Jan 082018
 


Slightly east of Bridgeport and south of Stratford lies a magnificent wildlife venue called Long Beach.

The Snowy Owl above (image 1) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

With adjacent Pleasure Beach it is noted that they comprise more than 25% of Connecticut’s remaining undeveloped beachfront property.

The Dunlin with Sanderling above (image 2) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Canada Goose above (image 3) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Ring-billed Gull above (image 4) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Sanderling above (image 5) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

A sunrise visit was made to Long Beach which is bordered by the Long Island Sound and Lewis Gut on 20 December. The wind chill was brutally cold but I managed to make it to the fourth jetty before I was compelled to turn back occasionally taking refuge from the wind on the Lewis Gut side of the beach.

The Great Black-backed Gull with prey above (image 6) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Great Black-backed Gull with prey above (image 7) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Sanderling with prey above (image 8) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Herring Gull above (image 9) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

With good fortune a Great Black-backed Gull was finally observed with prey. Although the species had been personally observed loafing on a few earlier occasions, this gull might be expected to be seen engaging in particularly brutal survival tactics.

The Bufflehead above (image 10) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Common Loon above (image 11) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The American Black Duck above (image 12) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Sanderling with Dunlin and Ring-billed Gull above (image 13) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Gut is where I observed Bufflehead, Common Loon and American Black Duck. I was quite surprised not to inadvertently flush any sparrows in an ideal habitat for them.

The Common Goldeneye above (image 14) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Long-tailed Duck above (image 15) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Long-tailed Duck above (image 16) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Long-tailed Duck above (image 17) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

It was particularly entertaining to observe Sanderling and Dunlin feeding upon the steep piles of shells washed ashore by the high tides. The shell slides the birds would create did not deter their efforts in the slightest.

The Dunlin with Sanderling above (image 18) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Sanderling with Dunlin above (image 19) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Sanderling with Dunlin above (image 20) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Sanderling above (image 21) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The highlights of the trip to Long Beach were a pair of Snowy Owl and observation of many Long-tailed Duck as a new life bird. On 24 December, eBirder’s David Alpeter and Mike Carretta reported observation of four Snowy Owl at Long Beach.

The Long-tailed Duck above (image 22) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Snowy Owl above (image 23) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Snowy Owl above (image 24) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

The Ring-billed Gull above (image 25) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

My thanks to master wildlife Blogger Hemant Kishan for bringing the Snowy Owl irruption to my attention which resulted in my trip to see them. I am grateful to SW Florida blogger Tom Obrock as well for providing me occasional reports of stellar regional bird rarities that are regrettably too far away to chase.

The Long-tailed Duck above (image 26) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

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The Snowy Owl above (image 27) was photographed at Long Beach in December 2017.

 

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Bob Pelkey

Bob Pelkey

This blog is updated every Friday (preferably) and randomly, primarily on the subject of wildlife observation in the state of Florida. This blog is in conjunction with my secondary photo site at http://www.pbase.com/jkrnm5/

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