PIPL

PIPL

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wintering American Oystercatchers

The American Oystercatcher is not a species you expect to find in New England in December! These two birds were photographed on Monday, December 21, as they fed on the shores of Stratford Point near low tide. I was surprised to see them, but it was not astonishing given our continuing extreme warmth. They were flagged in my eBird report, and they will be flagged if they are re-spotted on the Stratford-Milford Christmas Bird Count this upcoming Sunday, December 27.


This focal species of our efforts in the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds is usually a late February or more often early March returning bird. Some do stay through the winter in the Mid-Atlantic, but this is a good example of the impact of El NiƱo and the shifts in distribution that are occurring for hundreds of species due to climate change.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

Most of our shorebirds are gone for the winter, but you can still find the Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) on our shores. They can be seen just about year-round in Connecticut.


Monday, November 9, 2015

WildLife Guards and STEAM

Here we have a couple of adorable little ones learning by doing and constructing baby Piping Plover chicks during an outreach event for the Bridgeport WildLife Guards with Audubon Connecticut and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History this past Saturday. We were one of the exhibits during a celebration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) for children of all ages at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The kids are building a hatchling out of a marshmallow, pretzels, chocolate and raisins.

 
While they are building this bird we are building future environmentalists, birders, and conservationists by educating them on the importance of endangered species like this one and to care for our rare and unique habitats. We pass along lessons such as not littering, respecting nesting areas and giving birds space, keeping pets and vehicles out of sensitive spots, and some basic biology of very cool birds with great adaptations like the American Oystercatcher. This sort of teaching is engaging, memorable and delicious! Even when we are in the offseason for field work and these birds are on wintering grounds to our south we are working every single day in many forms of art, conservation and education.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WildLife Guards Boy Scout Event

This past Saturday, September 26, I spent the day with seven of our ten Bridgeport WildLife Guards back at Brideport, Connecticut's Pleasure Beach. That is where they were stationed five days each week this summer, conducting education, conservation and advocacy activities and making a difference for rare or endangered plants and wildlife, highlighted by the federally threatened Piping Plover. They engaged visitors and beachgoers, offering unique and innovative programs to convey the philosophy of sharing the beach and respecting our natural world as well as the complex ecosystems of this important habitat.

Our assignment this autumn day was to teach groups of visiting children about Piping Plovers and other coastal waterbirds as a part of an event for the Boy Scouts of America. In the photos below you can see our crew helping the kids in building baby Piping Plovers out of marshmallows, chocolate, pretzels, and raisins, a deliciously informative activity. Our second task involved using objects like hair clips and clothespins as bird beaks to attempt to "forage" for "prey", showing how species like the Common Tern and American Oystercatcher have specially evolved bills to feed on certain organisms in different environments.























In short, we had a sensational time! Even in these pictures you can see how much the children enjoyed working with us in these hands-on tasks, and we made sure they all left with a greater knowledge and appreciation of our birds. Our WildLife Guards season has been over for several weeks now, and all of this was volunteer time willingly put in by our wonderful crew. A tremendous thanks goes out to Ira Lockhart, Talisha Ortiz, Jamiya Williams, Alfred Green, Paris Jordan, Nathalie Vincent, and Sara Gallo for coming out to Pleasure Beach for one last day in 2015. We are so lucky to have them as colleagues and friends. We have all kept in touch with one another, discussing school and classes, jobs and career paths, college and more as we try to assist our students in any way we can. They have volunteered with us in multiple ways, and we hope to have another WildLife Guards event at a local school in November. Our work is year-round, nonstop, and always expanding - and we would not have it any other way.

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator
RTPI Conservation & Outreach Coordinator

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Red Knots at Stratford Point

Earlier last evening we found these juvenile Red Knots on the beach at Stratford Point along with Black-bellied Plovers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers and our first of fall Dunlin. Red Knots, now a federally threatened species, are a priority to us at the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds to find in Connecticut. Please be sure to share any eBird checklists with them or any shorebirds you record throughout the autumn and even winter with us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com. Thank you!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sandy Point Cleanup September 12

Please join us this Saturday, Sept. 12th from 9 am – 12 pm for a Litter Cleanup at the Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary, in West Haven, as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s “International Coastal Cleanup”.

This is a critical conservation effort to remove trash from an recognized Important Bird Area. A clean site prevents predators, attracted by food litter, from becoming accustomed to visiting Sandy Point, one of the prime sites in CT for Piping Plovers and other beach-nesting bird species. Plus: Our data will help scientists fight ocean litter! Bring work gloves, sunscreen, and water. Meet at the Morse Park parking lot (immediately east of Chick’s Restaurant/, 183 Beach St., West Haven, next to skate park). Leader: NHBC Conservation Chair Winie Wirth, 203-859-2971 or wirthwitte@att.net. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #22

This is the twenty-second and final weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from August 24 through 12:00 p.m. on September 2 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

Now that August has come to a close our regular field monitoring has ended for the 2015 season. Please send in any data that has not yet been submitted, including disturbances or other notable information such as the number of trash bags collected. Thank you again so much to all of our monitors in 2015 and we hope to see you in 2016!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/25
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/26
1 juvenile at Pleasure Beach on 8/28

American Oystercatcher
2 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 8/24
1 adult at Short Beach on 8/24
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/25
5 adults, 1 juvenile at Mouth of Oyster River West Haven/Milford on 8/25
2 adults at Milford Point on 8/26
2 adults at Mouth of Oyster River on 8/27
5 pairs, 3 adults, 4 juveniles at Cockenoe Island on 8/27
1 pair at Goose Island on 8/27
1 pair, 1 adult at Crow Island on 8/27
1 pair at East White Rock on 8/27
39 adults at Short Beach on 8/28
1 pair, 2 adults, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/28
1 pair at Calf Island on 8/28
1 pair, 1 juvenile at Little Captain's Island on 8/28
1 pair at Milford Point on 8/31
43 adults at Short Beach on 8/31

Least Tern
3 pair, 6 adults, 3 hatchlings, 2 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/24
2 adults at Long Beach on 8/24
2 pairs, 6 adults, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/26
3 adults, 1 fledgling at Milford Point on 8/28

Common Tern
500 adults/juveniles at Short Beach on 8/24
12 adults at Pleasure Beach on 8/24
105 adults/juveniles at Crow Island on 8/27
118 adults/juveniles at Sheffield Island on 8/27
207 adults/juveniles at Little Captain's Island on 8/28
150 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/31

This concludes update #22 through 9/2/15 as of 12:00 p.m.

Monday, August 24, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #21

This is the twenty-first weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from August 17 through 2:00 p.m. on August 24 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

Thank you to all who joined us last week for fencing removal at Sandy/Morse Points. Bluff Point State Park's fencing removal will take place on Tuesday, September 1, at 10:00AM and will be the final date for the season. We need all the volunteers we can get!

Please remember that taking down fencing can be physically demanding because of the potential heat and humidity, and those who join us should remember a few things:
-wear sunscreen
-drink plenty of water or sports drink
-do not attempt to carry too many stakes, there are enough volunteers and staff members so that no one should overexert themselves
-anyone who needs to limit physical exertion should stick to winding up string rolls
-take as many breaks as needed

Bluff Point is a tremendous fall migration area, and it should be a lot of fun birding with our crew. Please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you can join us for it, and thank you!

We are now in the last week of monitoring for 2015. Thank you to everyone for their contributions throughout the season and please send in any data or information if you have not yet submitted it this year. Next week's update will come midweek instead of the usual Monday and will be the final regular data and informational update of the year.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
3 fledglings at Long Beach on 8/17
1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/18
4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/18
3 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/19
5 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/19
3 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/22

American Oystercatcher
28 adults/juveniles at Short Beach on 8/17
1 pair, 3 adults, 3 fledglings at Hammonasset on 8/17
4 adults, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/18
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/18
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/19
6 adults, 3 juveniles at Mouth of Oyster River on 8/19
3 adults at Branford Harbor on 8/19
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Darrow Rocks on 8/19

Least Tern
7 pairs at Milford Point on 8/18
30 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/19
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/20

Common Tern
600 adults/juveniles at Short Beach on 8/17
60 adults/juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/17
30 adults at Milford Point on 8/18
280 adults, 150 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/18
300 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/18
150 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/19
35 adults, 19 juveniles at Umbrella Island on 8/19
217 adults at Darrow Rocks on 8/19

300 Least/Common Terns at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/22

This concludes update #21 through 8/24/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Monday, August 17, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #20

This is the twentieth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from August 10 through 2:00 p.m. on August 17 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

Thank you to those of you who joined us for fencing removal help at Long Beach in Stratford last week! We really need more assistance this Thursday, August 20th at 10:00AM at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven. Any and all volunteers are greatly appreciated! It is one of the best sites in the entire state for birds in August, and you can expect to see a lot of wonderful shorebirds, terns and other migrants while we are there.

Assisting not only helps AAfCW but it also greatly aids those at CT DEEP who have extremely limited time. It also limits the stress on young, feeding and migrant birds. Please remember that taking down fencing in August can be physically demanding because of the potential heat and humidity, and those who join us should remember a few things:
-wear sunscreen
-drink plenty of water or sports drink
-do not attempt to carry too many stakes, there are enough volunteers and staff members so that no one should overexert themselves
-anyone who needs to limit physical exertion should stick to winding up string rolls
-take as many breaks as needed

Attending a string fencing party is a great excuse to get out and do some birding! You can also talk to AAfCW and CT DEEP experts about our birds, insects, habitats and other beach topics. Please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you can join us this Thursday - thank you!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/10
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 3 fledglings at Griswold Point on 8/10
2 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/12
3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
1 pair, 2 adults, 6 fledglings/juveniles at Long Beach on 8/12
5 adults/juveniles, 2 fledglings at Long Beach on 8/13
5 adults/juveniles, 2 fledglings at Long Beach on 8/13
3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/13
6 adults/juveniles, 3 fledglings at Long Beach on 8/13
1 adult at Long Beach on 8/13
1 adult, 3 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/14
1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/14
1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/14
6 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/16
1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/16

American Oystercatcher

1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/10
2 adults at Griswold Point on 8/10
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 8/10
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
2 pairs, 2 adults at Milford Point on 8/12
9 adults at Griswold Point on 8/13
15 adults, 5 juveniles at Mouth of Oyster River West Haven/Milford on 8/13
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/13
2 pairs at Milford Point on 8/13
15 adults at Short Beach on 8/13
2 pairs, 9 adults at Milford Point on 8/14
1 pair, 10 adults at Milford Point on 8/14
1 pair, 2 adults, 1 fledgling at Bluff Point on 8/16
2 adults, 4 juveniles at Mouth of Oyster River West Haven/Milford on 8/16
6 adults at Milford Point on 8/16

Least Tern

1 adult, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/10
5 pairs, 30 adults, 3 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 5 juveniles at Bluff Point on 8/10
6 pairs, 18 adults, 5 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 8 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 8/12
6 pairs, 5 hatchlings, 3 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 8/13
6 pairs, 10 adults, 5 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 6 juveniles, 1 nest at Milford Point on 8/14
33 adults, 17 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/14
2 pairs, 17 adults, 3 fledglings at Bluff Point on 8/16
6 pairs, 8 hatchlings, 2 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/16

Common Tern
120 adults, 50 juveniles at Griswold Point on 8/10
6 adults at Bluff Point on 8/10
100 adults at Short Beach on 8/12
60 adults at Milford Point on 8/14
1,050 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 8/14
300 adults, 150 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/16

This concludes update #20 through 8/17/15 as of 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Wildlife Guards Saturday

It's hard to believe but there is only one more week left in the season for the Bridgeport Wildlife Guards! The time has flown by with all of their hard work monitoring threatened species, conducting bird surveys, cleaning up the beach, educating thousands of visitors, and having a great time promoting conservation at Pleasure Beach. Here are some photos from their efforts today.














Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fencing removal dates

Thank you to those who have signed up to volunteer for fencing removal tomorrow at Long Beach in Stratford or next Thursday at Sandy/Morse Points! We could still use some more volunteers for each location.
Once again the dates/times are:
Friday, August 14th at 10:30AM - Long Beach in Stratford
Thursday, August 20th at 10:00AM - Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven

Bluff Point's fencing removal date will be announced soon, pending Least Tern chick departure. Assisting not only helps AAfCW but it also greatly aids those at CT DEEP who have extremely limited time. It also limits the stress on young, feeding and migrant birds. Please remember that taking down fencing in August can be physically demanding because of the potential heat and humidity, and those who join us should remember a few things:
-wear sunscreen
-drink plenty of water or sports drink
-do not attempt to carry too many stakes, there are enough volunteers and staff members so that no one should overexert themselves
-anyone who needs to limit physical exertion should stick to winding up string rolls
-take as many breaks as needed

In general we look for everyone we can to help out even if you are not a past monitor or volunteer - the more the merrier. It also makes for a more pleasant morning of bird watching and discussions on the beach. Please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you can join us on one or both days, and thank you! Tomorrow should be a beautiful day and we look forward to seeing you then.

Monday, August 10, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #19

This is the nineteenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from August 3 through 4:00 p.m. on August 10 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:


We now have two string fencing removal dates set by CT DEEP. The Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds would appreciate any volunteers who could help us out at these locations and times:

Friday, August 14th at 10:30AM - Long Beach in Stratford
Thursday, August 20th at 10:00AM - Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven

Bluff Point's fencing removal date will be announced soon, pending Least Tern chick departure. Assisting not only helps AAfCW but it also greatly aids those at CT DEEP who have extremely limited time. It also limits the stress on young, feeding and migrant birds. Please remember that taking down fencing in August can be physically demanding because of the potential heat and humidity, and those who join us should remember a few things:
-wear sunscreen
-drink plenty of water or sports drink
-do not attempt to carry too many stakes, there are enough volunteers and staff members so that no one should overexert themselves
-anyone who needs to limit physical exertion should stick to winding up string rolls
-take as many breaks as needed

In general we look for everyone we can to help out even if you are not a past monitor or volunteer - the more the merrier. It also makes for a more pleasant morning of bird watching and discussions on the beach. Please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you can join us on one or both days, and thank you!

In the past week there have been multiple reports of Roseate Terns, Forster's Terns and even Black Terns from some of our beaches in Connecticut. There are also Red Knots moving through the state, a species we request all reports of now that they have been added to the federal endangered species list. You may find uncommon shorebirds like the "Western" subspecies of Willet or the White-rumped Sandpiper. That is all in addition to potential banded or flagged American Oystercatchers and Piping Plovers, plus masses of our Least and Common Terns. It is an exciting time of year to be at the shore watching all of this action and speaking to beachgoers about our birds, and we encourage you to go enjoy some monitoring! After a wet Tuesday it should be a lovely week and perfect beach and birding weather. Good luck to you!

Survey and monitoring updates:


Piping Plover
3 fledglings, 3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/3
5 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/4
1 adult, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/5
2 adults, 5 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/4
5 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/4
1 adult, 5 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/5
1 adult, 3 hatchlings at Long Beach on 8/5
3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/5
4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/6
1 adult, 5 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/6
2 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/6
1 juvenile at Short Beach on 8/7
1 adult, 3 fledglings at Long Beach on 8/7
1 fledgling, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/7
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/8
5 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/8
2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 8/9

American Oystercatcher

1 pair, 3 adults, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/3
2 pairs, 1 hatchling at Milford Point on 8/4
1 pair, 10 adults at Hammonasset on 8/4
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/4
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Milford Point on 8/5
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/5
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/6
18 adults, 5 juveniles at Baybrook Beach West Haven on 8/6
2 pairs at Milford Point on 8/6
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/6
3 adults at Short Beach on 8/7
2 pairs at Milford Point on 8/7
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/8
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/8
4 adults at Griswold Point on 8/9

Least Tern
65 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/4
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/5
1 pair, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/6
8 pairs, 15 adults, 1 hatchling, 1 fledgling, 5 nests at Milford Point on 8/6
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/8

Common Tern
112 adults, 59 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/3
54 adults, 7 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/4
50 adults, 20 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/4
55 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/4
170 adults, 2 fledglings, 18 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/5
400 adults/juveniles at Short Beach on 8/5
100 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/5
200 adults, 70 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/6
450 adults at Short Beach on 8/7
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/8

This concludes update #19 through 8/10/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Monday, August 3, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #18

This is the eighteenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from July 27 through 4:00 p.m. on August 3 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:


Temperatures may be near 90 again tomorrow with the potential for thunderstorms, so please be cautious. We will see cooling as the week continues with the potential for more scattered showers and storms later in the latter half. We are now in August, the final month of the field season, and nesting is coming to a close. Nevertheless, hatchling Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, and Least Terns remain on our beaches and need our constant monitoring.

Additionally we should keep in mind that migrant individuals, including banded/flagged birds from other areas, will be coming through the very same nesting hotspots. Please let us know about any unexpected or rare sightings, and keep an eye out for birds like other federally listed species like the Roseate Tern and Red Knot. Any time we are on the beach we can be educating beachgoers about all of the beautiful birds we can see at this time of year.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 pair, 2 juveniles, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/28
5 adults, 7 fledglings, 3 juveniles at Hammonasset on 7/28
1 adult, 4 fledglings at Cedar Island on 7/28
3 hatchlings at Long Beach on 7/28
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Ave Milford on 7/28
1 adult, 6 fledglings at Long Beach on 7/28
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/29
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/29
8 adults at Long Beach on 7/29
1 adult, 3 fledglings, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/30
2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 12 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/30
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Ave Milford on 7/30
1 adult, 1 hatchling at Milford Point on 7/30
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Bluff Point on 7/31
3 adults, 5 hatchlings, 1 fledgling at Griswold Point on 7/31
6 adults, 9 fledglings, 3 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/1
3 adults, 4 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 8/2
6 fledglings, 2 adults at Milford Point on 8/2
1 pair at Bluff Point on 8/2
8 adults at Compo Beach Marina on 8/2

American Oystercatcher
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 7/28
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/28
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/28
1 pair at Long Rock off Griswold Island on 7/29
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/29
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/29
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 hatchling at Milford Point on 7/30
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/30
2 pairs, 1 hatchling at Milford Point on 7/30
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Lewis Island, Thimbles on 7/30
1 pair at Governor Island, Thimbles on 7/30
1 pair, 2 juveniles at Channel Marker on 7/31
1 pair, 1 juvenile at Umbrella Island on 7/31
1 adult, 2 juveniles at Kelsey Island on 7/31
1 pair at Darrow Rocks on 7/31
1 adult at Calf Island on 7/31
2 pairs, 12 adults, 10 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/31
3 pairs at Milford Point on 8/2
1 pair, 1 adult at Bluff Point on 8/2
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 8/2

Least Tern
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/28
20 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/29
60 adults, 1 hatchling, 4 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/30
74 adults, 11 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/31
4 adults at Griswold Point on 8/2
76 adults, 5 fledglings, 1 juvenile, 2 nests at Milford Point on 8/2
3 pairs, 6 adults, 1 hatchling, 1 fledgling, 2 juveniles, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 8/2

Common Tern
26 adults, 52 juveniles at Hammonasset on 7/28
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/28
7 adults, 10 juveniles at Griswold Island on 7/29
20 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/29
4 adults at Long Beach on 7/29
97 adults, 3 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/30
9 adults, 5 juveniles at Thimble Islands on 7/30
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 fledgling at Great Captain's Island on 7/30
263 adults, 59 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/31
36 adults, 41 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/1
100 adults at Griswold Point on 8/2
146 adults, 18 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/2

This concludes update #18 through 8/3/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Report Southbound Flagged Plovers

While we are on the beaches monitoring waterbirds this August please be on the lookout for Piping Plovers bearing bands and flags. Migratory periods have the most potential for marked birds to be found in Connecticut. Information for reporting each flag color is provided below. Please cc both Laura.Saucier@ct.gov and ctwaterbirds@gmail.com with any reports, and feel free to email us with any questions.

Please include the following information with each report:

    Flag and band colors, location on each leg, and any alphanumeric codes on the flags.
    Location of sighting
    Date of sighting
    Any photo that shows the bands and/or flag
    Condition of legs

Please report flag colors and band combinations as follows:
  • Green flags (coded and uncoded) on the upper leg:  Please send reports to  vt.plover@gmail.com.  Some of the green flags are coded with three alphanumeric characters, but other pipers carry an uncoded (plain) green flag along with lower leg bands. 
  • Pink coded flags on the upper leg with two alphanumeric characters:  Please report to wgolder@audubon.org with a cc vt.plover@gmail.com.
  • Orange flags (uncoded) and bands: Please report to plover@umn.edu.
  • Color bands on only the upper legs and no flag:  Some of these have one band on each upper leg, some have two bands per upper leg. Please report to michelle.stantial@gmail.com with a cc to vt.plover@gmail.com.
Although the current U.S. Atlantic banders (who are extremely vigilant about this issue) confirm that they are not observing injuries nor hearing injury reports from resighters, please copy anne_hecht@fws.gov on any report that includes information about a leg injury on a Piping Plover carrying bands or other colored flags.  They also appreciate reports of "okay" banded/flagged legs if the observer was able to make a careful assessment of leg condition.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Visit Pleasure Beach

Have you visited Bridgeport's Pleasure Beach yet? If you are a birder, butterfly lover, or all-around naturalist, we encourage you to stop by soon via the water taxi! Getting to Pleasure Beach is easy with free parking at the water taxi pier lot, 91 Seaview Avenue, Bridgeport. The water taxi will bring visitors to and from Pleasure Beach, and is also free.



While there you can enjoy our WildLife Guards program, which trains, mentors, and employs ten local high schools students and two crew leaders to monitor nesting birds and engage visitors, families, and friends about Pleasure Beach and its wildlife. The WildLife Guards are at Pleasure Beach every Tuesday through Saturday, approximately 9:30 to 3:30, and offer the following walks and outreach events each week.


 

Wednesday
11:00am Coastal Ecology Walk
1:00pm Touch Tank

Friday
10:30am Bird Walk
12:00pm Pleasure Beach Trail Walk
1:30pm Plant Identification Walk

Saturday
10:30am Coastal Ecology Walk
11:30am Pleasure Beach Trail Walk
12:30pm Piping Plover Activity
1:30am Pleasure Beach Trail Walk
2:00pm Seine netting


Coastal Ecology Walk
On this walk along the shore, participants will learn about Long Island Sound, its barrier beaches, and wildlife, from Piping Plovers to Prickly Pear Cactus.  Barrier Beaches are a rare habitat is Connecticut.  They provide habitat for many state threatened species, protect shoreline communities from coastal storms, and offers a place for visitors to learn about nature.  This is a 1 mile walk along the beach.  Bring water and sunscreen and appropriate footwear.

Touch Tank
Want to learn about the marine creatures that call Pleasure Beach home?  Stop by the Touch Tank at the Info Depot to see and touch crabs, snails, mussels and more.  Bridgeport’s WildLife Guards will be on hand to share their knowledge about these intertidal inhabitants.

Bird Walk
Pleasure Beach provides nesting habitat for piping plovers and terns.  It is also serves as migratory stopover habitat for shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors.  Join the Bridgeport WildLife Guards for a 1 hour bird walk.  Binocular are available on a first come first serve basis.


Pleasure Beach Trail Walk
Did you know Pleasure Beach used to have an amusement Park?  Want to learn more?  Join the Bridgeport WildLife Guards for a tour of Pleasure Beach.  We will explore the history of this amazing place and see some wildlife too.

Plant Identification Walk
Pleasure Beach hosts a variety of flora, from the state listed Prickly Pear Cactus, to Northern Bayberry – a favorite of the Myrtle Warbler, to invasive plants like Oriental Bittersweet.  Some of these plants provide food for wildlife, while others are less nutritious and tend to take over.  Learn what you can plant in your own yard to benefit birds and other wildlife.


Piping Plover Activity
The Piping Plover, a federally threatened bird species, nests right on the shore of Pleasure Beach.   Because their nests and young are very camouflage, visitors might walk right up to them and not realize it.  During this kid-friendly program, we will learn about the little things people can do to help these birds nest successfully.  We will make marshmallow piping plover chicks and signs to increase awareness about these birds.

Seine-netting
Want to learn about the marine creatures that call Long Island Sound home?  Meet the Bridgeport Wildlife Guards on the beach at 2pm.  We will use a seine net to catch fish, shrimp and other animals that live in the water off shore of Pleasure Beach. 


This is education, conservation and advocacy in action, all in one wonderful program, reaching thousands of visitors over the summer and making a difference for rare or endangered plants and wildlife on Pleasure Beach. We hope you take the opportunity to visit and enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Long Beach Trash

Another day, another pile of trash removed from the beaches by one of us. This time CT DEEP's Rebecca Foster snapped this shot of all the garbage, especially balloons, that she took off Stratford's Long Beach during one walk! As she noted you could probably do this multiple times a day at this point of the year and come up with the same sort of pile. Summer brings all sorts of parties and events and very little thought applied to where those balloons, or the rest of the trash that can blow away or is tossed aside, end up. Those of you reading this are already very environmentally conscious, but for others who may innocently not imagine where their trash goes or others who do not seem to care, please keep encouraging them to change their ways.


Monday, July 27, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #17

This is the seventeenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from July 20 through 4:00 p.m. on July 27 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

It is going to be a hot week with temperatures expected to be in the 90s tomorrow and likely through at least Thursday, with the dew point rising each day. This means it will be dangerous for you and the birds to be out monitoring during the peak heat of the day, so please watch the weather, take the proper precautions and monitor very early or very late if you plan on going out. We feel it is best to skip a monitoring session if the temperature is over 90.

Thank you to everyone who has been picking up bags of trash from our beaches throughout the season. Please keep letting us know how much you collect and remove from your monitoring trips, and tell us about any particularly problematic situations that require additional assistance in terms of cleaning up. As a staff and volunteer group we have removed dozens and dozens of bags of garbage this year from our beaches.

Lastly, as we enter August we still have nests that require our attention, hatchlings, fledglings and juveniles. There will be adults on the move more frequently. We still need your help and monitoring not only for the young birds but to track migratory staging areas, in getting counts of birds on the move, finding banded or flagged individuals that may suddenly appear, and educating beachgoers in a very beach-friendly time of the year. We will look to keep monitoring throughout all of August. Thank you!

Survey and monitoring updates:


Piping Plover
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/20
2 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/20
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Pleasure Beach on 7/20
2 pairs, 2 adults, 10 fledglings at Hammonasset on 7/21
3 juveniles at Sandy Point Island on 7/21
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/21
4 pairs, 1 adult, 6 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/21
2 pairs, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/21
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/21
2 pairs, 6 adults, 4 hatchlings, 16 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/21
2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 1 fledgling at Long Beach on 7/21
1 pair, 3 adults, 2 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/21
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 3 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/22
6 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 4 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 1 fledgling at Long Beach on 7/22
1 adult, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/23
3 adults, 3 hatchlings, 11 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/23
1 adult, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/25
8 adults, 3 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
1 adult, 3 fledglings at Bluff Point on 7/25
6 adults, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 5 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/26
2 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/26
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/27
1 fledgling at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/27

American Oystercatcher
1 pair at Long Rock off Griswold Island on 7/20
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/20
9 pairs, 1 adult, 13 juveniles at Sandy Point Island on 7/21
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/21
1 adult at Tuxis Island on 7/21
1 pair, 1 adult at Griswold Point on 7/21
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 7/21
3 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/21
3 adults at Long Beach on 7/21
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Lewis Island, Thimbles on 7/23
2 adults at Thimble Islands on 7/23
1 pair, 5 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/23
2 pairs, 5 adults, 1 fledgling at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
1 pair, 2 juveniles at Channel Marker on 7/24
1 adult, 1 juvenile at Umbrella Island on 7/24
1 pair, 2 juveniles at Kelsey Island on 7/24
1 pair at Darrow Rocks on 7/24
1 pair at Great Captain's Island on 7/24
1 adult Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
1 pair at Griswold Point on 7/26
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/27

Least Tern
15 pairs, 30 adults, 6 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 7/21
5 pairs, 16 adults, 1 hatchling, 3 nests at Bluff Point on 7/21
1 pair, 11 adults at Bluff Point on 7/21
100 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
26 pairs, 18 adults, 20 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/22
60 adults at Milford Point on 7/23
9 pairs, 3 adults, 3 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
6 adults at Pleasure Beach on 7/25
40 adults/fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
1 pair, 8 adults, 2 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 7/25
20 adults, 2 fledglings at Griswold Point on 7/26
1 pair, 6 adults, 1 hatchling at Bluff Point on 7/26
50 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/27

Common Tern
5 adults, 7 fledglings at Griswold Island on 7/20
9 adults at Sandy Point Island on 7/21
9 adults, 13 fledglings at Hammonasset on 7/21
40 adults, 10 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/21
2 adults, 1 fledgling at Bluff Point on 7/21
42 adults at Milford Point on 7/23
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
5 adults at Kelsey Island on 7/24
1 pair, 1 adult at Great Captain's Island on 7/24
2 adults at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/25
15 adults at Pleasure Beach on 7/25
105 adults, 15 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/26

This concludes update #17 through 7/27/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Beach Trash

This photo and information via one of our colleagues, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Shorebird Technician Audrey Wiese: “PLEASE dispose of your trash properly! This is the amount of trash I collected on ONE beach after only 3 hours! If you bring trash in take it out, if you buy plastic water bottles or balloons dispose of them PROPERLY! Loose trash on a beach does nothing for us and has a lasting effect on OUR environment and the animals that live in it.” That doesn’t seem like a very happy birthday…and congratulations to the grad as you help pollute the world they’re about to enter? Let’s change it for the better, please!


Monday, July 20, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #16

This is the sixteenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from July 13 through 4:00 p.m. on July 20 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

After a chance of thunderstorms to start this week there should be average temperatures and sunny weather until the weekend. Please remember to avoid monitoring in particularly hot conditions where the temperature is near or above 90 for your safety and that of the young birds and vulnerable nests. Amazingly we had more Piping Plovers hatch in the last week, and we should have another nest hatch this week! Therefore there are still young and older chicks, fledglings, juveniles and adults living on many of our beaches and beginning to disperse and migrate. Least Terns have had a difficult year on the mainland for reasons mostly beyond our control, but locations like Milford Point and Griswold Point are now seeing a handful of chicks hatching. American Oystercatchers are also still attempting to nest in some areas, with a range of ages for their species as well. Please keep your data and all observations coming, and thank you for your monitoring and efforts in educating the public when you are at the beach!

Survey and monitoring updates:


Piping Plover
4 adults, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
20 adults, 10 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 hatchlings, 1 juvenile at Hammonasset on 7/13
2 pairs, 6 adults, 4 hatchlings, 4 fledglings, 8 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/14
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/15
20 adults/fledglings/juveniles, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
2 pairs, 3 adults, 3 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 4 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/15
1 adult, 11 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/15
1 adult, 1 hatchling at Pleasure Beach on 7/15
4 pairs, 7 fledglings, 4 juveniles at Hammonasset on 7/16
1 adult, 4 fledglings at Cedar Island on 7/16
1 pair, 3 hatchlings, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 7/16
5 adults, 4 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 7/16
7 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/16
4 adults, 4 hatchlings, 7 fledglings/juveniles at Milford Point on 7/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/16
2 pairs, 1 adult, 4 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
4 pairs, 5 adults, 7 hatchlings, 4 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/16
1 pair, 5 adults, 2 hatchlings, 9 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
3 pairs, 2 adults, 6 hatchlings, 10 fledglings at Griswold Point on 7/16
8 adults, 10 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
1 pair, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 12 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/17
1 pair, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 7/17
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Pleasure Beach on 7/17
2 pairs, 1 adult, 4 hatchlings, 4 fledglings, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
3 pairs, 1 adult, 10 fledglings at Hammonasset on 7/18
1 adult, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/18
24 adults/juveniles, 4 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
6 adults, 5 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/19
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/19

American Oystercatcher

3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/13
4 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/13
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/13
1 pair at Short Beach on 7/13
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/14
1 adult at Seal Rocks Mystic on 7/14
2 adults, 2 fledglings at Trumbull Avenue Milford on 7/15
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Quinnipeag Rock on 7/15
2 pairs, 2 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Shore Rock on 7/15
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/15
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 7/15
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/16
1 pair at Cedar Island on 7/16
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/16
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 7/16
3 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/16
2 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/16
1 pairat Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
1 pair at Griswold Point on 7/16
3 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/17
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/17
1 pair at Lewis Island Thimbles on 7/17
1 pair, 1 adult at Thimble Islands on 7/17
1 pair, 2 fledglings at Channel Marker on 7/17
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Umbrella Island on 7/17
1 pair, 2 fledglings at Pages Cove on 7/17
1 pair, 1 nest at Darrow Rocks on 7/17
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
1 pair, 7 adults, 3 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/18
3 pairs, 1 adult at Menunketesuck Island on 7/18
3 adults at Shell Avenue Milford on 7/18
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
1 adult at Great Captain's Island on 7/17
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/19

Least Tern
30 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
30 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
31 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
2 adults at Long Beach on 7/15
12 pairs, 1 hatchling, 10 nests at Milford Point on 7/16
11 adults at Hammonasset on 7/16
1 pair, 15 adults, 1 hatchling, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 7/16
40 adults at Milford Point on 7/16
50 adults at Milford Point on 7/16
20 adults, 3 hatchlings at Griswold Point on 7/16
24 pairs, 12 adults, 20 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
23 pairs, 28 adults, 2 hatchlings, 2 juveniles, 13 nests at Milford Point on 7/17
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/17
15 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
22 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
50 adults/juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
30 pairs, 10 adults, 22 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
2 pairs at Hammonasset on 7/18
120 adults, 14 hatchlings, 12 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/18
7 adults at Long Beach on 7/19

Common Tern

3 adults at Long Beach on 7/16
1 adult at Milford Point on 7/16
12 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
6 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/17
1 pair at Great Captain's Island on 7/17
7 adults, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
23 adults, 2 juveniles at Hammonasset on 7/18
50 adults at Menunketesuck Island on 7/18

This concludes update #16 through 7/20/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Monday, July 13, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #15

This is the fifteenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from July 6 through 4:00 p.m. on July 13 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

Typical hot summer beach weather has certainly arrived, and we still have young of many ages, from juveniles to fledglings, older chicks and young chicks plus nests, on our beaches. Please keep monitoring as much as you can, especially when it seems as if it will be a busy beach day. We may have thunderstorms once again this week so please keep an eye on the radar before you head out. Thank you to everyone for all their hard work and the constant updates on disturbances and threats to the birds as well. We log them all and every bit of the information you provide is valuable both now and years down the road.

Survey and monitoring updates:


Piping Plover
5 adults, 3 hatchlings, 5 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
2 pairs, 3 adults, 3 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/7
4 pairs, 5 adults, 9 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/7
1 pair, 1 nest at Shell Ave on 7/8
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 7/8
21 adults/juveniles/fledglings, 4 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/8
14 adults, 1 hatchling, 8 fledglings, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/9
5 adults, 8 juveniles, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/9
1 pair, 1 adult at Hammonasset on 7/9
1 pair, 3 adults, 1 nest at Sandy Point Island on 7/9
2 pairs, 3 adults, 4 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
9 pairs, 9 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
1 pair, 8 adults/juveniles, 6 hatchlings at Long Beach on 7/10
1 pair, 3 adults, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 7/10
23 adults/juveniles, 4 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
1 pair, 7 adults, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/12
2 pairs, 7 adults, 3 hatchlings, 7 fledglings, 4 juveniles, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 7/12
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 7/13

American Oystercatcher
1 pair, 2 juveniles at Salt Island on 7/5
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Rock off Griswold Island on 7/6
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/7
1 adult at Quinnipeag Rock on 7/7
2 pairs, 4 fledglings at Shore Rock on 7/7
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/8
6 pairs, 4 adults, 3 fledglings, 1 hatchling at Menunketesuck Island on 7/8
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
9 pairs, 1 adult, 13 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy Point Island on 7/9
8 adults at Milford Point on 7/9
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/9
1 pair, 2 fledglings at Tuxis Island on 7/9
1 pair at Hammonasset on 7/9
1 pair, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 7/10
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
1 pair, 1 nest at Lewis Island, Thimbles on 7/10
1 pair at Davis Island, Thimbles on 7/10

Least Tern
24 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
92 adults, 29 nests, 23 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/8
19 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/8
25 adults at Milford Point on 7/9
3 adults at Long Beach on 7/9
4 adults at Meigs Point on 7/9
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
3 pairs, 9 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
9 adults at Bluff Point on 7/10
40 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
2 adults at Sasco Hill Beach on 7/12
50 adults at Griswold Point on 7/12

Common Tern

34 adults, 6 nests, 2 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/8
1 adult at Milford Point on 7/9
2 adults at Long Beach on 7/9
19 adults at Sandy Point Island on 7/9
30 adults at Griswold Point on 7/12

This concludes update #15 through 7/13/15 as of 5:30 p.m.

Monday, July 6, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #14

This is the fourteenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from June 29 through 4:00 p.m. on July 6 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for extra monitoring, fireworks coverage, or the Pleasure Beach trail creation and clean-up efforts this weekend. We were able to get a lot of tremendous work done and educate so many beachgoers. Please get out if you can this week to check on the young on your beach. We will be looking for counts of chicks, especially those that may have just hatched or birds hopefully still on nests. Watch out for thunderstorms in the next couple of days as well - please be safe and good luck!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
3 pairs, 1 adult, 7 hatchlings, 1 fledgling at Hammonasset on 6/29
1 pair, 4 hatchlings at Cedar Island on 6/29
21 adults, 10 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/29
3 pairs, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 6 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 6/30
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/30
13 adults, 3 hatchlings, 16 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
1 pair, 6 adults, 9 fledglings at Long Beach on 6/30
31 adults/juveniles/fledglings, 3 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/1
1 adult, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 7/2
16 adults, 5 hatchlings, 6 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/2
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/2
2 pairs, 4 adults, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 7/2
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 7/3
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/3
4 pairs, 2 adults, 8 fledglings at Griswold Point on 7/4
12 adults, 7 hatchlings, 3 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/4
26 adults/juveniles/fledglings, 3 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/4
4 pairs, 6 adults/juveniles at Long Beach on 7/4
4 pairs, 2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 9 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/5
1 adult at Menunketesuck Island on 7/5
2 pairs, 2 adults, 5 fledglings at Long Beach on 7/5
1 adult, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 7/6
5 adults, 3 hatchlings, 5 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6

American Oystercatcher
1 pair, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/29
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/29
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
5 pairs, 3 fledglings, 1 hatchling at Menunketesuck Island on 6/30
1 adult at Rocks North of Channel Marker on 6/30
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Channel Marker on 6/30
1 pairat Rocks SE of Channel Marker on 6/30
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Democrat Rock on 6/30
1 pair, 2 fledglings at Rock at Mouth of Farm River Gut on 6/30
1 pair, 1 nest at Darrow Rocks on 6/30
5 pairs, 1 hatchling, 3 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/30
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
4 adults at Long Beach on 6/30
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
2 pairs, 2 adults, 2 hatchlings at Falkner Island on 6/30
2 pairs at Goose Island on 7/1
11 pairs, 3 adults, 4 hatchlings, 7 fledglings, 3 juveniles, 2 nests at Cockenoe Island on 7/1
1 pair, 2 fledglings at East White Rock on 7/1
1 pair at Grassy Island on 7/1
1 pair at Crow Island on 7/1
1 pair at Shea Island on 7/1
1 pair at Long Beach Norwalk on 7/1
1 pair at Sheffield Island on 7/1
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/1
1 pair at Lewis Island, Thimbles on 7/2
1 pair at Governor Island, Thimbles on 7/2
1 adult at Davis Island, Thimbles on 7/2
4 pairs, 3 adults, 3 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/2
2 pairs, 2 juveniles at Salt Island on 7/2
1 pair, 9 adults on Duck Island on 7/2
1 adult at Bluff Point on 7/2
4 pairs, 4 adults, 3 fledglings, 1 juvenile at Menunketesuck Island on 7/3
1 pair at Ram Island on 7/3
3 adults at Milford Point on 7/3
1 adult at Griswold Point on 7/4
2 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 7/4
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/4
7 pairs, 3 adults, 3 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/5
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6

Least Tern
1 pair at Hammonasset on 6/29
23 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/29
25 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
111 adults, 76 nests, 11 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/30
35 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/30
25 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/1
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Sasco Hill Beach on 7/2
2 pairs, 2 adults, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 7/2
100 adults, 29 nests, 11 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/3
35 adults at Griswold Point on 7/4
54 adults, 19 nests at Milford Point on 7/4
50 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/4
87 adults, 14 nests, 23 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 7/5
24 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6

Common Tern
1 adult at Cedar Island on 6/29
2,969 adults at Falkner Island on 6/29
2 pairs, 2 nests at Green Island on 6/30
1 pair, 1 nest at Darrow Rocks on 6/30
27 adults, 12 nests at Menunketesuck Island on 6/30
27 adults, 13 nests at Menunketesuck Island on 7/3
22 adults, 10 nests at Menunketesuck Island on 7/5

This concludes update #14 through 7/6/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Volunteers Needed This Weekend!

We could use your help this weekend in covering events! We are requesting volunteers for specific help at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven for the fireworks display on the evening of Friday, July 3, with a rain date of Sunday, July 5. CT DEEP's Rebecca Foster will be on site to coordinate. We would love to have several volunteers join us. Volunteers should aim to be at the Sandy Point parking lot by 6:30. Volunteer roles would be to educate the public and be an extra set of eyes and ears for the police officer who should be enforcing the closure of Sandy Point to protect the birds. AAfCW staff will also be on hand. The area should be cordoned off as it usually is. The event will begin at 9:15. Even if you can only join us until then that would be a terrific help. Please email ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you can make it.

Please join the Bridgeport WildLife Guards (https://www.facebook.com/BridgeportWildlifeGuards/) and the City of Bridgeport for a Pleasure Beach trail clean-up on Sunday, July 5, from 9am-2pm at Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport! You will be helping to build the first nature trail on Pleasure Beach, allowing thousands of visitors to better enjoy the bountiful wildlife and beautiful plants the unique habitat holds. Many of the species on Pleasure Beach are rare or threatened, including Piping Plovers. Getting to Pleasure Beach is easy with free parking at the water taxi pier, 91 Seaview Avenue, Bridgeport. The water taxi will bring visitors to and from Pleasure Beach, and is also free. Please bring work gloves, sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle.  For more information or to rsvp, contact Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe (cfolsom-okeefe@audubon.org). Thank you to everyone who can join us at Pleasure Beach for the trail clean-up!

Overall this holiday weekend we could use some extra help monitoring at plover and tern beaches, especially Bluff Point, Milford beaches, Long Beach, Pleasure Beach and Sandy/Morse Points. CT DEEP is particularly interested in chick counts as chick survival during the holiday weekend is problematic given all the beach parties and crowds. Any additional presence on the beach educating people about the birds and getting us information on chick survival would be wonderful.

Thank you so much!

Monday, June 29, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #13

This is the thirteenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from June 22 through 4:00 p.m. on June 29 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

Fireworks displays for the 4th will be in full swing beginning this week. As of now we are only requesting volunteers for specific help at Sandy/Morse Points on the evening of Friday, July 3, with a rain date of Sunday, July 5. CT DEEP's Rebecca Foster will be on site to coordinate. We would love to have several volunteers join us. Volunteers should aim to be at the Sandy Point parking lot by 6:30. Volunteer roles would be to educate the public and be an extra set of eyes and ears for the police officer who should be enforcing the closure of Sandy Point to protect the birds. AAfCW staff will also be on hand. The area should be cordoned off as it usually is. The event will begin at 9:15. Even if you can only join us until then that would be a terrific help.

If the worst case happens and you find a dead chick anywhere during this busy weekend...

Step 1.  DON'T DISTURB THE SITE - only if the person who stepped on the chick is present and belligerent so that you feel unsafe - CALL 911 - otherwise

Step 2. Call Law Enforcement  - DEEP 24hr Emergency Dispatcher 860-424-3333, USFWS Agent Tom Ricardi cell 860-280-4894 or USFWS officer Doug Beaudreau cell 401-354-9329 (or all 3 if you get no response).

Step 3. Take a breath and fill out the Incident Observation Report. There are a lot of things to look around at to report on for this form, so take your time, it may be needed for the future. Try to keep other beach-goers away from the area if Law Enforcement is coming so that the scene remains as you found it. If you have a camera - take photos. If Law Enforcement is NOT coming ask them how you should proceed, especially if there is a dead chick, otherwise DON'T TOUCH or PICK UP the chick - and don't let others touch it.

Overall this holiday weekend we could use some extra help monitoring at plover and tern beaches, especially Bluff Point, Milford beaches, Long Beach, Pleasure Beach and Sandy/Morse Points. CT DEEP is particularly interested in chick counts as chick survival during the holiday weekend is problematic given all the beach parties and crowds. Any additional presence on the beach educating people about the birds and getting us information on chick survival would be wonderful. 

Lastly, please join us for a Pleasure Beach trail clean-up day on Sunday, July 5, from 9am-2pm at Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport! You will be helping to build the first nature trail on Pleasure Beach, allowing thousands of visitors to better enjoy the bountiful wildlife and beautiful plants the unique habitat holds. Getting to Pleasure Beach is easy with free parking at the water taxi pier, 144 Seaview Avenue, Bridgeport. The water taxi will bring visitors to and from Pleasure Beach, and is also free. Many of the species on Pleasure Beach are rare or threatened, including our Piping Plovers. Thank you so much to everyone who has stepped up to help monitor them at this critical time, and thank you to everyone who can join us at Pleasure Beach for the trail clean-up day on July 5.

Thank you for any assistance in any of these areas during the extremely busy upcoming week!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
19 adults, 13 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/22
12 adults, 15 fledglings, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
4 pairs, 2 adults, 20 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
9 adults, 13 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
4 adults, 6 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/23
6 pairs, 6 fledglings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/23
1 adult, 1 fledgling at East Broadway Milford on 6/24
1 pair, 4 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 6/24
1 pair, 4 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 6/24
1 pair, 2 adults at Long Beach on 6/24
1 pair, 1 nest at Menunketesuck Island on 6/25
5 adults, 8 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25
1 adult, 1 fledgling at East Broadway Milford on 6/25
16 adults, 7 hatchlings, 4 fledglings at Milford Point on 6/25
1 pair, 2 adults, 5 hatchlings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/25
1 pair, 4 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 6/25
1 pair, 1 fledgling at East Broadway Milford on 6/26
7 adults, 6 fledglings at Long Beach on 6/26
3 pairs, 3 nests at Sandy Point Island on 6/26
1 pair, 1 fledgling at East Broadway Milford on 6/27
2 pairs, 7 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 6/27
2 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledglings at Cedar Island on 6/27
2 pairs, 4 adults, 6 hatchlings, 2 fledglings at Long Beach on 6/28

American Oystercatcher
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/22
1 adult at Sixpenny Island on 6/22
1 adult at Ram Island on 6/22
1 pair, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/23
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
1 pair, 4 adults at Long Beach on 6/23
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
1 adult at Great Captain's Island on 6/24
1 adult at Griswold Island on 6/24
1 adult at South Brother on 6/24
7 adults at Stratford Point on 6/24
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 6/24
3 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/24
1 pair, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/25
1 pair, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/25
3 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25
3 pairs, 4 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/25
5 pairs, 2 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/25
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25
5 adults at Long Beach on 6/26
10 pairs, 1 adult, 13 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy Point Island on 6/26
1 pair, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/27
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/28

Least Tern
6 pairs, 12 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/22
1 pair, 1 nest at Sasco Hill Beach on 6/22
45 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
20 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
30 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
60 adults, 20 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/23
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/23
1 pair at Bluff Point on 6/23
6 adults at Stratford Point on 6/24
118 adults, 86 nests, 6 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/25
25 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25
30 adults at Milford Point on 6/25
2 adults at Stratford Point on 6/25
2 adults at Long Beach on 6/25
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/26
2 adults at Hammonasset on 6/27
1 adult at Cedar Island on 6/27

Common Tern

5 adults at Stratford Point on 6/23
1 pair at Great Captain's Island on 6/24
2 adults at Milford Point on 6/24
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/24
4 adults at Stratford Point on 6/25
24 adults at Sandy Point Island on 6/26
3 adults at Hammonasset on 6/27

This concludes update #13 through 6/29/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pleasure Beach Trail Clean-up

Please join us for a Pleasure Beach trail clean-up day on Sunday, July 5, from 9am-2pm at Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport! You will be helping to build the first nature trail on Pleasure Beach, allowing thousands of visitors to better enjoy the bountiful wildlife and beautiful plants the unique habitat holds. Getting to Pleasure Beach is easy with free parking at the water taxi pier, 144 Seaview Avenue, Bridgeport. The water taxi will bring visitors to and from Pleasure Beach, and is also free.

Many of the species on Pleasure Beach are rare or threatened, including our Piping Plovers. Once again today we successfully found the mom, dad and all four hatchlings! Thank you so much to everyone who has stepped up to help monitor them at this critical time, and thank you to everyone who can join us at Pleasure Beach for the trail clean-up day on July 5. See a flyer for the event in PDF form here: http://rtpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Pleasure-beach-trail-cleanup-flyer.pdf

Monday, June 22, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #12

This is the twelfth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2015 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern and Common Tern from June 15 through 4:00 p.m. on June 22 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

Once again, we are looking for extra help to monitor the pair of Piping Plovers on Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport and their four hatchlings that are only a few days old. As of today all four hatchlings are healthy and doing well with mom and dad. This is an especially sensitive area, being so remote, and with beachgoers visiting the site now via the water taxi from the dock at 91 Seaview Avenue in Bridgeport. You can do the same for monitoring with the parking lot available there. The City has been great in working with us and helping to educate people on and protect the birds. Our WildLife Guards program, which trains, mentors, and employs ten local high schools students and two crew leaders to monitor nesting birds and engage visitors, families, and friends about Pleasure Beach and its wildlife, will not start until July 1. If anyone could provide extra monitoring coverage for us until then we would greatly appreciate it, thank you!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
10 adults, 10 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/15
2 pairs, 1 adult, 6 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/16
14 adults, 3 hatchlings, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/16
1 pair, 1 hatchling at East Broadway Milford on 6/16
15 adults, 10 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/17
2 pairs, 7 adults, 7 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/17
2 pairs, 6 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/17
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 hatchlings at Griswold Point on 6/17
2 pairs, 2 nests at Hammonasset on 6/18
2 pairs, 4 fledglings, 1 nest at Cedar Island on 6/18
1 pair, 1 hatchling at East Broadway Milford on 6/18
3 pairs, 3 adults, 4 hatchlings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/18
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 6/18
14 adults, 12 hatchlings, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/18
6 pairs, 3 hatchlings, 5 fledglings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/19
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 hatchling, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/20
3 pairs, 3 adults, 6 hatchlings, 2 nests at Griswold Point on 6/21
1 pair, 4 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 6/22

American Oystercatcher
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/15
5 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/16
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 6/16
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/16
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Green Island on 6/16
3 pairs, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/16
3 pairs at Goose Island on 6/16
7 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/17
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/17
1 pair at Canfield Island on 6/17
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/17
1 pair, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/18
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Lewis Island, Thimbles on 6/18
3 adults at Thimble Islands on 6/18
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/18
2 pairs at Pleasure Beach on 6/18
1 pair, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/19
1 pair, 1 adult at Hammonasset on 6/20
1 adult at Griswold Point on 6/21
1 pair at Stratford Point on 6/22

Least Tern

24 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/15
4 adults at Long Beach on 6/16
30 adults, 5 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/16
1 pair at Green Island on 6/16
2 pair at Hammonasset on 6/16
2 pairs, 18 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/17
3 adults at Long Beach on 6/17
30 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/17
1 pair at Cedar Island on 6/18
60 adults at Milford Point on 6/18
1 pair at Bluff Point on 6/19
3 adults at Hammonasset on 6/20
15 adults at Griswold Point on 6/21

Common Tern
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/16
3 adults at Green Island on 6/16
3 adults at Hammonasset on 6/16
1 pair at Hammonasset on 6/18
1 pair at Cedar Island on 6/18
1 pair, 1 adult at Thimble Islands on 6/18
3 adults at Milford Point on 6/18
2 adults at Hammonasset on 6/20

This concludes update #12 through 6/22/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pleasure Beach Monitoring

Good evening all,

Late last night or early this morning the pair of Piping Plovers on Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport hatched four young ones! This is an especially sensitive area, being so remote, and with beachgoers visiting the site now via the water taxi from the dock at 91 Seaview Avenue in Bridgeport. The City has been great in working with us and helping to educate people on and protect the birds. Our WildLife Guards program, which trains, mentors, and employs ten local high schools students and two crew leaders to monitor nesting birds and engage visitors, families, and friends about Pleasure Beach and its wildlife, will not start until July 1. If anyone could provide extra monitoring coverage for us until then we would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you in advance!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Least Terns & MBTA

Here is one of those birds that would have been extirpated if not for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act – the Least Tern (Sternula antillarum). One of the focal species of the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Least Terns were a target of the millinery (hat-making) trade and market hunting nearly wiped them out. Besides such a direct threat these birds must also be legally protected from harm via unaware beachgoers and unfortunately the select few who still wish to ignorantly hurt them in some way if we want them to make it through the 21st century.



These photos show courtship in progress followed by subsequent copulation and a bird inspecting the nesting area. While we do not have as many Least Terns present as we may like on the Connecticut coast this year due to the mobile nature of their breeding grounds, we hope to have success with those that have joined us in 2015.