Today Brendan Murtha and I conducted Fairfield’s first Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) of the season at the Larsen Sanctuary. It was a great morning for a BBS with little wind and tolerable temperatures. We thoroughly covered most of the sanctuary during our four and a half hour visit, notching 38 species!
Due to the fact that today was so early in the season, we were unable to confirm any breeders but did have a ton of probables, the closest to confirmed being two Black-capped Chickadees seen excavating a nest site!
Other probable breeders included Wood Duck, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse and Mallard. Many other species were singing and would thus constitute “possible breeders.” We’ll likely get better confirmation for many of these birds as the season progresses.
We also encountered a number of migrants and other highlights, including four ‘Yellow’ Palm Warblers, a slew of Eastern Phoebes, a flyover Common Raven, both kinglet species, Eastern Bluebird (including two singing males), Hermit Thrush and Pine Warbler.
This is just the first of what will hopefully be biweekly BBSs of Larsen throughout this season. I also hope to conduct a BBS at a number of other locations in Fairfield, and use the same biweekly schedule at Hoyden’s Hill Open Space (whose first BBS should be next weekend). Can’t wait!
Our checklist with the locations of highlights and the breeding codes can be viewed here.