Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scheduling continues

Last Saturday, March 16, the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection held three successful training sessions for many of our fantastic volunteer monitors at the CAS Coastal Center at Milford Point. If you could not be there we would of course still love to have you monitoring shorebirds and terns in the 2013 season, and you can sign-up throughout the season by emailing us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com. We can offer you training online and in person when possible with master monitors or later in the spring with our seasonal field staff.

We are now working hard on scheduling everyone to their desired beaches and dates that we hope to complete by April 1. As mentioned we will also be working to find master monitors who can devote some of their time to taking new monitors out early in the season to assist in giving them a feel for what we do on the beach. If you would like to help please let us know. We will soon post both the USFWS and CT DEEP PowerPoint presentations for everyone to review. We also have these videos from last season which are still applicable to the current year. Remember to check out the right-hand column of this blog for field datasheets and other important state and federal forms. If you cannot download any of these forms or have problems attempting to please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com and we can send them as email attachments.

Here is a list of available monitoring locations for the 2013 season:
  • Sherwood Island State Park in Westport
  • Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport
  • Long Beach in Stratford
  • Russian Beach in Stratford
  • Milford Point in Milford
  • Silver Sands State Park in Milford
  • Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven
  • Griswold Point in Old Lyme
  • Bluff Point State Park in Groton
  • Sandy Point in Stonington

Choosing a beach close to you is usually best, especially if you want to help out for special events such as fireworks displays and string fencing parties. Bear in mind that Long Beach, Milford Point, and Sandy/Morse Points typically have the most monitors. Remember that we would like to have all the data we can on Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, and beginning when they arrive in May, Least and Common Terns. This year we have extra time before the start of the season due to the cold temperatures and continuing snow that stands in stark contrast to the 70s and 80s that dominated stretches of March 2012. We still have only one report of a Piping Plover in the state from March 5 at Long Beach! When we begin walking our beaches we want to monitor only in "good" weather to protect both people and birds - heavy rain or thunderstorms in the area or temperatures below 50 or above 90 mean you should skip that day.

We knew this year would be extremely different after Hurricane Sandy but we are already off to an amazingly odd start. We will start our weekly email updates on bird data and general information next week.

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

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