May 2012 – The 2012 Big Day is approaching and once again Connecticut Audubon Society’s team will be trying to break its own record – and raise funds to support the conservation and education work at our Milford Point Coastal Center. You can help by making a pledge to challenge us to bird even harder!
Pledge forms are available by clicking here. As many of you know, the Connecticut Audubon team (the Raven Luna-ticks: Nick Bonomo, Patrick Dugan, Dave Tripp, Frank Zygmont, and me, Frank Gallo) broke the New England Big Day record of 191 species last year, besting Connecticut’s record by six, with 192 species.
Our hard-won victory lasted an entire week, when friends from Massachusetts topped our record by one. We should never have told them. Now we’re rallying for another run, with the certainty that all that stands in the way of the mystical 200 species is the right route on the right day.
Our success is in large part due to the generous sharing of sightings by Connecticut birders. We’re making the attempt this year minus Nick, who is birding in Florida, so now, more than ever, we need your help – your eyes and ears – so we can take back the title, and continue to support the important conservation and education work done at Connecticut Audubon Society’s Coastal Center at Milford Point.
Big Day 2012 is on May 21. We need information on the specific whereabouts of lingering waterfowl such as loons, grebes, coots, moorhens, any sea/diving duck, and uncommon nesting ducks such as Common and Hooded Mergansers, Gadwall, and Blue- and Green-winged Teal. Both the bitterns, Pied-billed Grebe, and rail locations, especially for Sora and King, are greatly appreciated. Sites for less-common nesting birds, such as Belted Kingfisher, Cliff Swallow, Hairy Woodpecker, Winter Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, White-eyed Vireo, Golden-winged, Kentucky, Yellow-throated, Magnolia, Nashville and Cerulean warblers, and Yellow-breasted Chat (especially west of the Connecticut River) are needed.
Nest locations for Barn, Saw-whet, and Long-eared owls, Mississippi Kite, harrier, Bald Eagle, kestrel, Red-shouldered, Broad-winged, Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, and Goshawk are ALWAYS needed. Obviously, there are many other less-common migrants and nesting species that would be of value to us such as Rusty Blackbird, Lincoln’s and White-crowned Sparrows, Common Nighthawk, Red-headed Woodpecker, Grasshopper Sparrow, Upland Sandpiper, Horned Lark, or even Blue Grosbeak or Clay-colored Sparrow. Updates on the Harris’s Sparrow and a dependable location for Black Skimmer would be great, as well.
Sites should be near a road, as time does not allow long treks into the woods. Email me at Peeplo@aol.com. Let me know if there are nests that are best left unpublicized. We are very careful not to disturb nesting raptors or any other species.
This event is an important fundraiser for the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center at Milford Point. You can find a pledge form here.
We thank you for your continued generosity and support.
Director, Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center
1 Milford Point Road, Milford 06460