Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jan 12 (Day 12) - Arrival in Connecticut

Today I rode the 31 miles from Charlestown, Rhode Island to New London, Connecticut. The riding was much harder than I anticipated due to a 20mph headwind that kept me in low gears even on flat terrain. While transiting, I did add two birds to the year's list: turkey vulture and eastern bluebird.

Today was the first of what are going to be 6 very similar days. Each day will require 30-35 miles of riding which is totally manageable. This would put me into NYC on th 17th, about a full week ahead of schedule! Right now I plan to stay in New London tonight (B), Clinton tomorrow (C), Hamden on the 14th (D), Fairfield on the 15th (E), Greenwich on the 16th (F), and NYC on the 17th (G). The weather is going to stabilize in the high 30's and low 40s over this stretch so that's some additional good news. I might see some rain, but that's fine with me.

30 miles a day means about 3-4 hours of riding. This leaves enough birding time each day to find a few more key species. These include:

Rough-legged hawk - I will search Great Island (Old Lyme) tomorrow morning and Hammonasset State Park in the afternoon (and maybe Tuesday morning if I haven't found one yet). I will have other chances for this bird along the south coast. I should see this bird.

Rusty Blackbird - I will get this bird in Hamden where many birds visit various feeders daily.

Cackling goose - Few and far between but there is one bird in Fairfield that has been seen intermitently. Cackling goose is like a miniature Canada goose. Here's photo of the size/structure difference. Note the shorter neck and very small beak.

Barnacle goose - This would be a FANTASTIC find. Its a Eurasian bird that is not normally found in North America. One bird has been seen consistently in Fairfield for the last week or so. I hope it stays put for another few days.

Long-eared owl and Saw-whet owl - I have a few spots I will check for these, stay tuned! These are going to be tough though.

Bascially, I want to get 4 of these 6. Hawk, blackbird, 1 goose, and 1 owl. 

It's nice to have a solid plan for the next few days; This will allow me to focus on bird finding and forget about logistics.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm a friend of Harry Arnistead who told me of your quest. If/when you're in Norfolk VA, I'd be happy to offer you a place to stay. Best contact is my cell phone 757-630-5189. Keep the biking going. Best, Bob Ake