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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #11

This is the eleventh 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 8 through 4:00 p.m. on June 15 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

This week should be a bit cooler, cloudier and wetter than the last, with still moderate and average conditions persisting to help our young birds grow safely. We have a good chance to have a very strong year of fledged Piping Plovers if we can all continue to monitor as much as possible while they are at this vulnerable stage of life. Thank you for all making a real difference on our beaches in picking up trash, talking to beachgoers, maintaining fencing and signage, reporting loose dogs, educating boaters, and everything all of you do every day to facilitate a successful season.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/9
3 pairs, 2 adults, 6 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/9
2 pairs at Hammonasset on 6/9
2 pairs, 4 fledglings at Cedar Island on 6/9
6 pairs, 11 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
2 pairs, 4 adults, 3 hatchlings at Griswold Point on 6/10
15 adults, 20 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
4 pairs, 2 adults, 10 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
2 pairs, 5 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/11
1 pair, 1 hatchling at East Broadway Milford on 6/11
13 adults, 9 hatchlings at Milford Point on 6/11
2 pairs at Hammonasset on 6/11
2 pairs, 4 fledglings at Cedar Island on 6/11
1 pair, 1 nest at Menunketesuck Island on 6/12
4 pairs, 2 adults, 12 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/13
2 pairs, 3 adults, 7 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/13
3 pairs, 3 adults, 8 hatchlings, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 6/14
10 adults, 8 hatchlings at Milford Point on 6/14
6 pairs, 2 adults, 9 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/14
13 adults, 16 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/14
7 adults, 5 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/14
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/14

American Oystercatcher
2 pairs, 1 nest at Vincent Island on 6/8
1 pair at Griswold Point on 6/8
1 pair, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/9
1 pair, 5 adults, 2 fledglings at Falkner Island on 6/9
3 adults at Long Beach on 6/9
1 adult at Stratford Point on 6/9
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/10
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
1 pair at Salt Island on 6/10
1 pair at Quinnipeag Rock on 6/10
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings, 2 fledglings at Shore Rock on 6/10
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
8 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/11
3 pairs, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/11
3 pairs at Cedar Island on 6/11
5 pairs, 3 adults, 5 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/12
2 pairs, 3 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/12
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/13
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/13
1 pair at Bluff Point on 6/13
5 pairs, 6 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/13
2 adults at Milford Point on 6/14
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/14
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/14
3 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/14
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/14
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/14

Least Tern
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/9
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/9
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/9
1 adult at Short Beach on 6/9
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/10
2 adults at Long Beach on 6/10
20 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
14 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
6 adults at Griswold Point on 6/10
1 pair, 1 nest at Sasco Hill Beach on 6/10
10 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/11
30 pairs, 15 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
60 adults at Milford Point on 6/11
4 adults at Stratford Point on 6/12
25 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/13
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/13
30 adults at Griswold Point on 6/14
24 adults, 4 nests at Milford Point on 6/14
35 adults, 8 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/14
60 adults, 20 nests at Milford Point on 6/14
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/14

Common Tern

2 adults at East Broadway Milford on 6/9
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/9
2 adults at Milford Point on 6/9
4 adults at Stratford Point on 6/9
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
1 pair at Milford Point on 6/10
4 adults at Stratford Point on 6/10
1 adult at East Broadway Milford on 6/11
8 adults at Stratford Point on 6/11
1 pair, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
1 pair at Milford Point on 6/11
5 adults at Stratford Point on 6/12
5 adults at Stratford Point on 6/13
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/14

This concludes update #11 through 6/15/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Least Terns Nesting

We are having a tough time recruiting terns on our beaches thus far in 2015, and Least Tern numbers have been capped in the dozens at our most active sites, down from what can be hundreds in some seasons.

 
This is largely beyond our control and likely due to forage fish in Long Island Sound. We will see how it turns out, and hopefully those that do nest here can have a successful summer. We will be doing our best to help them, and thank you to all of our volunteer monitors assisting us in that effort each day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

American Oystercatcher Hatchling

How can you not love this precious American Oystercatcher hatchling? It looks rather bland for now - all the better to blend in to the beach - but it will soon grow into a gorgeous creature.


That camouflage will allow this bird the best chance of surviving to adulthood, sporting that big and bold orange bill and returning to the Northeast to breed for potentially decades.

Monday, June 8, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #10

This is the tenth 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 1 through 4:00 p.m. on June 8 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

We seem to be near the peak of Piping Plover hatchlings running around our beaches, and this is a very critical period. The more time you can spend monitoring and educating the public the better as the birds face many threats. We may have already lost some hatchlings to Fish Crows and high tides in a couple of locations, and we want to ensure that beachgoers are mindful of these little ones while the birds are so vulnerable. Please use caution around distraction displays and remember how often the tiny birds freeze in place on the beach. Good luck and thank you!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
3 pairs, 3 adults, 11 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 6/3
5 pairs, 7 hatchlings, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/3
2 pairs, 2 nests at Short Beach on 6/3
3 pairs, 1 adult, 7 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/3
1 pair, 1 hatchling at East Broadway Milford on 6/3
2 pairs, 2 nests at Hammonasset on 6/3
2 pairs, 1 adult, 4 hatchlings, 1 nest at Cedar Island on 6/3
11 adults, 14 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
1 adult at Waterford Town Beach on 6/4
3 pairs, 2 adults, 6 hatchlings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/4
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 6/4
3 pairs, 4 adults, 6 hatchlings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/4
2 pairs, 1 adult, 6 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/4
3 pairs, 2 adults, 5 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/4
7 pairs, 6 hatchlings, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 6/4
5 pairs, 3 adults, 16 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
7 pairs, 14 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
10 adults, 9 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
1 pair, 4 adults, 5 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/7
2 pairs, 2 adults at Long Beach on 6/7
8 pairs, 5 hatchlings, 4 nests at Griswold Point on 6/7
1 adult at Menunketesuck Island on 6/8

American Oystercatcher
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings at Falkner Island on 6/1
1 pair at Stratford Point on 6/3
1 pair at Hammonasset on 6/3
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
3 adults at Long Beach on 6/3
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/4
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Green Island on 6/4
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Tuxis Island on 6/4
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings at Shore Rock on 6/4
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Quinnipeag Rock on 6/4
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/4
1 pair, 1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 6/4
2 adults at Bluff Point on 6/4
2 pairs, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/4
2 pairs, 4 adults, 2 hatchlings at Milford Point on 6/6
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
2 pairs, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
2 pairs, 8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/7
2 adults at Bluff Point on 6/7
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/7
1 pair at Short Beach on 6/7
3 adults at Long Beach on 6/7
6 pairs, 7 adults, 5 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/8
6 pairs, 2 adults, 5 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 6/8

Least Tern
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
5 adults at Long Beach on 6/3
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/3
3 adults at East Broadway Milford on 6/3
1 pair at Hammonasset on 6/3
13 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
1 pair at Shore Rock on 6/4
2 adults at Stratford Point on 6/4
5 adults at Long Beach on 6/4
1 pair, 1 nest at Sasco Hill Beach on 6/5
2 adults at Stratford Point on 6/5
2 adults at Stratford Point on 6/6
3 pairs, 5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
50 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/6
2 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/7
45 adults, 10 nests at Griswold Point on 6/7
3 adults at Stratford Point on 6/8
40 adults at Menunketesuck Island on 6/8

Common Tern
2 adults at Stratford Point on 6/3
2 pairs at Hammonasset on 6/3
8 pairs, 1 adult at Shore Rock on 6/4
1 adult at Stratford Point on 6/4
9 adults at Stratford Point on 6/5
7 adults at Stratford Point on 6/6
4 adults at Stratford Point on 6/8

This concludes update #10 through 6/8/15 as of 5:00 p.m.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fish Crows

This is a marauding Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus), as identified by voice, flying through a neighborhood and searching for nests to raid.
 

If you have a lot of experience with them you can get used to picking out the slightly smaller Fish vs. American Crow as well. Whether it is tiny hatchlings or developing eggs the many nests that fill our lands, from forest to shore, are often extremely tempting targets for corvids at this point in the season. Both a male and female Baltimore Oriole were aggressively attacking this bird until it vacated the area.

 
Groups of Fish Crow are an enormous threat to young Piping Plovers on Connecticut beaches, and we suspect they already took a couple hatchlings this year while targeting multiple busy locations. This is also why picking up ANY and ALL trash at the beach is helpful as it discourages them, and mammals, from lingering or frequenting a given area for an easy meal.

Volunteers Needed - Stratford Point

Volunteers are needed to help restore tidal marsh habitat at Stratford Point on Tuesday, Wednesday and potentially Thursday next week (June 9th, 10th and 11th). 2,500 Spartina (marsh grass) plugs will be arriving from New Jersey on Tuesday morning and we are asking that volunteers arrive at 11 AM. Work will continue until the tide is too high to plant anymore (~4 PM). These plants came as a result of some surplus supplies left over from Hurricane Sandy recovery projects in New Jersey.

Work will begin at 9 AM on Wednesday and again continue until late afternoon. If needed the work will also continue on Thursday. Please plan to walk around in the intertidal zone and get a bit messy. Rubber boots or other shoes that you don't mind getting muddy and/or wet would be advised. Extra wheelbarrows and shovels would be helpful.

Stratford Point is at 1207 Prospect Drive in Stratford and the gate will be open if you need to arrive at a later time. Please email ctwaterbirds@gmail.com for more information or if you would like to help.

This effort will not only help to reduce coastal erosion at this site, but also improve habitat for shorebirds and migrating marsh sparrows such as Seaside, Nelson's and Saltmarsh Sparrows, which all feed on spartina seeds in fall migration. Please join us if you can! Thanks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Piping Plovers Increasing

We have a lot of tiny Piping Plover hatchlings popping out on beaches across Connecticut right now, but we even have additional pairs and adult birds showing up on territories. These birds may have lost their nest somewhere else, or even a mate, and are searching for new prime real estate and other individuals who have not paired off. Sean took this photo of Milford Point's eighth (!) pair of Piping Plovers!


The entire coast of the town of Milford is one of the best Piping Plover areas in the state, and the birds certainly want to nest there, though there are only so many "homes" available. There has also been an "extra" male in the area, and the boys who already have established territories and growing families have not been too welcoming.


We will keep working to protect them all day, every day, and we thank you all for your help in monitoring and reporting sightings, disturbances, and their progress. With all the work these busy parents have to do please keep giving them all the space you can on our beaches, staying near the waterline and far from fenced areas.

Monday, June 1, 2015

AAfCW 2015 Volunteer Update #9

This is the ninth 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 May 26 through 4:00 p.m. on June 1 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff spanning that period.

Informational updates:

After some inclement weather to start the week conditions should clear up for monitoring midweek. As many of you have already done please email rsuzf@hotmail.com and Laura.Saucier@ct.gov along with us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com to immediately alert us to any nests you find of Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers as well as Least Terns and Common Terns. There will be more terns nesting soon and we hope to help them as quickly as possible.

As we move through the end of the spring and enter the summer we will be continually seeing more bird and human activity on our beaches with more nests and young to come. The identification of the age of these young can be difficult as they grow, but for now all of the young are hatchlings. Please remember to visit our blog for dozens of documents in the right-hand column including outreach materials, species fact sheets and more.

This PDF file from CT DEEP is one of the most important containing contact information, instructions on what to do in difficult situations and with disturbances plus dog laws on beaches: http://rtpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/WHO-TO-CONTACT-IN-AN-EMERGENCY_CT-Dog-Laws.pdf

Thank you as always!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
7 pairs, 4 hatchlings, 6 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
14 adults, 4 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
1 pair, 3 hatchlings, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 5/27
6 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
3 pairs, 6 adults, 1 hatchling, 2 nests at Griswold Point on 5/27
18 adults, 4 hatchlings, 6 nests at Milford Point on 5/28
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 5/29
3 pairs, 4 adults, 11 hatchling at Bluff Point on 5/29
6 pair, 3 adults, 14 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/29
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/30
1 pair, 2 adults, 4 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 5/30
5 pairs, 1 adult, 6 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/30
1 adult at Short Beach on 5/30
1 pair, 3 hatchling at East Broadway Milford on 5/31
2 pairs, 14 adults, 6 hatchlings, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 5/31
3 pairs, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/31
1 pair, 5 adults, 4 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31

American Oystercatcher
3 pairs, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
2 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/27
2 adults at Peck Ave, West Haven on 5/27
3 pairs, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
2 adults at Stratford Point on 5/27
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28
4 pairs at Milford Point on 5/28
1 adult at Stratford Point on 5/28
3 adults at Long Beach on 5/29
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/29
1 pair, 1 adult at Bluff Point on 5/29
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Quinnipeag Rock on 5/29
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Shore Rock on 5/29
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/29
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/30
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 5/31
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31

Least Tern
6 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
3 pairs, 2 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/27
4 adults at Stratford Point on 5/27
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
10 pairs, 20 adults at Griswold Point on 5/27
30 adults at Milford Point on 5/28
3 adults at Stratford Point on 5/28
4 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/29
1 pair, 1 adult at Bluff Point on 5/29
1 pair at Green Island on 5/29
2 adults at Stratford Point on 5/29
1 pair, 5 adults at Sasco Hill Beach on 5/30
2 pairs, 1 adult at Long Beach on 5/30
20 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/30
4 adults at Long Beach on 5/30
1 pair, 6 adults at Short Beach on 5/30
4 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/31
40 adults at Griswold Point on 5/31
1 pair, 4 adults at Long Beach on 5/31
12 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31

Common Tern
2 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/27
11 adults at Stratford Point on 5/27
1 adult at Milford Point on 5/28
8 adults at Stratford Point on 5/27
5 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/29
9 pairs at Shore Rock on 5/29
3 pairs at Green Island on 5/29
6 adults at Stratford Point on 5/29
4 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/31

This concludes update #9 through 6/1/15 as of 5:00 p.m.