PIPL

PIPL

Monday, June 19, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #11

This is the eleventh weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern through 10:00 a.m. on June 19 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on June 12.

Informational updates:

Once again the main headline of the week is weather with today and tomorrow potentially producing poor monitoring conditions and cancelled surveys. Wednesday may yield a shower before a couple of hopefully dry days and then a weekend with the chance for more precipitation. Even as we pass through mid-June we have Piping Plover nests being exclosed, so please be on the lookout for additional nests and be aware DEEP and AAfCW staff are working as diligently as possible - when weather allows - to get these tasks completed. This also means we will hopefully be seeing hatchlings and fledglings in need of monitoring well into August, so your help will certainly be needed until September! As always, thank you all for your data, information, and education while on the beach.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
5 pairs, 2 adults, 9 hatchlings, 6 nests at Long Beach on 6/12
2 pairs, 5 adults, 4 hatchlings, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/13
10 adults, 8 nests at Milford Point on 6/13
2 pairs, 5 adults, 6 hatchlings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/13
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 hatchlings at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/14
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/14
5 pairs, 3 nests at Sandy Point Island on 6/14
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/14
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/14
2 pairs, 4 adults, 2 hatchlings, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/15
7 pairs, 1 hatchling, 6 nests at Milford Point on 6/15
13 adults, 10 hatchlings, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/15
4 pairs, 12 adults, 11 hatchlings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/15
10 adults, 7 nests at Milford Point on 6/15
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 6/15
7 pairs, 6 hatchlings, 3 nests at Hammonasset on 6/16
1 pair, 4 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/16
1 pair, 4 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/16
4 pairs, 4 adults, 6 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/17
2 pairs, 7 adults, 7 hatchlings, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/18

American Oystercatcher
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/12
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/12
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/13
2 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/13
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/13
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/14
1 pair, 7 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/15
4 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/15
5 adults at Long Beach on 6/15
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/15
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/15
1 pair, 2 adults, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/17
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/18

Least Tern
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/12
9 pairs at Long Beach on 6/12
12 pairs at Long Beach on 6/13
8 adults, 4 nests at Milford Point on 6/13
36 adults at Long Beach on 6/13
14 nests, 5 adults at Sandy Point Island on 6/14
30 adults at Milford Point on 6/15
13 adults, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/15
30 adults, 4 nests at Milford Point on 6/15
38 adults, 12 nests at Hammonasset on 6/16
4 pairs, 6 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 6/18

Common Tern
1 pair, 1 nest at Salt Island on 6/13
2 adults at Menunketesuck Island on 6/13

This concludes update #11 through 6/19/17 as of 12:00 p.m.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday is for Families

We hope you have a wonderful weekend, and if you visit the beach, please remember there are a lot of kids out there - or under there. Keep on sharing the shore so we can all have a superb and successful summer, and thank you!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #10

This is the tenth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern through 12:00 p.m. on June 12 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on June 5.

Informational updates:

This week's weather turned hot very quickly, and in the midst of this heat wave it is important to remember that we also have an upper limit to acceptable monitoring temperatures. On days where it is near or above 90 degrees we ask that you skip your session and stay home for your safety as well as that of the birds. Such heat can be dangerous for eggs and young hatchlings, and less stress from us - similar to other inclement weather - is critical. Please bear in mind that these conditions are also often more conducive for thunderstorms and to keep an eye on the radar during any particularly hot, humid weather.

We have had a lot of renesting over the past week from Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers. More exclosing is and will be occurring. Please keep reporting new nests directly to CT DEEP via Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov and Laura.Saucier@ct.gov. Thank you for all of your education efforts during the now busy beach season. In a couple of weeks we will want to keep in mind coastal fireworks displays, and we will let you know about any specific sites where we may need extra help for these events, or for the July 4th holiday.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
7 pairs, 2 adults, 1 hatchling, 6 nests at Milford Point on 6/5
7 pairs, 3 adults, 5 hatchlings, 6 nests at Long Beach on 6/5
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/6
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 6/6
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 6/6
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/6
5 pairs, 4 adults, 10 hatchlings, 3 nests at Long Beach on 6/7
5 pairs, 8 hatchlings, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 6/7
2 pairs, 6 adults at Long Beach on 6/7
1 pair, 2 adults, 1 hatchling at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/7
1 pair, 3 nests at Milford Point on 6/7
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/7
2 pairs, 4 adults, 8 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/7
1 adult at Short Beach on 6/7
16 adults, 7 hatchlings, 4 nests at Long Beach on 6/8
1 pair, 5 adults, 1 hatchling, 3 nests at Milford Point on 6/8
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Pleasure Beach on 6/8
2 pairs, 3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/8
6 pairs, 4 adults, 4 hatchlings, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/8
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 6/8
6 pairs, 1 adult, 8 hatchlings, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 6/9
3 pairs, 9 adults, 9 hatchlings, 9 nests at Bluff Point on 6/9
2 pairs, 3 adults, 1 hatchling, 3 nests at Long Beach on 6/9
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings, 1 nest at Mumford Cove on 6/9
7 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
2 adults, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/10
7 pairs, 2 adults, 5 hatchlings, 3 nests at Hammonasset on 6/10
1 pair, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 6/11
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/11
5 pairs, 3 adults, 3 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
1 pair, 1 hatchling, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/11
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/11
7 pairs, 1 adult, 6 hatchlings, 3 nests at Long Beach on 6/11

American Oystercatcher
2 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/5
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/5
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/6
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/7
1 pair, 5 adults at Bluff Point on 6/7
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/7
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/7
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 6/7
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Quinnipeag Rocks on 6/7
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/7
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/8
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 6/8
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Branford Harbor Channel Marker on 6/8
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Umbrella Island on 6/8
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Green Island on 6/8
1 pair, 3 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/8
3 pairs, 5 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/8
2 pairs at Kelsey Island on 6/8
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/9
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/9
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/9
9 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/10
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/10
1 pair, 2 adults at Hammonasset on 6/10
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
3 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/11

Least Tern
19 pairs at Long Beach on 6/5
5 adults at Milford Point on 6/7
40 adults at Long Beach on 6/7
2 adults at Bluff Point on 6/7
22 pairs, 7 nests at Long Beach on 6/7
22 adults, 5 nests at Long Beach on 6/8
4 pairs at Milford Point on 6/8
15 adults, 2 nests at Milford Point on 6/8
1 adult at Bluff Point on 6/9
6 adults at Long Beach on 6/9
1 pair at Bluff Point on 6/9
23 adults, 10 nests at Mumford Cove on 6/9
5 adults at Long Beach on 6/10
5 pairs, 4 adults, 5 nests at Hammonasset on 6/10
7 pairs, 3 adults, 6 nests at Hammonasset on 6/10
9 adults at Long Beach on 6/11
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/11
14 pairs, 28 adults, 6 nests at Long Beach on 6/11

Common Tern
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/7
1 adult at Bluff Point on 6/7
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/8
1 adult at Milford Point on 6/8
4 pairs at Umbrella Island on 6/8
5 pairs at Green Island on 6/8
2 pairs at Kelsey Island on 6/8
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 6/9

This concludes update #10 through 6/12/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Monday, June 5, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #9

This is the ninth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern through 12:00 p.m. on June 5 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on May 29.

Informational updates:

Yet more wet weather is on the way this week with rain expected on multiple days. The inclement conditions continue to make life more difficult for our birds, from washed out nests to more effort expended in keeping hatchlings well fed and warm. Please keep this in mind and that, as always, we ask that you please skip your monitoring if there is rain on the forecast or occurring at the beach when you arrive. Checking the local radar before you head out is always a good idea. While we know you will miss the birds but they need extra space and freedom to move during poor weather, and the beaches will have fewer visitors to educate as well.

While Piping Plovers are extremely widespread this year our Least and Common Terns seem to be rather concentrated in a handful of areas. As said last week, please remember that we do not need detailed tern data such as egg counts or even nest counts, and that caution while not flushing them off eggs is paramount. 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
1 adult, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/29
7 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/29
11 pairs, 1 adult, 10 hatchlings, 9 nests at Long Beach on 5/29
1 pair, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/29
5 pairs, 3 nests at Milford Point on 5/29
2 pairs, 2 adults, 1 hatchling, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/30
3 pairs at Sandy Point Island on 5/30
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 5/30
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/30
1 adult, 1 nest at Sherwood Island State Park on 5/30
1 pair, 7 adults, 1 hatchling at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/30
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/30
3 pairs, 5 adults, 6 hatchlings, 5 nests at Long Beach on 5/30
10 pairs, 8 nests at Milford Point on 5/30
1 adult at Short Beach on 5/31
6 pairs, 6 hatchlings, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 5/31
5 pairs, 1 adult, 3 nests at Bluff Point on 5/31
7 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 4 nests at Bluff Point on 5/31
5 pairs, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31
1 pair, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/31
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/31
1 pair, 4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31
8 adults, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31
6 pairs, 4 nests at Milford Point on 5/31
12 adults, 4 nests at Milford Point on 6/1
10 adults, 8 hatchlings, 4 nests at Long Beach on 6/1
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 6/1
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 6/1
2 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/1
11 pairs, 9 nests at Milford Point on 6/1
12 adults, 2 hatchlings, 6 nests at Long Beach on 6/1
10 pairs, 1 hatchling, 5 nests at Milford Point on 6/1
5 pairs, 3 adults, 5 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 6/2
2 adults, 4 hatchlings at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/2
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Pleasure Beach on 6/2
9 adults, 2 hatchlings, 5 nests at Long Beach on 6/2
1 pair, 4 adults, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/2
3 pairs, 10 adults, 1 hatchling, 6 nests at Milford Point on 6/2
1 adult at Short Beach on 6/2
4 pairs, 1 adult, 5 hatchlings, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 6/2
5 adults, 3 hatchlings, 4 nests at Long Beach on 6/3
3 pairs, 1 adult, 1 hatchling, 4 nests at Milford Point on 6/3
2 pairs, 5 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 6/3
1 pair, 3 adults, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
6 pairs, 2 adults, 9 hatchlings, 4 nests at Long Beach on 6/4
1 adult, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 6/4
6 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 3 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/4

American Oystercatcher
3 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/29
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/29
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/29
12 adults at Milford Point on 5/29
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/30
3 pairs, 3 adults at Milford Point on 5/30
1 adult at Long Beach on 5/30
1 pair at Calf Pasture Beach on 5/30
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 5/30
1 pair, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/30
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/30
9 pairs, 1 adult, 17 hatchlings at Sandy Point Island on 5/30
2 pairs at Sandy Point on 5/31
7 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31
3 adults at Milford Point on 5/31
2 pairs at Hammonasset on 5/31
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31
2 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/31
15 adults at Milford Point on 6/1
1 pair, 3 adults at Long Beach on 6/1
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 6/1
1 pair at Cos Cob Park on 6/1
1 pair at Diving Island on 6/1
2 pairs, 4 hatchlings at Greenwich Island on 6/1
2 pairs at Great Captain Island on 6/1
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/1
3 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 6/1
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 6/2
3 pairs, 1 adult at Hammonasset on 6/2
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/2
1 pair at Ocean Beach State Park on 6/2
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 6/2
1 pair at Tuxis Island on 6/2
2 pairs at Gull Rocks on 6/2
2 pairs, 1 nest at Horse Island, Joshua Cove on 6/2
1 pair at Fish Islands on 6/2
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Crab Island on 6/2
1 pair at Contentment Island Rocks on 6/2
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/2
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/3
3 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/3
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/3
3 pairs at Milford Point on 6/3
1 adult, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/4
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/4

Least Tern
18 pairs, 15 nests at Long Beach on 5/29
1 pair at Pleasure Beach on 5/29
70 adults at Long Beach on 5/29
1 pair at Pleasure Beach on 5/30
3 adults at Short Beach on 5/30
4 pairs, 3 nests at Milford Point on 5/30
4 pairs at Sandy Point Island on 5/30
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/31
10 adults, 4 nests at Milford Point on 5/31
4 pairs, 2 nests at Hammonasset on 5/31
10 adults at Milford Point on 6/1
1 pair, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/1
56 adults, 6 nests at Long Beach on 6/1
5 pairs, 1 adult, 4 nests at Hammonasset on 6/2
2 pairs, 3 adults, 5 nests at Long Beach on 6/2
1 pair, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/2
1 adult at Bluff Point on 6/2
6 pairs, 6 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/2
3 pairs, 11 adults at Long Beach on 6/3
50 adults at Long Beach on 6/4
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/4

Common Tern
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 5/30
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/30
11 adults at Sherwood Island State Park on 5/30
4 adults at Hammonasset on 5/31
2 pairs at Diving Island on 6/1
1 pair at Joshua Cove on 6/2
5 pairs, 3 nests at Crab Island on 6/2
3 adults at Bluff Point on 6/2

This concludes update #9 through 6/5/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Piping Plover Hatchling

The NBA has a campaign called, "This Is Why We Play", and the photo here is why we advocate, why we educate, and why we conserve species and their habitats. This is a recently photographed hatchling Piping Plover, only a few days old, foraging on the beach with its siblings and parents.


It is often difficult work in a challenging field for our volunteers and staff. While we can sometimes forget what brought us here, this is what makes it all worthwhile. Please keep on spreading our share the shore philosophy as we head into June and the summer beach season, and pass on the passion for these delightfully adorable birds!

Monday, May 29, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #8

This is the eighth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern through 12:00 p.m. on May 29 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on May 22.

Informational updates:

Thank you all for the extra efforts this Memorial Day weekend! The recent stormy weather and high tides claimed more nests of Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers with the latter species possibly losing some hatchlings on offshore islands as well. There will be more renesting pairs while others who made it through the difficult conditions are hatching birds across all of our sites. Please see this PDF for aging Piping Plovers: http://rtpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DEEP-PloverTern-Aging.pdf

The PDF also includes Least Terns, and while we will not see young until later next month, we do have some terns beginning to nest in colonies on a few of our beaches. Please remember that like Piping Plovers we do not need data such as egg counts or even nest or pair counts on these birds. We would prefer caution and care, staying by the water, and watching them from afar, not flushing them off nests. If they are calling and dive bombing you then you are too close and should move out of the area. If you see groups feeding in the Sound or a marsh, or flying around the beach from afar, counting them off quickly by fives and tens can get you a good estimate. These birds are disturbed and flushed so often by everything from predators to people that it is difficult for them to be successful, so ensuring we do not do that will help them tremendously.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
3 pairs, 6 adults, 6 nests, 4 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/23
5 pairs, 4 adults, 5 nests, 1 hatchling at Long Beach on 5/23
3 pairs, 2 adults, 2 nests, 4 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 5/23
3 pairs, 8 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 5/23
1 pair, 6 adults, 2 nests, 3 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/23
1 pair, 6 adults, 3 nests at Milford Point on 5/23
6 adults, 6 nests, 3 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/23
4 pairs, 2 adults, 2 nests, 1 hatchling at Long Beach on 5/23
4 pairs, 4 adults, 5 nests at Milford Point on 5/23
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 5/23
1 pair, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/23
5 pairs, 1 adult, 4 nests, 4 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 5/23
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest, 4 hatchlings at Mumford Cove on 5/23
1 pair, 4 adults, 3 nests, 3 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/23
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/24
12 pairs, 10 nests, 4 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/24
6 adults, 1 hatchling at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/24
8 adults, 6 nests at Long Beach on 5/24
6 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/24
5 pairs, 3 adults, 5 nests at Milford Point on 5/24
1 pair, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/25
1 adult at Short Beach on 5/25
1 pair, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/26
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/26
1 pair, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/26
5 pairs, 2 nests, 4 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 5/26
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
4 pairs, 4 nests at Milford Point on 5/26
1 pair, 6 adults, 5 nests, 4 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/26
2 pairs, 3 adults at Long Beach on 5/27
3 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/27
1 pair, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/27
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 5/27
1 pair, 6 adults, 3 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 5/27
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 5/27
1 adult, 1 nest at East Broadway Milford on 5/27
1 adult, 1 nest at Peck Ave. West Haven on 5/27
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 5/27
11 pairs, 8 nests at Milford Point on 5/27
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/28
8 adults, 7 nests, 3 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/28
1 pair, 1 nest at Sherwood Island State Park on 5/28
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 5/28
1 pair, 1 nest at Sherwood Island State Park on 5/28
7 pairs, 1 adult, 6 nests, 10 hatchlings at Long Beach on 5/28
5 pairs, 2 nests, 3 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 5/28
1 pair, 3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28

American Oystercatcher
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/23
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/23
2 pairs, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/23
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/23
3 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/23
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/23
2 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/23
3 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/23
1 pair, 1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 5/23
2 pairs, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/23
1 pair, 1 nest at Mumford Cove on 5/23
1 pair, 1 nest at Ram Island on 5/23
1 adult at Short Beach on 5/24
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/24
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/24
2 adults at Long Beach on 5/24
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/24
1 pair at Compo Beach on 5/24
8 pairs, 4 hatchlings, 2 nests at Cockenoe Island on 5/24
1 pair, 1 nest at Grassy Island on 5/24
1 pair, 1 nest at Goose Island on 5/24
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/24
5 adults at Short Beach on 5/25
3 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
2 adults at Short Beach on 5/26
2 pairs, 1 adult at Hammonasset on 5/26
2 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/26
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/26
2 pairs at Milford Point on 5/26
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/27
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
2 pairs at Hammonasset on 5/27
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/27
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 5/28
3 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/28
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/28
2 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28
2 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28

Least Tern
10 pairs, 50 adults at Long Beach on 5/23
3 pairs, 32 adults at Long Beach on 5/23
2 pairs at Bluff Point on 5/23
4 adults at Milford Point on 5/23
8 adults at Long Beach on 5/23
3 adults at Milford Point on 5/23
3 adults at Milford Point on 5/23
3 pairs at Bluff Point on 5/23
1 pair, 2 adults at Mumford Cove on 5/23
10 pairs at Long Beach on 5/23
30 pairs, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/24
18 adults at Long Beach on 5/24
2 pairs at Long Beach on 5/24
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/24
6 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
20 adults at Long Beach on 5/26
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/26
3 pairs at Hammonasset on 5/26
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/27
11 adults at Hammonasset on 5/27
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/27
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/28
2 adults at Compo Beach on 5/28
6 pairs, 40 adults at Long Beach on 5/28
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28

Common Tern
10 adults at Long Beach on 5/23
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/23
2 adults at Bluff Point on 5/23
1 adult at Milford Point on 5/23
1 pair at Bluff Point on 5/23
2 pairs at Ram Island on 5/23
2 adults at Short Beach on 5/24
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/24
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/24
391 adults at Cockenoe Island on 5/24
2 adults at Short Beach on 5/25
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/26
1 pair at Hammonasset on 5/26
2 adults at Milford Point on 5/26
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28
2 adults at Short Beach on 5/28
5 adults at Compo Beach on 5/28
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/28

This concludes update #8 through 5/29/17 as of 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Share the Shore Memorial Day Weekend

58?! That's how many Piping Plover pairs have come to nest in Connecticut so far in 2017, and we anticipate we may add a few yet.


Our volunteers, along with CT DEEP and AAfCW staff, are doing a tremendous job on busy and birdy beaches. This year's total would be Connecticut's third highest ever after two record-setting seasons despite our worries about potentially losing birds overwintering in the Bahamas due to the destructive force of Hurricane Matthew. Tiny Piping Plover hatchlings are now appearing on our beaches, too! Please remember to #ShareTheShore this Memorial Day weekend and respect their space because there is plenty of sand for all of us. Pass it on!

CT DEEP Memorial Day Press Release

The Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds is a key partner for the state and federal agencies in efforts to conserve nesting coastal waterbirds in Connecticut. Please see the below press release from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

May 25, 2017

PRESS RELEASE
DEEP Announces Measures to Protect Shorebirds at Coastal Beaches and Wading Birds at Offshore Islands

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that Charles Island in Milford and Duck Island in Westbrook will be closed to the public from now through September 9, 2017, to prevent disturbances to nesting birds. Both islands have been designated by DEEP as Natural Area Preserves, primarily due to their importance as nesting habitats for several state-listed birds, including snowy egrets and great egrets (state threatened species), glossy ibis, and little blue herons (state special concern). The two islands also have been designated as Important Bird Areas by Audubon Connecticut.

In addition, the DEEP is asking beachcombers, sunbathers, and boaters along the Connecticut shoreline to respect the fencing and yellow signs warning of piping plover and least tern nesting sites. The piping plover, a small, sandy-colored shorebird about the size of a sparrow, is a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, as well as a state threatened species in Connecticut. The small, gull-like least tern, which nests in colonies in the same beach habitat as the piping plover, also is a state threatened species.

“Each year, Charles and Duck Islands are closed during the nesting season to protect various bird species. Fencing also is erected at beach nesting areas along Connecticut’s shoreline to safeguard piping plovers and least terns,” said Susan Whalen, DEEP Deputy Commissioner. “Closing the islands and enlisting the public’s help and cooperation are simple but effective ways to protect these birds.”

Piping Plover – Piping plovers need special protection throughout their nesting season and especially during the increased beach activity over the long Memorial Day weekend. By obeying the posted signs and staying away from fenced areas, beach visitors can avoid disturbing the nesting birds. Photo by Paul Fusco, Connecticut DEEP.
 
Background: Closing of Charles and Duck Islands


Protecting heron and egret nesting areas on Charles and Duck Islands are important steps to prevent disturbances that can result in abandonment of the nests and possibly of the entire colony. This would have a tremendous negative effect on these declining bird populations.

To protect the nesting colonies (also known as rookeries) on Charles and Duck Islands, educational signs have been erected at access points describing these rare birds and why they should not be disturbed. Additionally, the sites are posted with island closure notices; the rookeries are fenced; and signs are posted that read “Do Not Enter – Bird Nesting Area.”

When young birds become agitated by disturbances, they often fall from the nest. Once grounded, the young birds die of starvation or predation. If disturbances continue, the adults may abandon the nesting area. Examples of disturbances to these rookeries include unleashed dogs, boat and kayak landings, people approaching fenced nesting areas, camp-outs, and bonfires.

Signs stating the closure of Charles and Duck Islands are posted and DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be patrolling the islands. The entire island areas are completely closed. Landing of watercraft on the beaches is prohibited. The public can help to protect nesting birds by following the closure and reporting any observed violations by calling DEEP’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at 860-424-3333.

Background: Protection of Piping Plovers and Least Terns

Human disturbance at beach nesting areas may result in nest abandonment by state threatened piping plovers and least terns or the loss of eggs and chicks. In response, each year DEEP delineates nesting sites with rope and fencing to dissuade people from disturbing the birds and nests.
These shorebirds need special protection throughout their April to August nesting season and especially during the increased beach activity over the long Memorial Day and Fourth-of-July weekends. By obeying the warning signs and staying away from fenced areas, beach visitors can avoid disturbing the nesting birds.

Both piping plovers and least terns use a shallow depression in sand for a nest. Their sand-colored eggs and young are so well camouflaged that they are easily stepped on. When intruders approach, young piping plovers are likely to stand motionless while the adult tries to attract attention by pretending to have a broken wing or flying around the intruder. If you witness this behavior, DEEP advises you to move away from the area at once.

Least Tern – Both piping plovers and least terns (pictured) use a shallow depression in sand for a nest. Their sand-colored eggs and young are so well camouflaged that they are easily stepped on. Photo by Paul Fusco, Connecticut DEEP.

The DEEP Wildlife Division also provides the following advice to protect nesting shorebirds:
• Refrain from walking dogs or allowing house cats to roam freely on beaches during the nesting season. Dogs are not allowed at many beach areas during the bird nesting season. These areas include, but are not limited to, Long Beach in Stratford, Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport, Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Sandy Point in West Haven, and Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.
• At areas where dogs are allowed, always keep them on a leash, but remember that even leashed dogs have the potential to step on nests and young. Dogs also may harass sensitive shorebirds by chasing them.
• Do not bury or leave trash, picnic leftovers, and fish scraps on a beach. They attract predators of shorebird chicks and eggs, such as skunks, raccoons, foxes, and black-backed gulls.
• Do not attempt to “rescue” young birds that appear to be lost or too young.
• Do not attempt to remove young birds from the beach to care for them at home. In most cases, when immature birds are found alone, the adults have been frightened away but remain nearby and will return to their young once the intruder leaves.

It is illegal to hold wildlife for rehabilitation without proper state or federal permits. In addition, shorebirds have a unique diet that people would find hard to duplicate, probably resulting in starvation of the young bird. Any violations affecting wildlife should be reported to the DEEP’s 24-hour, toll-free hot line: 1-800-842-HELP.

Monday, May 22, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #7

This is the seventh weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern through 4:00 p.m. on May 22 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on May 15.

Informational updates:

Please exercise caution when deciding if you should go out to monitor during this upcoming week with frequent rain, cool temperatures, and perhaps some windy days. This is a very critical time period with many nesting pairs of Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers - and some renesting after tidal washouts or other nest failures - and we never want to add to the distractions or disturbances they face during inclement conditions when beaches will be relatively devoid of visitors.

However, next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and the weather should return to sunny skies and seasonable temperatures. The holiday will mean busier beaches with a lot more traffic, especially if the forecast holds. Many visitors, including some from out of state, will not know about our birds or why they're important and need to be educated on what is happening on the beach. If you have any extra time to monitor outside of your usual shifts please try to visit any of our beaches next Saturday, Sunday and Monday during this nesting time at the unofficial beginning of summer. Even a quick stop for some education or a scan of the beach can be helpful, and you do not need to schedule it in advance.

Sandy/Morse Points parking passes have been received in the mail by some of our monitors and staff, so if you submitted your vehicle information directly to AAfCW when asked, you can expect to hopefully see yours in the mail from West Haven soon. As always thank you so much for all of your efforts!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 5/15
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway/Shell Ave on 5/15
1 pair, 1 nest at Sherwood Island State Park on 5/15
1 pair, 4 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/15
9 pairs, 1 adult, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/15
5 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/15
1 pair, 6 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/15
1 pair, 6 adults, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/16
1 pair, 6 adults, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/16
6 pairs, 5 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/16
1 pair, 7 adults, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/16
5 adults at Long Beach on 5/17
8 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/17
4 pairs, 2 nests at Hammonasset on 5/17
2 pairs, 6 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/17
4 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/17
10 adults at Milford Point on 5/17
2 pairs, 8 adults, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/18
3 pairs, 3 adults at Sandy/Morse on 5/18
3 pairs, 6 adults, 6 nests at Long Beach on 5/18
1 pair at Waterford Town Beach on 5/18
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/19
4 pairs, 3 nests at Bluff Point on 5/19
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/19
5 pairs, 5 nests at Milford Point on 5/19
2 pairs, 6 adults at Bluff Point on 5/19
10 pairs, 2 nests Milford Point on 5/20
1 pair, 1 nest at East Broadway on 5/20
5 pairs, 3 adults, 3 nests at Milford Point on 5/20
5 adults, 4 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/20
10 adults, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/21
2 pairs, 3 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/21
6 pairs, 6 nests at Long Beach on 5/21
1 pair, 2 adults, 4 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/21
4 pairs, 10 adults, 4 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/21
19 adults, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/21

American Oystercatcher

1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 5/15
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/15
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/15
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/15
1 adult at Long Beach on 5/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/16
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Griswold Island on 5/16
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/17   
1 adult at Short Beach on 5/17
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/17
3 pairs, 4 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/17
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/17
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/17
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/17 
2 pairs, 2 nests at Hammonasset on 5/17
1 adult at Long Beach on 5/17
2 pairs, 7 adults, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/18
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/18
2 pairs at Ocean Beach Park on 5/18
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/18
1 pair, 1 adult at Branford Harbor Channel Marker on 5/18
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Green Island on 5/18
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Umbrella Island on 5/18
2 pairs, 1 nest at Kelsey Island on 5/18
5 pairs, 2 hatchlings at Menunketesuck Island on 5/18
1 pair, 4 adults, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/19
4 adults at Short Beach on 5/19
1 pair at Lewis Island, Thimbles on 5/19
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Thimble Island # 18 on 5/19
1 pair, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/19
1 pair at Horse Island, Thimbles on 5/19
1 pair at Hen Island, Thimbles on 5/19
3 pairs, 4 hatchlings, 1 nest at Falkners Island on 5/19
1 pair at Bluff Point on 5/19
3 pairs, 2 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/20
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/20
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/20
1 adult, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/21
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/21
2 pairs at Silver Sands State Park on 5/21
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/21
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/21
1 adult at Long Beach on 5/21
3 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/21

Least Tern
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/15
20 adults at Long Beach on 5/15
4 pairs, 25 adults at Long Beach on 5/15
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 5/16
1 pair, 12 adults at Long Beach on 5/16
2 adults at Mouth of 4 Mile River on 5/16
20 adults at Long Beach on 5/16
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/17
6 pairs, 2 adults at Milford Point on 5/17
8 adults at Long Beach on 5/17
11 adults at Hammonasset on 5/18
35 adults at Milford Point on 5/18
1 pair, 6 adults at Long Beach on 5/18
2 adults at East Broadway/Shell Ave, Milford on 5/18
1 pair at Pleasure Beach on 5/19
4 adults at Bluff Point on 5/19
3 adults at Milford Point on 5/20
1 pair, 8 adults at Long Beach on 5/21
1 pair, 4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/21
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/21
10 pairs, 55 adults at Long Beach on 5/21

Common Tern
2 adults at Compo Beach on 5/15
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 5/16
4 adults at Long Beach on 5/16
2 pairs, 8 adults at Long Beach on 5/17
1 adult at Milford Point on 5/17
2 adults at Short Beach on 5/17
1 pair, 1 adult at Sherwood Island State Park on 5/17
4 adults at Milford Point on 5/17
7 adults at Hammonasset on 5/17
2 adults at Milford Point on 5/18
4 pairs at Umbrella Island on 5/18
5 pairs at Green Island on 5/18
3 adults at Kelsey Island on 5/18
2 adults at Bluff Point on 5/19
2 adults at Short Beach on 5/19
2 adults at Milford Point on 5/19
9 adults at Thimble Islands on 5/19
2 adults at Sasco Hill Beach on 5/20
2 adults at Milford Point on 5/20
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/21
3 adults at Milford Point on 5/21

This concludes update #7 through 5/22/17 as of 5:30 p.m.

Monday, May 15, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #6

This is the sixth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Common Tern through 1:00 p.m. on May 15 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on May 8.

Informational updates:

We are continuing to discover and exclose Piping Plover nests. These exclosures are very effective against mammalian and avian predators, and serve as a terrific teachable moment while on the beach and speaking with visitors. Please keep in mind that if you see an exclosed nest that it has four eggs and is complete, and we do not need to know any details about the eggs or to have a close look at the adults. Their safety and incubation is most important. You may find nests that are not attended to immediately because we want the birds to complete it before being exclosed. American Oystercatcher nests do not get exclosed, and they are working on nesting in many areas after a lot of frequent washouts as our weather has been uncooperative thus far this spring.

If you have to cancel your monitoring due to the weather there is no need to make it up, and that would be strictly optional. Additionally, there is no need to worry about a minimum hours per month. Please remember whether it is a marked bird, a disturbance of note that however does not reach "take" status, a new nest, and other significant information, please email CT DEEP (Laura.Saucier@ct.gov and Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov) and AAfCW directly about it with all the information you can as soon as possible.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 5/8
1 pair at East Broadway Milford on 5/8
9 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/8
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/8
5 pairs, 4 adults, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/9
5 pairs, 1 adult, 4 nests at Milford Point on 5/9
1 pair at East Broadway Milford on 5/9
5 pairs, 1 adult, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/9
10 pairs, 1 adult, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/9
1 pair at Short Beach on 5/9
5 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/9
1 pair at East Broadway Milford on 5/9
2 adults, 2 nests at Long Beach on 5/10
11 adults, 6 nests at Long Beach on 5/10
1 pair, 5 adults, 6 nests at Long Beach on 5/10
2 pairs, 7 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/10
11 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/10
1 adult at Long Beach on 5/10
3 pairs, 4 adults, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/10
2 pairs, 2 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/11
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/11
7 pairs, 5 nests at Milford Point on 5/11
8 adults, 7 nests at Long Beach on 5/11
1 pair, 5 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/12
2 pairs, 3 adults, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/12
5 pairs, 4 adults, 6 nests at Long Beach on 5/12
1 pair, 2 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/12

American Oystercatcher
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/8
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/8
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 5/8
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/9
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/9
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/9
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/9
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/9
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/10
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/10
4 pairs at Milford Point on 5/10
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/10
2 pairs, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/10
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/11
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/11
3 pairs at Milford Point on 5/11
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/12
3 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/12
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/12

Least Tern
4 adults at Cedar Beach on 5/8
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 5/8
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 5/8
10 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/8
3 adults at Short Beach on 5/8
14 adults at Long Beach on 5/9
4 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/9
7 adults at Long Beach on 5/9
8 adults at Long Beach on 5/9
3 adults at Short Beach on 5/9
2 adults at East Broadway Milford on 5/9
14 adults at Milford Point on 5/9
15 adults at Milford Point on 5/10
10 adults at Milford Point on 5/11
15 adults at Long Beach on 5/12

Common Tern
12 Common Terns at Long Beach on 5/10
1 adult at Bluff Point on 5/10
2 adults at Bluff Point on 5/12

This concludes update #6 through 5/15/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

A Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there! We wanted to give a special mention to our soon to be Piping Plover and American Oystercatcher mothers, and especially to our dear friend pink-flagged 5E who is still doing well with her mate. Here she was in the middle of having some snacks on a recent afternoon.


We also ask that everyone keeps them in mind when visiting the beach on these holiday weekends. With Memorial Day and the unofficial start to summer coming up soon we have to always remember to share the shore with our avian pals, with positive education leading the way in our successful conservation efforts thanks to our intrepid volunteers and super staff...not to mention the great parenting by moms like her!

Monday, May 8, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #5

This is the fifth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, and Least Tern through 1:00 p.m. on May 8 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on May 1.

Informational updates:

We had some surveys canceled in the last week because of the weather, and this may continue with chilly mornings, windy days, and rain. Please do not hesitate to cancel if the conditions are not conducive - you are helping to protect the birds and there will likely be fewer beachgoers at your location as well. Flushing birds off nests at this time of year can be deadly to the eggs, and nests may not all be exclosed immediately, so please be mindful of where you walk and stay near the water as much as you can.

Between widespread Piping Plover and American Oystercatcher nests plus the arrival of Least and Common Terns there is a lot to look at out there! However, we always want to observe the birds with binoculars and spotting scopes from a distance, never entering fenced areas even if we are trying to help. Photos can be taken but at such a distance that the bird pays us no mind (e.g. running away or a broken wing display are not good!), and we do not require them if you are a monitor or a volunteer. It is often best to leave the birds be as much as possible and hold the photography until after nesting has ended in the late summer. Walking out and lingering on a thin and soon to be busier nesting bar, for example, can be very disruptive even if we are monitoring.

This is a delicate balance, but considering we have set all-time success records repeatedly during the past several years of our work in AAfCW, we know our volunteers are the best and our methods seem to be working well. Thank you all so much!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
2 pairs, 4 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/1
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/1
4 pairs, 5 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/1
1 pair at Shell Avenue Milford on 5/1
10 pairs, 5 nests at Long Beach on 5/1
4 pairs, 3 nests at Milford Point on 5/1
1 pair at Hammonasset, Cedar Island on 5/1
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/2
4 pairs, 3 nests at Milford Point on 5/2
5 pairs, 1 adult, 3 nests at Long Beach on 5/2
6 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/2
3 pairs, 3 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 5/2
3 pairs, 2 adults, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/3
11 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/3
2 pairs, 6 adults, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/4
2 pairs, 2 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 5/4
4 pairs, 2 adults, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/4
1 pair, 1 nest at Pleasure Beach on 5/4
10 pairs, 7 nests at Milford Point on 5/4
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 5/4
4 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 5/4
14 adults, 3 nests at Milford Point on 5/4
4 pairs, 5 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/4
5 pairs, 8 adults, 2 nests at Griswold Point on 5/4
4 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 5/7
6 pairs, 1 adult, 4 nests at Long Beach on 5/7
6 pairs, 3 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/7
1 pair, 6 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/7
2 pairs, 2 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/7

American Oystercatcher

2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/1
1 pair, 2 adults at Shell Ave/East Broadway on 5/1
1 pair at Hammonasset, Cedar Island on 5/1
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/2
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 5/2
4 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/2
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/2
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/3
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/3
2 pairs, 1 nest at Fish Islands on 5/3
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/4
1 pair, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/4
1 pair at Grass Island on 5/4
3 pairs, 3 nests at Falkners Island on 5/4
3 adults at Short Beach on 5/4
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 5/4
3 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/4
3 pairs, 3 adults, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/4
5 adults at Griswold Point on 5/4
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/4
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/7
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/7
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/7

Least Tern
2 adults at Milford Point on 5/2
2 adults at Hammonasset on 5/3
2 adults at Short Beach on 5/4
4 adults at Milford Point on 5/4
1 adult at Griswold Point on 5/4
8 adults at Milford Point on 5/4
5 adults at Long Beach on 5/7
6 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/7

This concludes update #5 through 5/8/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Piping Plover Protection

I wanted to speak more about sharing the shore today, especially when it comes to our Piping Plovers. These little shorebirds have a lot to say about how you can help them, their nests, and their young stay safe all spring and summer, and it is very easy, too!



We all know that we should clean up after ourselves and leave nothing but footprints on the beach, preferably at or below the tidal line and away from nesting areas higher in the dune. Flushing birds off nests at this time of year can be deadly to the eggs, and nests may not all be exclosed immediately, so please be mindful of where you walk. Our dogs do have to stay at home, and they are not permitted on Connecticut beaches. We realize they are sweet family members, but the birds see them as vicious predators no matter their demeanor. We always want to observe the birds with binoculars and spotting scopes from a distance, never entering fenced areas even if we are trying to help. Photos can be taken but at such a distance that the bird pays us no mind (e.g. running away or a broken wing display are not good!), and we do not require them if you are a monitor or a volunteer. It is often best to leave the birds be as much as possible and hold the photography until after nesting has ended in the late summer, and to go birding in other locations during the most critical time in places where we can end up unintentionally intruding. Walking out on a tern nesting bar, for example, can be very disruptive.

Please keep in mind we have a formal monitoring system in place that is overseen by our regulatory agencies, and if you would like to volunteer with us at the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds to help the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in monitoring Piping Plovers, terrific! Email ctwaterbirds@gmail.com to register, undergo training, and sign-up for a schedule at one of our public beaches. We have to be very careful not to hug the birds too tightly, going to a beach frequently or allowing ourselves to become a distraction or disturbance to the very same birds we are trying to protect. This is a delicate balance, but considering we have set all-time success records repeatedly during the past several years of our work in AAfCW, we know our volunteers are the best and our methods seem to be working well. Thank you all for your efforts and your passion for our avian neighbors.

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator
RTPI Conservation & Outreach Coordinator

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

American Oystercatchers Nesting

I have been posting all about our Piping Plovers lately, so I thought I should give our American Oystercatcher friends some love, too. After all, who doesn't like their look? Even the average beachgoer takes note of this beautiful bird and its bold bill.


Unfortunately the recent stormy and wet weather has washed a number of Oystercatcher nests away on our beaches. However, those that lost their eggs will be re-nesting as soon as they can. We have hope that this year will be just as successful as the 2016 season where 53 fledged from 63 pairs, the second highest total of chicks fledged and the second highest productivity rate ever recorded in Connecticut. Please keep them in mind while visiting the shore, allowing these birds the peace and comfort they need to raise their family. Our volunteers and staff will do their best to make this another record season.

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator
RTPI Conservation & Outreach Coordinator

Monday, May 1, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #4

This is the fourth weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover and American Oystercatcher through 4:00 p.m. on May 1 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on April 24.

Informational updates:

Nearly all of our "expected" Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers have arrived by now, with a few potentially showing up in a handful of additional locations. Nests are beginning to be discovered with more frequency. The stormy weather and high tides did wash some nests away, especially impacting our Oystercatchers. Please remember whether it is a marked bird, a disturbance of note that however does not reach "take" status, a new nest, and other significant information, please email CT DEEP (Laura.Saucier@ct.gov and Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov) and AAfCW directly about it with all the information you can as soon as possible. Please see this blog entry about flagged birds in Connecticut this year.

Both Least and Common Terns begin returning to Connecticut usually right around May 1 meaning that it is time for them to begin trickling in. There have been a couple confirmed reports of both species here already. As we get into nesting season we have to keep in mind that the parents need to incubate and keep the eggs at the perfect temperature making it all the more important that if the temperature is below 50, above 90, it is raining, or it is especially windy, you should stay home on these dangerous days for the birds and soon to be young. Thank you all for your hard work!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
5 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 4/24
2 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy Point Island on 4/24
5 pairs, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 4/24
7 pairs, 3 adults at Long Beach on 4/24
3 adults at Long Beach on 4/26
1 pair, 5 adults at Long Beach on 4/27
5 pairs, 2 adults at Milford Point on 4/27
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 nest at Long Beach on 4/27
5 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/27
5 pairs, 1 adult at Long Beach on 4/28
3 pairs, 5 adults, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 4/28
2 pairs, 3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/28
2 pairs, 9 adults at Long Beach on 4/28
4 pairs, 4 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/29
7 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/29
1 adult at Long Beach on 4/30
3 adults at Sherwood Island State Park on 4/30
6 pairs at Long Beach on 4/30
2 pairs, 2 adults at Long Beach on 4/30
6 pairs, 3 adults at Long Beach on 4/30
4 adults at Long Beach on 5/1

American Oystercatcher
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/24
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/24
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/24
9 pairs, 1 adult, 4 nests at Sandy Point Island on 4/24
1 pair at Bluff Point on 4/24
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/26
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/26
2 pairs, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 4/26
1 pair, 3 adults at Bluff Point on 4/27
1 pair, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 4/27
2 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/27
1 pair at Compo Beach on 4/27
13 pairs, 7 nests at Cockenoe Island on 4/27
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/27
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/28
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/28
1 pair, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 4/28
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/29
1 pair at Sherwood Island State Park on 4/30
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/30
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/30

This concludes update #4 through 5/1/17 as of 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Flagged and Banded Birds

We are elated to be hosting several flagged and banded Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers in Connecticut for the 2017 season. We are monitoring these birds closely and reporting their information to the appropriate parties. Here is a photo of one such Piping Plover, pink flagged 5E, photographed on the day she was found earlier this month with her mate.



This Piping Plover was banded in the Bahamas in March 2017 through research being conducted by the National Audubon Society, Virginia Tech Shorebird Program, Bahamas National Trust, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and more partners all working to study and aid the species. For now we will not be posting the birds' specific sites and locations, and we ask our monitors and birders who meet them to do the same. These little celebrities could attract a crowd of interested onlookers, and we want to ensure they have the space they need to raise a family.

Our friend 5E is being featured on National Audubon Society social media, in an anonymous way to ensure her safety, so be sure to see all the love she is getting there. You can read more information about Audubon's work in this PDF file. We will certainly be reporting extensively on the life history and the Connecticut success of these birds after our season concludes in a few months. Fingers crossed that we have wonderful stories to tell! If you want to learn more or find a flagged/banded Piping Plover please see this previous blog entry on what to do, and when reporting it be sure to include CT DEEP's Laura Saucier (Laura.Saucier@ct.gov) and us at the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (ctwaterbirds@gmail.com) as well - and thank you!

Monday, April 24, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #3

This is the third weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover and American Oystercatcher through 2:00 p.m. on April 24 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on April 17.

Informational updates:

Identification badges are currently being received by monitors if you signed up at training. For those who did not your forms will be ready soon and then you can submit them to CT DEEP at which time they will mail you a badge. Please see the PDF "2017 Piping Plover Monitoring Program" in the right-hand column of this blog as a refresher if you were at training and as required reading for those who were not. It includes a program overview, how to be a good witness, various contact information, dog laws, and more. The second PDF to note is a CT DEEP volunteer time form that you can fill out and return to DEEP at the end of our season in August if you are a registered monitor.

Our beaches are filling up with birds and nests are beginning to be discovered now. Please remember whether it is a marked bird, a disturbance of note that however does not reach "take" status, a new nest, and other significant information, please email CT DEEP (Laura.Saucier@ct.gov and Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov) and AAfCW directly about it with all the information you can as soon as possible.

Both Least and Common Terns begin returning to Connecticut usually right around May 1, so do not expect to see any for another week or more. Remember, if the temperature is below 50, it is raining, or it is especially windy, you should stay home on these stressful days for the birds.

Survey and monitoring updates:


Piping Plover
2 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/17
3 pairs, 1 adult at Long Beach on 4/17
4 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/17
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/17
8 pairs at Milford Point on 4/17
1 pair at Pleasure Beach on 4/18
3 pairs, 2 adults at Long Beach on 4/18
5 pairs, 6 adults at Milford Point on 4/18
7 pairs at Long Beach on 4/18
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 4/18
2 pairs, 3 adults at Long Beach on 4/18
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/19
6 pairs at Hammonasset on 4/20
6 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/20
2 adult at Long Beach on 4/20
4 pairs, 2 adults at Milford Point on 4/20
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/20
3 pairs, 2 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/20
1 pair at Short Beach on 4/22
1 pair at Short Beach on 4/22
1 adult at Greenwich Point Park on 4/22
2 pairs at Long Beach on 4/22
1 pair, 4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/22
3 pairs, 2 adults at Long Beach on 4/22
6 pairs, 2 adults at Long Beach on 4/23
1 pair at East Ave, West Haven on 4/23
1 pair, 7 adults at Long Beach on 4/23
1 pair, 8 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/23

American Oystercatcher

2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/17
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/17
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/18
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 4/18
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/18
1 pair at Pleasure Beach on 4/18
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 4/18
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/18
2 adults at Compo Beach on 4/18
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/18
1 pair, 1 nest at Lewis Island, Thimbles on 4/18
1 pair at Governor Island, Thimbles on 4/18
1 pair at Island # 18, Thimbles on 4/18
1 pair, 1 adult at Grass Island on 4/19
1 pair at Chaffinch Island on 4/20
1 pair, 1 adult at Horse Island, Joshua Cove on 4/20
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/20
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/20
1 pair at Hammonasset on 4/20
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/20
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/20
1 pair at Short Beach on 4/21
1 adult at Greenwich Point Park on 4/22
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/22
1 adult at Greenwich Point Park on 4/23
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/23
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 4/23
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/23
3 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/23

This concludes update #3 through 4/24/17 as of 5:30 p.m.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Clean Our Shores

As our waterbirds season enters the nesting period here on the Connecticut coast we ask that when you visit a beach you please keep in mind the same ideals that you do whenever you are immersed elsewhere in nature - leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories. We successfully share the shore with the various endangered nesting species, such as this Piping Plover, each year without closing off entire beaches for months as some other states do. Our work, and the health and success of our birds, is helped greatly by beachgoers taking their trash home with them. It reduces the number of predators attracted to the beach and the threat of garbage directly injuring or killing birds. Our volunteer monitors and staff remove many bags of trash every week. If you can clean up a few pieces of garbage - safely and outside of string fenced areas - that may have been left by someone else or have washed up onshore, then we will love you all the more! Pass it on and protect our plovers...and thank you!


Scott Kruitbosch
RTPI Conservation & Outreach Coordinator
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator

Monday, April 17, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #2

This is the second weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover and American Oystercatcher through 1:00 p.m. on April 17 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on April 10.

Informational updates:

Thank you all very much for your help with spring fencing dates. CT DEEP and AAfCW staff will continue to finish up fencing and signing a few more beaches, and all will be set for the soon to be nesting birds. If your beach does not have any Piping Plovers or American Oystercatchers yet then you can keep monitoring for now to see if any do show up. If in the next few weeks we still not do have any then switching to a busier beach would be best. However, please do submit "negative" data from any monitoring you conduct where you find none of our focal birds. The importance of this is outlined in detail here in our blog: http://ctwaterbirds.blogspot.com/2017/04/submit-negative-data.html

Identification badges are currently being distributed by CT DEEP and are going out to be mailed tomorrow. Paperwork for those who did not get a chance to sign up at training in March will be ready later this week and sent via email as well as posted publicly in our blog. When you submit this information DEEP will mail you a badge.

Once again please remember to provide your license plate and mailing address by email to ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you are going to monitor at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven and do not have a resident sticker. We will be submitting the list to the City soon! If you do not submit your information you will have to acquire and pay for a sticker directly from West Haven.

There are a few banded and flagged Piping Plovers at our beaches, and more could still be found. Whether it is a marked bird, a disturbance of note that however does not reach "take" status, a new nest, and other significant information, please email CT DEEP (Laura.Saucier@ct.gov and Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov) and AAfCW directly about it with all the information you can as soon as possible.

Both Least and Common Terns begin returning to Connecticut usually right around May 1, so do not expect to see any for a couple of weeks. Please keep monitoring as usual during conducive weather, and we should have mostly great days to be at the beach this week.

Survey and monitoring updates:


Piping Plover
3 pairs, 3 adults at Bluff Point on 4/10
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/10
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/10
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/11
4 pairs at Milford Point on 4/11
5 pairs, 3 adults at Long Beach on 4/11
3 pairs, 2 adults at Long Beach on 4/12
4 pairs, 5 adults at Long Beach on 4/12
3 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/12
3 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/12
5 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/12
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/13
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/13
5 pairs at Bluff Point on 4/14
2 pairs, 2 adults at Long Beach on 4/14
1 pair, 7 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/14
7 pairs, 4 adults at Milford Point on 4/14
1 adult at Long Beach on 4/14
1 pair at East Broadway, Milford on 4/14
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/15
3 pairs, 6 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/15

American Oystercatcher
1 pair at Bluff Point on 4/10
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/10
4 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/10
1 pair at Hammonasset on 4/10
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/11
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 4/11
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/11
3 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 4/11
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/12
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 4/12
4 pairs at Milford Point on 4/12
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/12
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/12
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/13
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/13
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/14
1 adult at Bluff Point on 4/14
2 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/14
2 pairs at Milford Point on 4/14
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/15
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/15
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/15

This concludes update #2 through 4/17/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Submit Negative Data

Please remember that we want to hear from you at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com after every trip you take to your beach during volunteer monitoring. Even when you make a visit to the shore and do not see any Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns or Common Terns - or any other notable waterbirds - we need this "negative data". Knowing about a lack of birds is just as important as an abundance of birds.

Negative data is important to us in several ways. It lets us know that you were there on the beach at your scheduled time and that birds were simply not there instead us thinking you may have had to miss your monitoring that day and wondering what was or was not present. We can still learn from you about any disturbances and human activities on the beach even if there are no birds to report. We will target our field staff to sites more appropriately with a more complete picture of what is or is not going on. We can also add to historic data from past years - for example, if a given beach now has no Piping Plovers during the entire 2017 season and this is the third year in a row after decades of the species breeding there then we will know with even more certainty that there is a problem that needs to be addressed at that site.

Please remember this throughout the season and send us a report each time after you monitor. While we would much rather read a wonderful account of so many of our species being recorded by all of you we still need to receive monitoring data even when no birds are found whatsoever. That negative data goes a long way in helping us understand, protect and help Connecticut's coastal waterbirds.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fencing Completed at Pleasure Beach

While we have a few public string fencing and signage dates - including at Bluff Point State Park in Groton on Thursday, April 13 at 10:00am which all are welcome to attend and help with - we also have our staff hard at work doing the same at other locations. Today we completed Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport, getting it all set for the birds that we were fortunate to find already there.




 
This male Piping Plover was with his mate on the western end of Pleasure Beach, and hopefully we will have a pair nesting there once again this spring. They looked as if they were making the spot their home, and while we only saw them foraging along the water we noted plenty of tracks in the dune. 
 




Three American Oystercatchers, two males competing for one female, were also very vocal and seen throughout our time on the beach. We are hopeful our Bridgeport WildLife Guards will have plenty to watch at Pleasure Beach later this summer, and that you visit us all in a few months!

Monday, April 10, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #1

This is the first weekly update by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover and American Oystercatcher through 1:00 p.m. on April 10 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since our official start day on April 1.

Informational updates:

In this first weekly Monday update for our season you will find pertinent information and reminders plus data from our volunteers and staff members that have already hit the beach this year.

We have one more spring fencing date open to the public at Bluff Point State Park in Groton on Thursday, April 13 at 10:00am with a rain date of 4/18. We will meet in the parking area and CT DEEP will shuttle people out to the beach. Please RSVP if you can make it to help out if you have not already. Remember that any and all volunteers are welcome including those who are not monitors. Volunteers should bring: work gloves, water, a snack, appropriate footwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and whatever else you may need avoid too much sun. Our beaches can either be quite cool or very warm depending on the day so dress for any weather. A pocket knife or multi-tool can be handy and a sledge hammer or mallet can be helpful to bring. Plan for heavy lifting and toting, but be mindful of your safety. Less intensive work needed includes stringing posts and putting up signs. Please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you can make it.

Identification badges are currently being distributed by CT DEEP. Paperwork for those who did not get a chance to sign up at training in March will be ready soon and sent via email as well as posted publicly in our blog. When you submit this information DEEP will provide you with a badge. Thank you to all the new monitors who attended field training this past Sunday, and if you could not attend or still require extra help please let us know. Additionally, if we were waiting to schedule you with your flexible availability, or you have only recently signed up, please finalize your monitoring schedule as soon as you can.

Also please remember to provide your license plate and mailing address by email to ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you are going to monitor at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven and do not have a resident sticker.

It should be a beautiful week to start monitoring! Birds are being seen copulating and nesting should commence in the near future. Enjoy your time at the shore and please let us know if you have any questions.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
5 adults at Long Beach on 4/1
3 adults at Hammonasset on 4/2
2 pairs, 2 adults at Milford Point on 4/2
1 pair, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/2
1 adult at Long Beach on 4/2
3 pairs, 3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/3
3 pairs, 3 adults at Bluff Point on 4/5
3 pairs, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/5
4 pairs at Long Beach on 4/5
2 pairs, 8 adults at Long Beach on 4/5
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/7
5 pairs, 4 adults at Milford Point/NWR on 4/8
8 pairs at Milford Point on 4/9
5 adults at Milford Point on 4/9
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/10

American Oystercatcher
1 pair at Hammonasset on 4/2
2 pairs at Milford Point on 4/2
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/2
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/3
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/5
1 pair at Griswold Point on 4/5
1 pair at Bluff Point on 4/5
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/5
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/5
1 pair at Long Beach on 4/5
1 adult at Pleasure Beach on 4/7
5 pairs at Milford Point/NWR on 4/8
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 4/8
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/9
3 pairs at Milford Point on 4/9
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 4/10

This concludes update #1 through 4/10/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fencing Continues

Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered to assist us with string fencing and signage for our waterbirds at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven on Monday and at Griswold Point in Old Lyme today! We now have two public dates left and could still use your help at:
  • Stratford's Long Beach on Friday, April 7 at 10:00am with a rain date of 4/10. We will meet in the far west end of the parking lot.
  • Bluff Point State Park in Groton on Thursday, April 13 at 10:00am with a rain date of 4/18. We will meet in the parking area and CT DEEP will shuttle people out to the beach.

Please RSVP if you can make it to help out at one or both events if you have not already. We will notify you ASAP if these dates are to be postponed. Remember that any and all volunteers are welcome including those who are not monitors. Volunteers should bring: work gloves, water, a snack, appropriate footwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and whatever else you may need avoid too much sun. These locations can either be quite cool or very warm depending on the day so dress for any weather. A pocket knife or multi-tool can be handy and a sledge hammer or mallet can be helpful to bring. Plan for heavy lifting and toting, but be mindful of your safety. Less intensive work needed includes stringing posts and putting up signs. Please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you can make it.

Here are some photos from Monday's work...










 









Our season is getting underway now as Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers continue to arrive and breeding activities commence. A huge thank you once again to those who have helped, will be joining us at an upcoming date, or at working hard at monitoring your beach. New monitors, don't forget to join us at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven this Sunday, April 9 from 10am-12pm if you would like additional field training.