On Saturday, I covered a bunch of my local patches. A lot of migrants had been trickling in during the past few nights and I was eager to get out and see what was moving. It’s always fun to bird locally. The ease of getting to the spot, the nice experience you get to enjoy, and the fact that you’re seeing birds at spots you’ve birded for years and know inside and out.
My first stop was an area I call “Sherman.” It’s a large piece of town space, basically, Sherman School, the Town Hall Property, the marsh in between and the Old Burying Ground, all connected. There’s a lot of terrific edge habitat around, plus a lot of shrubbery and ornamental trees.
When I entered, I started pishing and turned up a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker and Blackpoll Warbler. I continued to the garden area, where unfortunately, the sparrows were playing hard to get. Moving on, I got looks at such birds as Common Yellowthroat, Swamp Sparrow and Carolina Wren in the low, streamside vegetation and Song, Savannah and White-throated Sparrows feeding on the edge.
Once I reached the Old Burying Ground, numbers of sparrows continued to increase. I encountered a large flock of 4 species in the back vegetation. A group of Monk Parakeets flew over, calling loudly. The resident Blue Jays created a racket of their own.
The good birding continued on the drive leading up to the Fairfield Museum. This area has a small year-round supply of water, a kind of spring that has helped the vegetation blossom. Eastern Phoebes caught flying insects, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers moved about in the trees and Gray Catbirds called from the shrubbery. A Magnolia Warbler flew by and showed well.
On the way back through the Old Burying Ground, I encountered a Palm Warbler, my 5th warbler of the day at this location.
Overall it was a great trip to Sherman, and really showed me what it could produce. If soccer games hadn’t been going on on the Town Hall side I would’ve been able to do the whole route, probably adding a few more species to my list.
Later that day, James Purcell and I moved to cover some other spots.
Our first stop was the Jennings Beach Brush. Groups of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Eastern Phoebes and Gray Catbirds were the highlights there.
Next it was Ash Creek. The first group of birds we found was a loosely associating flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets plus a Black-and-White Warbler that showed well.A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew over and made several passes while we were there. When we reached the meadow, we got good looks at Palm Warblers and 4 sparrow sp. including White-throated.
The Sharpie flew by again on our walk out to the point. Our highlight there was a juv. White-crowned Sparrow.
Our last stop was South Pine Creek. We ran into large flocks of sparrows right at the entrance and because of this stayed here for the remainder of our trip.
As at the other spots, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Common Yellowthroats were well-represented.
We picked out a calling Hairy Woodpecker plus a few Indigo Buntings, also vocalizing. Large numbers of Song, Swamp, White-throated and 2-3 White-crowned Sparrows were within sight the entire time.
It was a terrific day of local birding, highlighted a good showing of later fall migrants. As I said earlier, it’s just awesome to bird locally and especially when it pays off!