PIPL

PIPL

Monday, August 21, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #20

The Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (AAfCW) for the 2017 season. Today's update includes reports of Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, and Common Tern through 12:00 p.m. on August 21 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on August 15.

Informational updates:

This week is our first string fencing removal date set by CT DEEP. The Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds would appreciate any volunteers who could help us out on:

Thursday, August 24th at 10 a.m. at Bluff Point. Rain date, Monday August 28th at 10 a.m.

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

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

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 adult at Milford Point on 8/15
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Milford Point on 8/15
1 fledgling at Long Beach on 8/16
6 fledglings at Silver Sands State Park on 8/17
2 fledglings at Hammonasset on 8/17
1 adult, 1 hatchling at Silver Sands State Park on 8/18
2 adults, 6 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/18
1 adult, 2 fledglings at Hammonasset on 8/20

American Oystercatcher
73 individuals at Milford Point on 8/15
5 adults at Baybrook Beach on 8/15
65 adults, 4 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/15
5 adults at Griswold Point on 8/15
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/15
3 adults at Griswold Point on 8/15
7 pairs, 5 adults, 2 fledglings, 3 juveniles at Cockenoe Island on 8/16
18 adults at Seymour Point, Westport on 8/16
59 adults at Milford Point on 8/17
1 pair at Hammonasset on 8/17
2 adults, 1 juvenile at Baybrook Beach on 8/18
72 adults at Milford Point on 8/20
4 adults at Hammonasset on 8/20

Common Tern
6 adults at Griswold Point on 8/15
14 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 8/15
5 adults at Bluff Point on 8/15
9 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/15
159 adults at Milford Point on 8/15
27 adults at Griswold Point on 8/15
27 adults at Hammonasset on 8/17
200 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/20

This concludes update #20 through 8/21/17 as of 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #19

This is the nineteenth 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 August 15 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on August 9.

Informational updates:

We now have our first string fencing removal date set by CT DEEP. The Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds would appreciate any volunteers who could help us out on:

Thursday, August 24th at 10 a.m. at Bluff Point. Rain date, Monday August 28th at 10 a.m.

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

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

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 adult, 2 fledglings at Silver Sands State Park on 8/9
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/9
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 3 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/9
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 3 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/10
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/10
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Mumford Cove on 8/10
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/10
1 adult, 1 fledgling, 8 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/10
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 8/11
1 adult, 1 hatchling at Long Beach/Pleasure Beach on 8/11
3 adults, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/11
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings, 1 juvenile at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
7 fledglings at Hammonasset on 8/12
1 adult, 2 fledglings at Silver Sands State Park on 8/13
1 adult, 1 hatchling at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/13
7 fledglings at Hammonasset on 8/13
3 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/13
2 juveniles at Milford Point on 8/13

American Oystercatcher
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/9
1 pair at Branford Harbor Channel Marker on 8/9
1 pair, 3 juveniles at Umbrella Island on 8/9
1 pair, 3 juveniles at Green Island on 8/9
2 pairs at Kelsey Island on 8/9
49 adults at Milford Point on 8/9
1 pair, 1 juvenile at Bluff Point on 8/10
1 adult at Griswold Point on 8/10
1 pair at Hammonasset on 8/10
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Salt Island on 8/10
2 pairs, 8 adults, 2 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Menunketesuck Island on 8/10
58 adults at Milford Point on 8/10
7 adults, 5 juveniles at Sandy Point Island on 8/11
3 adults at Bluff Point on 8/11
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
1 pair at Hammonasset on 8/12
1 pair at Hammonasset on 8/13
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 8/13
55 adults at Milford Point on 8/13

Least Tern
12 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 8/10
30 adults, 5 hatchlings, 8 fledglings at Mumford Cove on 8/10
5 adults at Bluff Point on 8/10
2 adults, 1 fledgling at Hammonasset on 8/10
8 adults at Menunketesuck on 8/10

Common Tern
3 adults at Griswold Point on 8/9
200 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 8/9
6 adults at Mumford Cove on 8/10
17 adults, 4 juveniles at Bluff Point on 8/10
300 adults at Griswold Point on 8/10
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/10
71 adults, 11 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/10
189 adults at Menunketesuck on 8/10
90 adults/juveniles at Milford Point on 8/10
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Salt Island on 8/10
4 adults at Bluff Point on 8/11
275 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
34 adults at Hammonasset on 8/12
30 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/12
150 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/13

This concludes update #19 through 8/15/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #18

This is the eighteenth 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 2:00 p.m. on August 9 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on July 31.

Informational updates:

We are beginning to see reduced numbers of some of our focal species as adults and young exit the region or form larger flocks. Migration is well underway for most individuals, though we still do have a few nests and hatchlings, too. Your continued observations - including any negative data - and stewardship are valuable as we transition between seasons and collect more information on everything from preferred stopover sites to additional banded and flagged birds. Thank you all very much for your ongoing efforts.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Mumford Cove on 7/31
1 adult, 5 fledglings at Bluff Point on 7/31
6 adults, 4 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/31
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 8/1
2 adults, 1 hatchling at Milford Point on 8/1
1 adult, 1 hatchling at Silver Sands State Park on 8/1
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 8/1
2 pairs, 1 hatchling, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/1
1 adult at Short Beach on 8/1
5 adults, 1 hatchling, 12 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/2
1 fledgling at Long Beach on 8/2
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/2
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 hatchling, 3 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/2
3 adults, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/2
2 adults, 5 hatchlings, 5 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/2
2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 8/3
3 adults, 9 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/3
3 adults, 2 hatchlings, 6 fledglings at Hammonasset on 8/4
2 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/4
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/4
2 juveniles at Bluff Point on 8/4
2 adults, 2 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/4
3 pairs, 7 adults, 1 hatchling, 12 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/4
3 adults, 4 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/4
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 8/4
12 adults, 9 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/5
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Silver Sands State Park on 8/5
1 juvenile at Short Beach on 8/5
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 3 fledglings at Long Beach on 8/5
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/6
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 4 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/7
1 juvenile at Compo Beach on 8/8
1 adult at Milford Point on 8/8
2 fledglings at Silver Sands State Park on 8/8
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/9

American Oystercatcher
1 pair, 1 adult at Griswold Point on 7/31
1 adult at Bluff Point on 7/31
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 8/1
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Salt Island on 8/1
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 8/1
2 pairs, 7 adults, 4 juveniles at Menunketesuck Island on 8/1
29 adults at Milford Point on 8/1
32 adults, 4 fledglings at Milford Point on 8/1
1 adult at Duck Island on 8/1
3 adults at Milford Point on 8/2
1 pair at Game Cock Island on 8/2
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Island Beach (Little Captain's Island) on 8/2
20 adults at Milford Point on 8/3
1 adult, 1 juvenile at Cedar Island, Thimble Islands on 8/3
3 adults at Veddar Point, Thimble Islands on 8/3
1 pair at Lewis Island, Thimble Islands on 8/3
1 pair at Wayland Island, Thimble Islands on 8/3
3 adults at Milford Point on 8/4
1 pair at Greenwich Island (Great Island) on 8/4
1 pair at Pelican Island on 8/4
1 adult at Bluff Point on 8/4
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 8/4
1 pair at Diving Island on 8/4
1 pair, 1 adult at Hammonasset on 8/4
1 adult at Long Beach on 8/5
2 pairs, 25 adults at Milford Point on 8/5

Least Tern
3 fledglings at Griswold Point on 7/31
2 adults at Hammonasset on 7/31
1 pair, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/31
4 adults at Long Beach on 8/1
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 8/1
4 adults, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/1
5 adults at Long Beach on 8/1
1 adult at Milford Point on 8/2
14 adults, 4 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/2
4 adults at Hammonasset on 8/2
1 pair at Griswold Point on 8/3
4 pairs, 1 adult, 1 nest at Harkness Memorial State Park on 8/3
10 adults at Hammonasset on 8/4
48 adults at Long Beach on 8/6
1 adult, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 8/8

Common Tern
70 adults at Milford Point on 7/31
12 adults at Long Beach on 8/1
7 adults at Long Beach on 8/1
8 adults at Long Beach on 8/1
8 adults, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 8/1
294 adults, 8 juveniles at Hammonasset on 8/2
251 adults at Griswold Point on 8/3
4 adults at Long Beach on 8/4
10 adults at Milford Point on 8/4
30 adults at Short Beach on 8/5
6 adults at Milford Point on 8/5
4 adults at Bluff Point on 8/6
33 adults at Milford Point on 8/6
12 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 8/7
8 adults at Compo Beach on 8/8
6 adults at Bluff Point on 8/8
15 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 8/8

This concludes update #18 through 8/9/17 as of 8:00 p.m.

Monday, July 31, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #17

This is the seventeenth 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 July 31 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on July 24.

Informational updates:

Surveys by volunteers and staff were reduced over the past week due to various inclement weather conditions. We continue to have hatchlings at multiple locations, so please do keep monitoring throughout the period while watching for additional banded or flagged birds migrating through the region. Next week's update will come midweek instead of Monday. Thank you all for your invaluable efforts!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
4 adults, 2 hatchlings, 8 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/25
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
2 adults, 1 hatchling, 3 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/25
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/25
1 pair, 2 adults, 6 hatchlings, 3 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/25
1 adult, 1 hatchling at Mumford Cove on 7/25
4 adults, 5 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 7/26
1 pair, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 3 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/26
1 pair, 1 nest at Short Beach on 7/26
2 adults at Long Beach on 7/26
1 pair, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Long Beach on 7/26
2 adults, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/27
2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/27
1 pair, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/27
4 adults, 5 hatchlings, 7 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/27
1 pair, 4 adults, 4 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Hammonasset on 7/28
9 adults/juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/28
2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 4 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/28
2 pairs, 1 adult, 1 hatchling, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/28
10 adults, 1 hatchling, 3 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/29
1 pair, 5 fledglings at Bluff Point on 7/29
1 adult, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/30
2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/30
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/30

American Oystercatcher
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/24
3 pairs at Milford Point on 7/25
22 adults at Milford Point on 7/25
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/25
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
1 pair at Long Beach Island on 7/26
3 adults at White Rock on 7/26
6 pairs, 2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 6 juveniles at Cockenoe Island on 7/26
1 adult at Griswold Point on 7/27
3 pairs, 33 adults at Milford Point on 7/27
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/27
3 pairs, 25 adults at Milford Point on 7/27
2 adults at Bluff Point on 7/28
1 pair at South Brother on 7/28
1 pair, 1 juvenile at Quinnipeag Rocks on 7/29
25 adults at Milford Point on 7/29
1 pair, 1 adult, 1 hatchling at Waterford Town Beach on 7/29

Least Tern
1 pair, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/25
28 adults, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 7/25
2 adults at Milford Point on 7/25
46 adults, 3 hatchlings, 5 fledglings at Mumford Cove on 7/25
60 adults, 2 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/26
12 adults at Long Beach on 7/26
3 adults at Milford Point on 7/27
2 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/27
16 adults, 2 fledglings at Griswold Point on 7/27
23 adults, 1 nest at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/27
10 adults at Long Beach on 7/28
16 adults at Hammonasset on 7/28
1 pair at Bluff Point on 7/29
1 pair, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/29
26 adults, 6 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/30

Common Tern
18 adults, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 7/24
27 adults at Milford Point on 7/25
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/25
45 adults at Milford Point on 7/25
5 adults, 3 juveniles at Silver Sands State Park on 7/25
16 adults at Long Beach on 7/26
22 adults at Hammonasset on 7/26
45 adults, 15 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/27
8 adults at Griswold Point on 7/27
3 adults at Ram Island on 7/27
46 adults, 21 fledglings at Griswold Island on 7/28
2 adults, 2 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/28
62 adults, 6 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/29
36 adults at Hammonasset on 7/29
27 adults, 6 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/30
13 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/30

This concludes update #17 through 7/31/17 as of 5:00 p.m.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Improved International Shorebird Surveys

We know that when you are all out collecting data on our beach-nesting birds, some of you also record information on migrating shorebirds at sites. When you do this, you are basically conducting an International Shorebird Survey. And if we are collecting the data, it would be good to submit it.

Submitting ISS data is actually pretty easy. The main things to know are:

1) Submit the data to http://ebird.org/content/iss/ instead of the regular eBird portal.

2) When you are out surveying, quickly note the:

      a. Tide (1=high, 2=near high&rising, 3=near high&falling, 4=half &rising, 5=half&falling, 6=near low&rising, 7=near low&falling, 8=low, 9=unknown)

      b. Disturbance (A=undisturbed, B=disturbed 1-2 times, C=3-4 times, D=5-10 times, E=>10 times, X=unknown)

      c.And if you are surveying a non-tidal site, note the water level (N=normal, H=higher than normal, L=lower than normal, X=not observed)

3) When choosing the site in eBird.org/content/ISS/, pick the eBird Hotspot if there is one. 

4) Enter the survey as a Stationary or Traveling counts.

5) If you encounter a large number of birds – say a flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers - and don’t have time to count each individual, estimate. When you enter the data, make a note in the comment section for that species that the number is an estimate.

6) Once entered, share your checklist with ctwaterbirds. This shares the data with the Audubon Alliance.

There are actually some well written – not too long - instructions at:
http://ebird.org/content/iss/issprism-protocols/
http://ebird.org/content/iss/online-data-entry-guide/

Thank you in advance for all your extra efforts!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Banded Terns

Here's an uncommonly good view of a Common Tern, one of our focal species.


Please be on the lookout for Roseate and Common Terns with 3-character plastic field-readable (PFR) color bands. More than 1,500 Roseate Tern chicks were recently received these bands at Great Gull Island, New York as well as nearly 80 more chicks at Falkner Island. Tracking their movements from the breeding colony sites to Cape Cod is vital information, so please send your sightings to jspendelow@usgs.gov and us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com, thanks!

Monday, July 24, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #16

This is the sixteenth 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 11:00 a.m. on July 24 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on July 17.

Informational updates:

Early week rain should clear to seasonable conditions and continued good beach weather for our birds and the many visitors to our shores. Your education of beachgoers is always welcome and greatly appreciated. We have heard a lot of great and positive stories from interactions with the public this year amidst the typical disturbances, so please keep including all in your reports. Thank you so much for helping to clean our beaches as well! The Audubon WildLife Guards will be hosting a beach clean up day at Bridgeport's Pleasure Beach on Saturday, July 29 from 12:30-3:30PM. Find more information on the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/562821094108757

Please be on the lookout for Roseate and Common Terns with 3-character plastic field-readable (PFR) color bands. More than 1,500 Roseate Tern chicks were recently received these bands at Great Gull Island, New York as well as nearly 80 more chicks at Falkner Island. Tracking their movements from the breeding colony sites to Cape Cod is vital information, so please send your sightings to jspendelow@usgs.gov and us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com, thanks!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 adult at Sandy Point Island on 7/17
1 adult, 5 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/17
1 adult, 3 juveniles at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/17
6 adults, 4 hatchlings, 17 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/17
7 pairs, 1 adult, 5 hatchlings, 14 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/18
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/18
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
6 adults, 4 hatchlings, 17 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/18
2 pairs, 9 adults, 4 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/18
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/19
1 adult, 1 nest at Short Beach on 7/19
1 adult, 1 nest at Short Beach on 7/19
5 adults at Milford Point on 7/20
3 adults, 2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/20
7 adults, 7 hatchlings, 19 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/20
2 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/20
3 pairs, 2 adults, 10 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Point on 7/20
2 pairs, 2 adults, 7 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/20
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/20
1 adult at Short Beach on 7/20
3 pairs, 5 adults, 12 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 9 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/21
7 pairs, 22 adults, 2 hatchlings, 7 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/21
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/21
2 pairs, 6 adults, 3 hatchlings, 5 fledglings, 1 juvenile at Bluff Point on 7/21
1 juvenile at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/22
1 pair, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Milford Point on 7/22
3 pairs, 3 adults, 2 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/22
1 adult, 1 juvenile, 1 nest at Short Beach on 7/22
3 pairs, 3 adults, 9 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 1 juvenile at Hammonasset on 7/22
2 pairs, 2 adults, 2 hatchlings, 4 juveniles, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
1 pair, 4 adults, 4 fledglings, 3 juveniles, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/23
1 pair, 4 adults, 2 hatchlings, 7 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
3 adults, 3 fledglings, 11 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/23
1 pair, 3 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/23

American Oystercatcher
1 pair, 9 adults, 1 fledgling at Sandy Point Island on 7/17
1 pair, 2 fledglings at Tuxis Island on 7/17
1 adult at Gull Rocks on 7/17
3 pairs, 9 adults at Milford Point on 7/17
1 pair at Griswold Point on 7/17
4 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/18
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/18
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/18
3 pairs, 2 adults at Milford Point on 7/18
3 pairs at Milford Point on 7/18
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/19
22 adults at Short Beach on 7/19
2 pairs at Milford Point on 7/20
1 pair, 17 adults at Milford Point on 7/20
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/20
1 adult at Griswold Point on 7/20
2 pairs, 14 adults, 3 juveniles at Menunketesuck Island on 7/20
5 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 7/21
2 pairs, 7 adults at Milford Point on 7/21
1 pair at Hammonasset on 7/22
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
2 pairs at Milford Point on 7/22
1 pair, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/23
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23

Least Tern
2 pairs, 5 adults at Sandy Point Island on 7/17
25 adults at Milford Point on 7/17
47 adults, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 7/17
11 pairs, 7 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 7 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/17
3 pairs, 30 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/18
2 pairs, 8 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/18
1 pair, 70 adults, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 7/18
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/19
3 pairs, 11 adults at Milford Point on 7/20
22 adults, 6 fledglings, 3 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/20
10 adults, 2 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/20
9 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 5 nests at Griswold Point on 7/20
13 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/21
12 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/21
1 pair at Milford Point on 7/22
23 pairs, 1 juveniles, 2 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/22
15 pairs, 20 adults, 6 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 6 nests at Hammonasset on 7/22
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23
7 adults at Long Beach on 7/23

Common Tern
4 adults at Sandy Point Island on 7/17
4 adults at Griswold Point on 7/17
1 adult at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/17
35 adults at Milford Point on 7/18
6 adults at Long Beach on 7/18
100 adults at Short Beach on 7/19
25 adults at Long Beach on 7/19
1 pair, 30 adults, 3 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/20
10 pairs, 6 adults, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings, 6 nests at Shore Rock on 7/20
3 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/20
11 adults, 2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/20
12 adults at Menunketesuck on 7/20
6 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/20
90 adults, 10 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/20
29 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/20
37 adults, 5 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/21
4 adults at Bluff Point on 7/21
60 adults, 5 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/21
7 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/21
4 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/22
30 adults at Milford Point on 7/22
12 adults at Short Beach on 7/22
47 adults, 7 juveniles at Hammonasset on 7/22
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/22
5 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/23

This concludes update #16 through 7/24/17 as of 2:30 p.m.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sandy Point IBA meeting

It has come to our attention that the re-zoning of five parcels, located across the street from the Sandy Point Important Bird Area (IBA), from residential to residential/retail is being considered by the West Haven Planning and Zoning Commission during a public hearing this coming Tuesday, July 25th. Two of the parcels are directly adjacent to Old Field Creek which flows into the lagoon at Sandy Point. The lagoon is valuable foraging habitat for breeding Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers, and is used during migration or for foraging by many more bird species of conservation concern. The rezoning would be to encourage revitalization of the properties. Several West Haven residents who live nearby have reached out to the Audubons and are afraid the properties will be redeveloped into either an extensive restaurant complex or condo complex. Building of a new structure at this location could have a major impact on Sandy Point, especially if there are any spills during the construction phase, not to mention it would cut off the local community (many volunteer their time at Sandy Point) from the shore. The residents are asking the birding community to come to the meeting to show their support for Sandy Point.

Some of our staff and volunteer crew during fencing operations in West Haven this spring


The Public Meeting will take place on Tuesday July 25th, 2017 at 7pm in Harriet Room North on the 2nd floor of City Hall at 355 Main Street in West Haven. Please consider attending and showing your support for Sandy Point and its birds!!! If you'd like more information, contact Corrie or Miley at the below email addresses.

Thank you,

Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe
IBA Program Coordinator
Audubon Connecticut
cfolsom-okeefe AT audubon.org

Milan G. Bull
Senior Director of Science and Conservation
Connecticut Audubon Society
mbull AT ctaudubon.org

Monday, July 17, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #15

This is the fifteenth 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 July 17 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on July 10.

Informational updates:

The most notable aspect of our monitoring this July continues to be nests and hatchlings, especially those of the Piping Plover and the Least Tern, across several of our beaches. While in some years we are concluding fledging birds, seeing juveniles disperse, and finding migrant adult Piping Plovers, we have weeks to go with hopefully more successful nests and chicks. Least Terns had a difficult beginning to their nesting season though they are now also hatching and successfully raising young in small colonies at various locations. We could be heading toward a record setting year for our young plovers, so please help us continue our summer stewardship during the busiest part of the year on the shore. Thank you!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
4 adults at Short Beach on 7/10
5 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 5 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/10
5 pairs, 4 adults, 5 hatchlings, 8 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/10
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/10
7 pairs, 4 adults, 3 hatchlings, 13 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/10
26 individuals at Long Beach on 7/11
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/11
5 pairs, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 8 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/11
3 pairs, 7 adults, 2 hatchlings, 10 fledglings, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
5 pairs, 1 adult, 1 hatchling, 4 fledglings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 7/11
3 fledglings at Shell Ave/East Broadway on 7/11
1 pair, 9 adults, 2 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/11
2 fledglings at Shell Ave/East Broadway on 7/12
6 pairs, 3 adults, 16 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/12
3 pairs, 8 adults, 1 hatchling, 9 fledglings, 3 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/12
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/12
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/12
10 adults, 5 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/12
4 adults, 4 juveniles, 2 nests at Long Beach on 7/12
11 adults, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/12
1 pair, 4 adults, 2 hatchlings, 5 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
4 adults, 20 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/13
8 pairs, 2 adults, 8 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 3 juveniles at Milford Point on 7/13
1 adult at Short Beach on 7/14
3 pairs, 4 adults, 5 hatchlings, 3 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/15
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings, 1 juvenile at Mumford Cove on 7/15
5 pairs, 2 adults, 9 hatchlings, 1 fledglings at Hammonasset on 7/15
2 pairs, 2 adults, 4 fledglings, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
3 pairs, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings, 3 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/15
1 pair, 3 adults, 2 fledglings, 2 juveniles, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/16
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/16
6 pairs, 1 adult, 8 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 2 juveniles at Hammonasset on 7/16
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/16
2 pairs, 4 adults, 5 hatchlings, 5 juveniles at Bluff Point on 7/16
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/16
2 pairs, 7 adults, 2 hatchlings, 4 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/16
4 pairs, 6 adults, 2 hatchlings, 5 juveniles, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
5 adults, 6 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/16
1 pair, 3 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16

American Oystercatcher
3 adults at Bluff Point on 7/11
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/11
2 pairs, 19 adults at Milford Point on 7/11
3 pairs, 17 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/12
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/12
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/13
4 adults at Short Beach on 7/13
5 pairs at Milford Point on 7/13
2 pairs at Short Beach on 7/14
1 adult at Bluff Point on 7/15
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Hammonasset on 7/15
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
3 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/16
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16
1 pair, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16

Least Tern
18 pairs at Long Beach on 7/10
18 pairs, 22 adults, 5 hatchlings, 7 nests at Hammonasset on 7/11
2 adults at Bluff Point on 7/11
1 pair, 3 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 7/11
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/11
76 adults at Long Beach on 7/11
40 adults at Long Beach on 7/12
4 pairs, 3 nests at Milford Point on 7/12
52 adults, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings, 4 nests at Long Beach on 7/13
1 adult at Short Beach on 7/13
3 pairs, 2 nests at Milford Point on 7/13
1 pair at Short Beach on 7/14
2 adults at Short Beach on 7/14
15 pairs, 33 adults, 4 hatchlings, 5 nests at Hammonasset on 7/15
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
1 pair at Bluff Point on 7/15
22 pairs, 4 hatchlings, 8 fledglings, 4 nests at Mumford Cove on 7/15
30 adults, 2 fledglings, 1 juvenile at Long Beach on 7/16
68 adults, 4 hatchlings, 6 nests at Hammonasset on 7/16
11 pairs, 24 adults, 6 hatchlings, 4 nests at Griswold Point on 7/16
2 adults at Bluff Point on 7/16
2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16

Common Tern
1 pair, 3 adults at Hammonasset on 7/11
2 adults at Milford Point on 7/11
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 7/12
1 adult at Long Beach on 7/13
1 pair, 9 adults at Hammonasset on 7/15
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/15
1 adult at Griswold Point on 7/16
2 adults at Bluff Point on 7/16
27 adults at Hammonasset on 7/16
6 adults at Long Beach on 7/16
1 adult at South End Point, East Haven on 7/16
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/16

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Least Terns

If you are visiting the beach this weekend please remember to watch for the tiniest of our terns. Some sites on the Connecticut shoreline have colonies of Least Terns with nests, hatchlings, and even fledglings already. Those incubating eggs may be hunkered down in the sand like this.


These birds take an active defense and dive bomb intruders to protect their offspring. You may love the terns and wish them all the best, but if you are being attacked, you are too close. Please keep on sharing our shore with our friends who call it home - thank you!

Monday, July 10, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #14

This is the fourteenth 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 July 10 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on July 5.

Informational updates:

Our collective surveys were a bit reduced over the past several days due to inclement weather and staff scheduling after the Fourth holiday and previous weekend. Nevertheless, we will maintain monitoring for Piping Plovers throughout July and all of August as we still have birds at all stages of life - even on nests! Silver Sands State Park is an example of why we work all summer long as we had hatchlings hatching this weekend that need frequent and vigilant monitoring and stewardship. We are on track to have a sensational year overall, so please remember what a tremendous difference all of you are making for them and our other focal species here in Connecticut. If you visit Pleasure Beach or Sandy/Morse Points you may see our WildLife Guards crew also conducting outreach and monitoring - please do say hello!

See more about the WildLife Guards on the Audubon Connecticut and Roger Tory Peterson Institute websites:
http://ct.audubon.org/conservation/coasts/wildlife-guards
http://rtpi.org/education/wildlife-guards/

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
8 pairs, 2 adults, 15 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 2 juveniles, 2 nests at Milford Point on 7/5
2 pairs, 1 adult, 2 juveniles at Griswold Point on 7/5
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/5
5 pairs, 10 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/5
2 pairs, 4 hatchlings at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/5
3 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/5
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 7/5
1 pair, 16 adults, 1 fledgling at Long Beach on 7/5
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/6
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
1 pair, 3 fledglings at East Broadway Milford on 7/6
2 pairs, 10 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Shell Avenue on 7/6
1 pair, 1 nest at Short Beach on 7/6
1 pair, 1 nest at Fenwick Point on 7/6
1 adult, 1 nest at Short Beach on 7/6
5 pairs, 2 adults, 13 hatchlings, 1 juvenile at Milford Point on 7/7
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/7
1 adult, 1 nest at Short Beach on 7/7
1 adult, 1 hatchling, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/8
1 pair, 3 fledglings at East Broadway Milford on 7/9
3 pairs, 6 adults, 5 hatchlings, 6 juveniles at Long Beach on 7/9
2 pairs, 2 adults, 5 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
1 pair, 10 adults, 3 juveniles, 2 nests at Long Beach on 7/9
3 pairs, 7 adults, 2 hatchlings, 5 fledglings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
3 pairs, 5 adults, 5 hatchlings, 4 fledglings at Bluff Point on 7/9
1 pair, 1 hatchling, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/9
1 pair, 8 adults, 5 hatchlings, 11 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/9
3 fledglings at East Broadway Milford on 7/10
4 pairs, 3 adults, 2 hatchlings, 4 juveniles at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/10
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/10
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Silver Sands State Park on 7/10

American Oystercatcher
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/5
2 pairs at Waterford Town Beach on 7/5
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/6
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/7
2 pairs at Milford Point on 7/7
1 adult, 1 fledgling at Bluff Point on 7/8
1 adult at East Broadway Milford on 7/9
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
3 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/9
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 7/10

Least Tern
9 pairs, 1 adult, 6 hatchlings, 9 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 7/5
1 pair on Milford Point on 7/7
22 pairs, 5 hatchlings, 13 nests at Mumford Cove on 7/8
28 pairs, 1 adult, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings, 20 nests at Long Beach on 7/9
4 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/9
1 pair, 12 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 7/9
60 adults, 2 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 10 nests at Long Beach on 7/9

Common Tern
17 adults at Waterford Town Beach on 7/5
3 adults at Fenwick Point on 7/6
1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 7/6

This concludes update #14 through 7/10/17 as of 3:00 p.m.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Hatchlings to Fledglings

Good news! Many of these adorable Piping Plover hatchlings are growing up and turning into fledglings on our Connecticut beaches, able to fly for short distances and stretching those wings out into adulthood. Please keep spreading our message to #ShareTheShore this weekend because amazingly we still have nesting pairs on eggs as well as plenty of precious little ones like this running around. Thank you all for your plover passion during this terrific year!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #13

This is the thirteenth 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 a.m. on July 5 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on June 26.

Informational updates:

Thank you all for your extra efforts this holiday weekend in covering the very busy Fourth of July beaches. More of our hatchlings are nearing fledgling stage or beginning to take flight, with a few now independent of adults and becoming juveniles. Least and Common Terns are hatching on select beaches and offshore islands as well. The upcoming week looks to continue our warm beach weather with a lot of traffic along the shore. Keep in mind that "fall" migration is slowly beginning for migrant shorebirds, and we should see species diversity and abundance increasing in coastal areas throughout the month.

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
4 pairs, 5 hatchlings, 1 fledgling at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/26
2 adults at Waterford Town Beach on 6/26
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/26
7 pairs, 6 adults, 10 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/26
1 pair at Waterford Town Beach on 6/26
3 pairs, 1 adult, 1 fledgling at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/26
4 pairs, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Griswold Point on 6/26
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Peck Ave West Haven on 6/26
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Peck Ave West Haven on 6/26
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/26
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/26
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/27
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/27
6 pairs, 5 adults, 8 hatchlings, 7 nests at Milford Point on 6/27
2 pairs, 7 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 nests at Milford Point on 6/27
6 pairs, 3 adults, 7 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/27
7 pairs, 2 adults, 8 hatchlings at Milford Point on 6/27
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/27
1 adult at Short Beach on 6/27
4 pairs, 12 adults, 10 hatchlings, 7 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/27
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/28
4 adults, 20 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/28
24 adults, 5 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/28
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/28
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/28
3 pairs, 3 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
4 pairs, 2 adults, 1 fledgling at Hammonasset on 6/28
10 adults, 5 hatchlings, 1 fledgling, 3 nests at Milford Point on 6/29
2 pairs, 2 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/29
3 pairs, 10 adults, 4 hatchlings, 2 fledglings at Hammonasset on 6/30
10 adults, 6 hatchlings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/30
4 pairs, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/30
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/30
6 pairs, 4 adults, 15 hatchlings at Milford Point on 7/1
1 pair at Short Beach on 7/1
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/2
3 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2 
1 pair, 2 hatchlings at Peck Ave West Haven on 7/2
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/2
3 pairs, 2 adults, 3 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 7/2
8 pairs, 5 adults, 5 hatchlings, 13 juveniles, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/2
2 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/3
5 pairs, 2 adults, 6 hatchlings, 4 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/3
7 pairs, 4 adults, 9 hatchlings, 12 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/4
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 7/4
9 adults, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 7/4
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 7/4
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Peck Ave West Haven on 7/4

American Oystercatcher
1 adult at Long Beach on 6/26
2 adults at Waterford Town Beach on 6/26
1 pair, 1 nest at Shore Rock on 6/26
1 pair, 1 adult at Griswold Point on 6/26
3 adults at Peck Ave West Haven on 6/26
10 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 6/27
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/27
1 pair, 17 adults at Milford Point on 6/27
4 adults at Long Beach on 6/27
3 adults at Long Beach on 6/27
2 pairs, 19 adults at Milford Point on 6/27
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 6/28
2 adults at Long Beach on 6/28
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/28
1 pair at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/28
1 pair, 5 adults, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/28
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Bluff Point on 6/29
3 pairs, 3 adults at Milford Point on 6/29
1 pair at Veddar Point, Thimble Islands on 6/29
3 adults at Burr Island, Thimble Islands on 6/29
1 pair, 1 fledgling at Cedar Island, Thimble Islands on 6/29
1 adult at Wayland Island, Thimble Islands on 6/29
1 pair at Hen Island, Thimble Islands on 6/29
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/29
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach Island on 6/30
1 pair, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/30
1 pair, 2 adults at Milford Point on 7/1
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 7/2
8 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2
2 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2
1 pair, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 7/3
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/3
1 pair at Long Beach on 7/4

Least Tern
11 pairs, 15 adults, 1 hatchling at Long Beach on 6/26
19 adults, 6 hatchlings, 7 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/26
12 pairs, 6 hatchlings, 7 nests at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/26
3 adults at Milford Point on 6/27
31 pairs, 8 adults, 2 hatchlings, 29 nests at Long Beach on 6/27
2 pairs, 36 adults at Long Beach on 6/27
1 pair at Milford Point on 6/27
38 adults at Long Beach on 6/27
30 adults, 2 hatchlings at Long Beach on 6/28
16 adults, 3 nests at Hammonasset on 6/28
40 adults at Long Beach on 6/28
8 adults at Milford Point on 6/29
8 pairs, 1 adult, 9 nests at Hammonasset on 6/30
20 adults at Long Beach on 6/30
15 adults at Milford Point on 7/1
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2
28 pairs, 1 hatchling, 4 nests at Long Beach on 7/2
1 pair, 1 adult at Bluff Point on 7/3

Common Tern
1 adult at Waterford Town Beach on 6/26
5 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 6/26
4 adults at Waterford Town Beach on 6/26
9 pairs, 3 adults, 7 nests at Shore Rock on 6/26
6 adults at Harkness Memorial State Park on 6/26
2 adults at Griswold Point on 6/26
1 adult at Milford Point on 6/27
1 pair at Milford Point on 6/27
3 pairs at Cedar Beach on 6/27
6 adults at Milford Point on 6/27
3 adults at Hammonasset on 6/28
8 adults at Milford Point on 6/29
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/30
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 7/2

This concludes update #13 through 7/5/17 as of 12:30 p.m.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Shout Out to the Shore

This tiny Piping Plover hatchling has a lot to say about sharing the shore over the Fourth of July weekend, and we ask that you help to spread a message of respect and help us educate beachgoers on why these precious little shorebirds are so important to our world. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and keep letting people know that we can all coexist peacefully on the beach to our collective success and continued enjoyment.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 Fireworks & July 4th Weekend Coverage

This year's fireworks displays are relatively spread out on various nights making CT DEEP and AAfCW staff coverage easier. However, we could still use volunteer assistance at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven for the display at 9:15 on Monday, July 3 with a rain date of Wednesday, July 5. CT DEEP will be on hand to coordinate monitoring coverage. Volunteers should arrive at the parking lot by 6:30 to serve as educators and as an extra set of eyes and ears for the police officer who should be enforcing the closure of Sandy Point to protect the birds. The area should be cordoned off as usual. Once the event starts any volunteers can likely go home since spectators tend to settle in for the show. Please email ctwaterbirds@gmail.com, Laura.Saucier@ct.gov, and Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov if you can assist next Monday night in West Haven, and thank you!

Additionally, any extra monitoring that anyone can do at Bluff Point, Milford beaches, Long Beach, and Sandy/Morse Points on the Fourth of July holiday weekend would be a tremendous help. You do not need to schedule this monitoring or email us ahead of time, and please go when available. CT DEEP is particularly interested in receiving chick counts of the number of young birds you see when monitoring. Chick survival during the holiday weekend is problematic given all the beach parties and crowds. An additional presence on the beach educating people about the birds and getting us information on chick survival would be wonderful.

If the worst case happens and you find a dead chick that did not die from apparent natural causes...

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 three 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 as it may be needed for the future. Try to keep other beachgoers 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.

Please let Laura, Rebecca and us know about such incidents only after all of the above steps have been taken. We are the last people to contact because we do not have law enforcement powers. Thank you again for all your help!

Monday, June 26, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Volunteer Update #12

This is the twelfth 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 6:00 p.m. on June 26 with sightings of birds by volunteers and staff since the previous update on June 19.

Informational updates:

The weather should be pleasant on many days through the Fourth of July making for excellent beach conditions and a lot of visitor traffic. Please continue your education efforts whenever possible. We now have some Piping Plovers entering the fledgling stage as our young birds begin to learn to fly! Remember that birds are hatchlings for approximately the first month before they grow enough to take flight, and even at this point they are still dependent on their parents or parent. It will still be some time before we have independent juvenile birds.

With all that said we are ending June with Piping Plover re-nests still 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 and time allows - to get these tasks completed. There is a lot to cover at the moment, and the holiday weekend will mean our beaches need all the help they can get. Your efforts are all the more valuable and appreciated during this time - thank you!

Survey and monitoring updates:

Piping Plover
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/19
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/20
2 pairs, 10 adults, 4 hatchlings, 7 nests at Milford Point on 6/20
5 pairs, 6 adults, 11 hatchlings, 2 fledglings, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/20
6 pairs, 3 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 nests at Bluff Point on 6/20
1 pair, 6 adults, 5 nests at Milford Point on 6/20
4 pairs, 3 adults, 8 hatchlings, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 6/20
4 adults, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/20
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway on 6/20
1 pair, 1 adult at Silver Sands State Park on 6/20
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/21
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/21
3 pairs, 3 adults, 1 fledgling, 3 nests at Long Beach on 6/21
1 pair, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/21
12 adults, 1 hatchling, 2 fledglings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/21
25 adults, 18 hatchlings, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/21
9 pairs, 5 hatchlings, 7 nests at Milford Point on 6/21
7 pairs, 5 hatchlings, 5 nests at Milford Point on 6/22
5 pairs, 2 adults, 4 fledglings, 2 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/22
1 pair, 1 nest at Short Beach on 6/22
9 pairs, 1 hatchling, 7 nests at Milford Point on 6/22
5 pairs, 1 hatchling, 4 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/22
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway Milford on 6/23
7 pairs, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 7 fledglings, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 6/23
4 pairs, 5 adults, 3 hatchlings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 6/23
2 adults, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/23
2 pairs, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings, 3 nests at Milford Point on 6/23
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at East Broadway/Shell Ave on 6/23
1 pair, 1 nest at Cockenoe Island on 6/23
3 pairs, 5 adults, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/23
1 adult at Waterford Town Beach on 6/23
5 pairs, 1 adult, 3 hatchlings at Hammonasset on 6/23
4 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/24
9 pairs, 7 nests at Milford Point on 6/24
1 pair, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/25
1 adult, 1 nest at Silver Sands State Park on 6/25
3 pairs, 7 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/25
4 pairs, 6 hatchlings at Mumford Cove on 6/25
6 pairs, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25
9 pairs, 2 hatchlings, 3 fledglings, 5 nests at Hammonasset on 6/25
1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/26

American Oystercatcher
3 pairs at Milford Point on 6/20
1 pair, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/20
1 pair at Bluff Point on 6/20
1 pair, 2 adults at Milford Point on 6/20
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/20
1 pair, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/20
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/20
1 pair, 6 adults at Milford Point on 6/20
3 pairs at Milford Point on 6/21
1 pair at Gulf Avenue Trumbull on 6/21
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/21
3 pairs at Milford Point on 6/21
1 pair, 1 adult at Long Beach on 6/21
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/21
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/21
4 pairs, 1 adult at Milford Point on 6/21
2 pairs at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/22
3 pairs, 3 adults at Milford Point on 6/22
1 pair at Long Beach on 6/22
3 pairs, 4 adults at Milford Point on 6/22
1 pair at Silver Sands State Park on 6/23
1 pair, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/23
1 adult at Ocean Beach State Park on 6/23
1 adult at Waterford Town Beach on 6/23
2 pairs, 7 adults, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/23
1 pair, 1 adult, 2 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 6/23
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 6/23
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/24
12 adults at Milford Point on 6/24
1 pair, 1 hatchling at Bluff Point on 6/25
1 pair, 5 adults, 1 nest at Hammonasset on 6/25
1 pair, 2 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25

Least Tern
2 pairs, 2 adults at Bluff Point on 6/20
2 pairs at Milford Point on 6/20
35 adults at Long Beach on 6/20
6 adults at Milford Point on 6/20
2 adults at Bluff Point on 6/20
50 pairs, 10 adults, 49 nests at Griswold Point on 6/20
3 pairs, 7 adults, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/21
1 pair at Milford Point on 6/21
3 pairs, 1 nest at Milford Point on 6/21
43 adults at Long Beach on 6/21
4 adults at Milford Point on 6/22
3 pairs, 1 nest at Long Beach on 6/22
2 adults at Bluff Point on 6/23
1 pair at Milford Point on 6/23
2 pairs, 20 adults, 2 nests at Long Beach on 6/23
1 pair at Bluff Point on 6/23
24 adults, 9 nests at Hammonasset on 6/23
1 pair at Milford Point on 6/24
13 pairs, 12 nests at Hammonasset on 6/25
25 adults, 18 nests at Mumford Cove on 6/25
3 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 6/25

Common Tern
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 6/23
1 adult at East Broadway/Shell Ave on 6/23
400 pairs, 200 nests, 34 hatchlings at Cockenoe Island on 6/23
1 pair at Waterford Town Beach on 6/23
17 adults at Compo Beach on 6/24
11 adults at Milford Point on 6/24
2 pairs at Hammonasset on 6/25
4 adults at Milford Point on 6/25

This concludes update #12 through 6/26/17 as of 10:00 p.m.

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!