11/10 – Pine Creek

Back on the 10th, I made my way over to my “patch”, the Pine Creek area of Fairfield, in hopes of doing my first complete covering of the location in a while, and maybe explore some new areas in the process.

It was a beautiful sunny morning, almost balmy for this time of year. Although I didn’t find the place terribly birdy, I was able to churn up thirty-six species during my nearly four-hour visit.

Highlights included: 1 Cooper’s Hawk, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 American Kestrel, 2 Winter Wren, 1 Hermit Thrush, 1 Brown Thrasher, 3 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Fox Sparrow and 3 Swamp Sparrow.

The Kestrel and Thrasher were definitely the two standouts of my effort, both being two of my all-time favorite bird species, and both being rather uncommon in coastal Fairfield at this time of year.

American Kestrel ("phone-binned")

American Kestrel (“phone-binned”)

After hitting the main Pine Creek area, I made my way over to the Scandinavian Club (another component of the Pine Creek complex), in order to turn up any goodies that might be present in the extensive thickets at the edge of the property.

Although I didn’t find anything too notable, I took some time to explore the deer trails behind the club, which was quite an experience in itself! Out of the eighteen species I connected with, I noted such birds as Fish Crow, Cedar Waxwing and Swamp Sparrow during this effort.

Fall and winter are the best times of year at Pine Creek (although virtually anytime can be great!), and visits regularly turn up uncommon or rare species, including many lingering insectivores. I encourage you to stop by, and to bird as much of the area as you can. It’s quite extensive, with the “main” Pine Creek area and Scandinavian Club only comprising a portion of this large patch. However, even smaller areas are typically pretty birdy, and are known for holding some special surprises at this time of year (see THIS POST detailing a four Parulid day at Pine Creek in December of 2011).

-Alex

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