CTYBC – January Field Trip – 1/15/11

Long-eared Owl – Brendan Murtha

Today the Connecticut Young Birders Club had our January field trip.  We started at Sherwood Island, a great place for all sorts of winter birds.  We soon were looking at several Horned Grebes and many Canvasbacks, which were strange to see on open water.  A Merlin was also cool to see perched in a bare tree in the parking lot.

Our next stop was a well known spot for owls.  We were not disappointed!  As we were scanning the ground for pellets and branches for white-wash, we found a prize bird- a Long-eared Owl!  Thank you to Brian O’toole for finding this elusive bird.  We had great looks at this rare bird.  As we continued through the trees we found two more owl species- Great-horned Owl, and the much harder to find Northern Saw-whet Owl. These 3 species were only within yards of each other, which was pretty amazing.  Other birds at this spot included Sharp-shinned Hawk and Golden-crowned Kinglet, and at the beach a Red-throated Loon.  On our way out we found a single Fox Sparrow.

We then bade farewell to the rest of the group and returned to Sherwood to drop off my friend James, and then my  dad and I went off to penetrate Sherwood a bit further.  The snow was deep so the going was slow, Until…  A flock of 40 Common Redpolls flew into a birch tree!  Wow!  This is a uncommon bird for Connecticut, and a great find.

Overall it was a great birding day.  To see more on the trip and other photos, visit Eamon Corbett’s blog (here).  All the kids in the club are really awesome birders, and I hope the ones who were not there I’ll see soon.  So many great trips are in future for the Connecticut Young Birders Club!

Trip report by Brendan Murtha. You can read more on his blog (here).

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