The wing and back feathers of the Semipalmated are relatively drag compared to the Least.  Your location also can help narrow down the possibilities as Semipalmated Sandpipers are less common inland, while Least are less common on the coast.

Finally really get a feel for Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, made it possible for me to pick out sandpipers that were not either of these species.   I was at Sandy Point in West Haven in late May counting Semipalmated Sandpipers, when I noticed one that was just a little bigger than the rest.  “Don’t jump to conclusions, it is probably just the angle that is making it look bigger than the rest”, ran through my head.  But as I watched the bird, other differences became apparent.  The bill was just a little longer, and base of the bill seemed yellowish.  The colors of the feathers on the back were just a little bit richer.  I took down notes.  A little while later, I came upon a second bird similar to the one I had just observed.  This one gave a very light high pitched twittery noise.  It was time to pull out my guide and ipod and figure out what species I’d seen and heard.  Both birds it turns out were White-rumped Sandpipers!

Doing International Shorebird Surveys teaches you to look closely at birds and counting all those peeps sharpens your observation skills.  This will help you with your bird identification whether you are looking at shorebirds, gulls, warblers, sparrows, or hawks.  During my last spring ISS at Bluff Point in Groton, I noticed a couple of large terns foraging along the beach.  As one passed by me on the beach, I trained my binocular on the bird.    I expected to see a Common Tern, but found myself looking at a bird with a large amount of black on its bill.  There was some orange at the base, but not the amount I was used to seeing on Common Terns in breeding plumage.  “Do their bills change color as they transition into winter plumage or could this be a juvenile bird?” I wondered.  I kept watching the bird.  After a few passes I began to notice that the bill was thinner and longer in shape that what I would expect of a Common Tern.  This became more obvious when an adult Common Tern flew by.   I started looking for additional field marks.  The wings were lighter in color and when it called, I did not here the “Key-ahh” of a Common Tern.  My mystery bird was a Roseate Tern.

So if you would like to get better at identifying shorebirds…if you want to get better at identifying birds in general…, then I highly recommend doing International Shorebird Surveys.

Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Milford Point Piping Plover chicks biological observation

The below post, including observations and photos, is from AAfCW technician Sean Graesser:  

The last PIPL nest at CACC hatched the night of July 9 at 6:30 PM. Three of the four chicks had hatched by 8:30 PM. There was one egg still un-hatched. At 11:45 AM it still had not hatched yet. It was thought the egg was going to be unviable. At 6:00 PM the final egg had hatched and the chick was still wet with embryonic fluid.


24 hours for all the eggs to hatch is very unusual. Although the eggs get laid over a 6-8 days period they usually hatch within hours of each other. This is an interesting observation. These kind of small biological observations are always noteworthy.


Due to the Alliance this year we have managed to see a few of these things this season. With all the eyes on the birds this year we have come across some great data.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fall International Shorebird Surveys

It is nearly time to begin the “fall” season of International Shorebird Surveys (ISS),initiated by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in 1974, as they kick off on Sunday, July 15, running through the end of October. All of the information on ISS is right here in our blog in the right-hand column under the Important Documents heading.

We realize the directions and information may look a little intimidating, but apart from filling out a form about your chosen site, all these surveys amount to is regularly visiting a shorebird hotspot approximately three times per month and tallying all of the birds you see. There are even different scheduling options in the documents if you cannot make it out to survey at that regularity. You will then enter your data in the ISS eBird portal, share the checklist with us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com, and you are set. Please read the information and consider contributing some of your time for these valuable surveys. At the very least it will compel you to get out and enjoy shorebirding even more in the next few months. Our staff will be conducting them as well, so please email us if you are interested and so we can set aside your chosen location.

These surveys are one of the most significant sources of monitoring information for shorebirds in North America. The data collected is used to document major shorebird migration staging areas, monitor shorebird population changes, and evaluate the effects of catastrophic events, such as storms and oil spills, on shorebirds.

Thank you for the consideration! Feel free to shoot us an email at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com with any other questions or comments you may have as well.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds update #17

This is the seventeenth update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2012 season. It includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern received from 12:00 p.m. on July 2 through 12:00 p.m. on July 9 with sightings of birds spanning July 2 through July 8 by our staff and volunteers.

Informational updates:

Fortunately, this week’s weather should be a little better for monitoring, with high temperatures more often in the 80s than 90s and little threat of rain or thunderstorms. A number of beaches have important sights to record, whether it is those young birds at Bluff Point, many hatchling Least Terns that should be coming from Sandy/Morse Points, or already moving and migrating Piping Plovers at Stratford or Milford. One amazing report from the Charla and Steve Spector at Milford Point included at least 26 Piping Plovers! This is a sum of nesting birds plus juveniles and adults who have come from other areas, but it is an impressive total you do not often see in our state. This number surpasses the highest recorded eBird number for any survey in Connecticut ever entered into the database. Let’s see if all of our extra eyes can find an even larger group somewhere.

Observations are beginning to reflect a shift in the season from nesting to caring for young. For example, an increase in Common Tern sightings can be expected as failed breeders move to different foraging areas and successful birds feed their growing chicks from and in different places.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
Volunteer and staff surveys:
1 pair, 9 adults, 3 juveniles, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 chicks, 1 nest at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/2
3 pairs, 6 adults, 6 chicks at Griswold Point on 7/2
9 adults, 5 chicks, 3 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/2
2 pairs, 6 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/3
8 adults, 15 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/3
6 adults, 1 chick at Long Beach on 7/3
6 adults, 4 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/5
3 pairs, 2 adults, 3 chicks, 3 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/5
5 adults, 5 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/5
1 pair, 14 adults, 10 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/5
3 pairs, 5 adults, 3 chicks, 1 juvenile at Bluff Point on 7/6
1 pair, 12 adults, 8 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/6
2 pairs, 4 adults, 4 chicks, 6 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
10 adults, 3 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/7
8 adults, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/7

American Oystercatcher
Volunteer and staff surveys:
2 adults at Chimon Island on 7/1
3 adults at Shea Island on 7/1
2 pairs at Salt Island on 7/3
1 pair, 1 adult at Menunketesuck Island on 7/3
4 pairs, 10 adults at Cockenoe Island on 7/3
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 nests at Milford Point on 7/3
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/3
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/4
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/5
2 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 7/5
1 pair, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/5
1 pair at Thimble Islands on 7/5
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 chick, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/5
2 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/5
5 adults, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 7/6
1 pair at Great Captain's Island on 7/6
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 7/6
2 pairs, 3 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
1 pair at Stratford Point on 7/7
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/7
1 adult at Stratford Point on 7/8

Least Tern 
Volunteer and staff surveys:
~200 adults, 31+ nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2
7 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/2
60-100 adults, 20+ nests at Griswold Point on 7/2
16 adults at Bluff Point on 7/2
1 adult at Stratford Point on 7/3
2 pairs, 202 adults, 10 chicks, 102 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/3
6 adults at Long Beach on 7/3
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/4
2 pairs, 8 adults at Long Beach on 7/5
3 adults at Pleasure Beach on 7/5
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/5
25 adults, 4 chicks at Bluff Point on 7/5
46 pairs, 1 adult, 8 chicks, 43 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/5
12 adults at Milford Point on 7/5
20 adults, 9 chicks, 2 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/6
5 adults at Milford Point on 7/6
3 adults at East Broadway on 7/6
2 pairs, 150 adults, 17 chicks at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
3 adults at Stratford Point on 7/7
16 adults at Long Beach on 7/7
9 adults at Long Beach on 7/7
2 adults at Stratford Point on 7/8

Common Tern
Volunteer and staff surveys:
32 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2
5 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/2
92 adults at Griswold Point on 7/2
3 adults at Bluff Point on 7/2
9 adults at Stratford Point on 7/3
3 pairs, 21 adults, 7 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/3
2 adults at Long Beach on 7/3
7 adults at Stratford Point on 7/4
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/4
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/5
3 adults at Bluff Point on 7/5
65 adults at Milford Point on 7/5
3 adults at Bluff Point on 7/6
2 adults at Greenwich Harbor on 7/6
6 adults at Stratford Point on 7/6
7 adults at Milford Point on 7/6
50-60 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
11 adults at Stratford Point on 7/6
4 adults at Long Beach on 7/7
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/7
56 adults at Stratford Point on 7/8

Some extremely rare shorebirds and terns have been seen lately, including a Little Stint in Rhode Island and two Gull-billed Terns at Milford Point. While we are not particularly seeking data on such finds, discovering rarities is always beneficial in that it brings attention to some of the birds we are looking to protect. We would be thrilled to have some of our monitors identify the next first state record! Watch your shorebirds, please.

This concludes update #17 through 7/9/12 as of 4:00 p.m.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Thanks to July volunteers

We had a very busy week on the beaches, and a number of fireworks displays across the state. Our birds made it through everything exceptionally well, and there were only minor disturbances at best. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who came out to one of our sites for a night of fireworks, visited one of the eastern beaches to assist this weekend, or surveyed critical locations in the last week. Your extra eyes made our work that much easier and helped protect a number of birds, especially young and many still nesting, while also providing a great deal of education for what we have heard from you was a very receptive public.

From this point in the season through the end of August the beaches will see a lot of traffic. We hope to see all of you out there and that those of you new to volunteering and monitoring will sign up with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for next season. It can be a very rewarding experience to know that you helped the lives of the birds we all care for so very much while also bringing another person or two, or many more, into the world of conservation.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Volunteers needed Bluff Point & Harkness Memorial State Park 7/7

We are looking for some more volunteers to assist the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in monitoring at Bluff Point and Harkness Memorial State Park on Saturday, July 7. Opsail, a tall ship event, is happening on Saturday morning beginning at 9AM and Harkness has asked for help during this time. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend, and while they will certainly not all be viewing the ships from Harkness, they are expecting the park to reach capacity. Volunteers can aid AAfCW staff to cover the eastern and western boundaries of the Piping Plover nesting area to prevent visitors from using that beach. DEEP is working to allow any persons helping to enter the park free of charge (USFWS ID will likely be necessary). Park staff will be able to handle the afternoon on their own at Harkness.

However, during the afternoon and evening on July 7 we need assistance at nearby Bluff Point as there is a large fireworks display in the Groton/New London area on Saturday evening. The number of people expected to be viewing from Bluff Point is relatively small, but it is imperative to have enough staff and volunteers to keep people out of the fenced areas, prevent them from setting off their own fireworks, and prevent chicks from being stepped on. People will be needed (in addition to DEEP and AAfCW staff) in the afternoon to keep visitors from setting up in the wrong places and for all of the above in the evening throughout the display. Any extra monitoring that can be completed at Bluff Point during the week, with young Piping Plover and Least Tern chicks all over and additional nests, would be greatly appreciated as well. DEEP is very concerned about the large number of young birds in the area and the high traffic the beach will see the entire week. Any hour here or there to help them out would be fantastic, and our staff will be there as much as possible as well.

Please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com to tell us you will be at either location Saturday or if you have any questions. You do not have to email us prior to extra time you spend at Bluff Point during the week to watch the chicks and nests. Thank you so much for the consideration and constant efforts!


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds update #16

This is the sixteenth update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2012 season. It includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern received from 12:00 p.m. on June 25 through 12:00 p.m. on July 2 with sightings of birds spanning June 25 through July 1 by our staff and volunteers.

Informational updates:


If you would like to volunteer to help monitor Milford Point beaches or Sandy/Morse Point tomorrow night during the fireworks displays please email us as soon as possible, thanks!


Thank you all for monitoring only when safe during the hot weather and with thunderstorms in the area on several occasions in the last week. If you can spend any time monitoring and talking to beachgoers about our birds on July 4, we would also appreciate that a great deal. We will be monitoring all of our beaches and offshore islands as much as possible on the holiday and next weekend.


The data below mentions “chicks” and “juveniles” based on the information we have been provided with or noted ourselves. The definitions of each can overlap, but for our general purposes, juveniles are fledged birds separated from their parent(s), while chicks can be hatchlings or fledglings still in a family group. Juveniles have become much more noticeable in the past week and these young, as well as females, are moving around a bit.


Survey and monitoring updates:


Piping Plover

Volunteer and staff surveys:
1 pair, 3 juveniles at East Broadway Milford on 6/25
1 pair, 2 adults, 2 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/25
2 pairs, 4 adults, 1 chick, 5 juveniles, 3 nests at Bluff Point on 6/25
3 pairs, 4 adults, 7 chicks, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/26
4 pairs, 1 adult, 6 chicks at Long Beach on 6/26
1 adult, 3 juveniles at East Broadway Milford on 6/26
2 pairs, 6 adults, 1 chick, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/26
4 pairs, 2 adults, 5 chicks, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/26
3 pairs, 1 adult, 5 chicks, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/26
2 pairs, 9 adults, 3 chicks, 1 juvenile, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 6/27
3 pairs, 1 adult, 7 juveniles at Milford Point on 6/27
1 pair, 3 adults, 3 juveniles at Long Beach on 6/27
3 pairs, 5 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/27
9 adults, 1 chick, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/27
2 pairs, 8 adults, 6 chicks, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/27
1 pair, 10 adults, 6 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
1 pair, 2 adults, 1 chick, 2 juveniles, 1 nest at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/28
4 pairs, 2 adults, 1 chick, 10 juveniles, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/28
2 adults, 1 juvenile at East Broadway Milford on 6/28
15 adults, 7 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/28
1 pair, 2 juveniles at East Broadway Milford on 6/29
8 adults, 6 chicks at Long Beach on 6/30
6 pairs, 4 adults, 8 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/30
5 pairs, 6 adults, 6 juveniles, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
4 adults, 9 adults/juveniles, 1 chick, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/30
9 adults, 2 chicks at Long Beach on 6/30
12 adults, 9 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/1
8 adults, 3 chicks, 4 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/1
6 adults, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/1


American Oystercatcher

Volunteer and staff surveys:
1 pair, 1 adult, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/25
2 pairs, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25
1 pair, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 6/25
1 adult at Menunketesuck Island on 6/26
1 pair, 1 adult, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/26
1 pair, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 6/26
2 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/26
6-12 adults at Cockenoe Island on 6/26
2 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/27
1 pair, 1 chick at Bluff Point on 6/27
1 pair, 1 adult at Griswolf Point on 6/27
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/27
1 pair, 3 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/27
2 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
1 adult at Bluff Point on 6/28
2 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/28
2 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/30
1 adult, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
2 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/30
6-12 adults at Cockenoe Island on 6/30
1 adult at Stratford Point on 7/1
2 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 7/1
6-12 adults at Cockenoe Island on 7/1
1 pair, 10 adults, 1 fledgling at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/1


Least Tern

Volunteer and staff surveys:
25 adults, 4 chicks at Bluff Point on 6/25
19 adults at Long Beach on 6/26
30 adults, 4 chicks at Bluff Point on 6/26
64 pairs, 64 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/26
7 adults at Cockenoe Island on 6/26
50-60 adults at Griswold Point on 6/27
7 adults at Long Beach on 6/27
40 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/27
200 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/27
56 pairs, 56 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
2 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/28
30-40 adults, 4-6 chicks at Bluff Point on 6/28
3 adults at Milford Point on 6/28
25 adults at Long Beach on 6/30
2 adults at Pleasure Beach on 6/30
2 adults, 2 nests at Cockenoe Island on 6/30
16 adults at Long Beach on 6/30
2 pairs, 1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 6/30
3 adults at Milford Point on 7/1
6 adults at Cockenoe Island on 7/1
14 adults at Long Beach on 7/1
250 adults, 100 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/1


Common Tern

Volunteer and staff surveys:
2 adults at Bluff Point on 6/25
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 6/26
2 adults at Milford Point on 6/26
5 pairs, 5 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/26
2 adults at Cockenoe Island on 6/26
21 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/27
16 pairs, 16 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
3 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 6/28
13 adults at Bluff Point on 6/28
14 adults at Stratford Point on 6/28
2 pairs at Milford Point on 6/28
16 adults at Milford Point on 6/30
6 pairs, 6 nests at Cockenoe Island on 6/30
4 adults at Long Beach on 6/30
12 adults at Stratford Point on 7/1
75 adults at Cockenoe Island on 7/1
2 adults at Long Beach on 7/1
2 pairs, 6 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/1


Shorebirds have started to trickle southward as we have hit the start of the “fall” migration season. Black-bellied Plover, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Least Sandpiper, and more have been noted in very small numbers.



This concludes update #16 through 7/2/12 as of 4:00 p.m.


Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.