One good birding trip (see yesterday’s entry) deserves another. The Core Team just returned from a fantastic trip to the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center. Considered by many as one of the finest birding sites in the state, the Coastal Center did not disappoint.
The Coastal Center offers barrier beach access, a rich salt marsh, an osprey platform (with bird-cam), a 70-foot observation tower, and a great atmosphere for learning more about shore birds. We loved it, especially because we got there nice and early.
On the beach, we saw a host of Herring Gull, Cattle Egret, American Goldfinch, and Great Blue Heron. New birds we spotted included Great Black-backed Gull and Fish Crow. The bird we were most pleased to see, since we were looking for it, was the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow. Very nice!
The salt marsh was teeming with life. From the observation tower and the scopes inside the center, we were able to spot many different birds. Familiar species include Mute Swan, Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey, Gray Catbird, Black Duck, Egret (Cattle, Snowy, and Great), and Northern Mockingbird. The life birds were Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, and two types of Plover (Semipalmated and Black-bellied). We were very pleased to see a Peregrine Falcon eating a hearty brunch.
We capped the day off by taking the ferry from Bridgeport, CT to Port Jefferson, NY and back again. We saw a multitude of gulls and terns on the Long Island Sound and cooled off on the water.
One reason our trip was so successful, by our standards at least, is that some very knowledgeable birders shared their insight and experience, not to mention their scopes, with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet individuals willing to show courtesy to a couple of novices.