30th October- Birding Hurricane Sandy

Almost a year since Hurricane Irene wacked CT, Hurricane Sandy came ashore in New Jersey during the early hours of Tuesday 30th October. The media predicted potential historic flooding and damage. The storm force SE winds pushed water into Long Island Sound and being close to the water we were naturally concerned about the  flooding. It was parried by the excitement of what storm birds would be driven into CT waters.

Once certain precautions and family were safe, I managed to get out and do some birding with Pat and Jim Dugan at Shippan Pt., Stamford. Nick Bonomo and others headed east to Cornfield Pt at the mouth of the Sound, since other coastal areas were simply not accessible as they had been during Irene.

Pat Dugan, Jim Dugan and myself scoping for pelagics at Shippan pt, Stamford

Looking out into Long Island Sound

Totals courtesy of Jim Dugan — 2 (likely) RED PHALAROPE eastbound, 2 ROYAL TERNS eastbound, POMARINE JAEGER westbound, 1 JEAGER species (likely Pom), 1 SOOTY TERN & 1 SOOTY/BRIDLED TERN eastbound. 2 LEACH’S STORM-PETREL south/westbound and 2 STORM-PETREL species (likely Leach’s), 1 1st year ICELAND GULL seen 40 minutes after the one at Stratford Pt. 1 juvenile Gannet seen at 8AM coming from downtown Stamford plus 7 Gannet, 8 Red-throated Loon, 14 Common Loon, 5 Long-tailed Duck, 9 Bufflehead, 1 Northern Pintail, 9 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Mallard, 18 White-winged Scoter, 4 Black Scoter, 8 Surf Scoter, 13 “dark winged” Scoter species, 18 Brant, 11 Bonaparte’s Gulls, 40 Laughing Gulls, 5 Forster’s Terns, 14 Double-crested Cormorants, plus the usual Gull species. 8AM to 2PM, Patrick & Jim Dugan, Julian Hough for half.

Driving back through Stamford and then Milford revealed incredible tree damage and flooding.

Milford, CT

Nick’s account of what they had with some nice photos can be found at: http://www.shorebirder.com/2012/11/1029-1031-sandy.html

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