The Big Sit! 2018 Statistics

These statistics reflect information submitted by reporting circles. As teams continue to report their Big Sit! results, the statistics on this page will change to reflect up-to-the-minute information.

Team Information: B.W. Surf Scopers

Captain: Frank Gallo
Location: Milford, Connecticut (United States)

Team Checklist

  1. Brant Branta bernicla
  2. Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii
  3. Canada Goose Branta canadensis
  4. Mute Swan Cygnus olor
  5. Wood Duck Aix sponsa
  6. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  7. American Wigeon Anas americana
  8. Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  9. Gadwall Anas strepera
  10. American Black Duck Anas rubripes
  11. Greater Scaup Aythya marila
  12. Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
  13. White-winged Scoter Melanitta fusca
  14. Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
  15. Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus
  16. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia
  17. Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
  18. Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica
  19. Clapper Rail Rallus crepitans
  20. Sora Porzana carolina
  21. American Coot Fulica americana
  22. American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus
  23. Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  24. Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
  25. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
  26. Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla
  27. Dunlin Calidris alpina
  28. Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
  29. Sanderling Calidris alba
  30. Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
  31. Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
  32. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
  33. Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
  34. Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
  35. Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia
  36. Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla
  37. Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  38. Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
  39. Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
  40. Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
  41. Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata
  42. Common Loon Gavia imme
  43. Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
  44. American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
  45. Great Egret Ardea alba
  46. Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  47. Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  48. Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  49. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Nyctanassa violacea
  50. Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  51. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  52. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  53. Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  54. Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  55. Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
  56. Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
  57. Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  58. Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus
  59. Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
  60. Barn Owl Tyto alba
  61. Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
  62. Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
  63. Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
  64. Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
  65. American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  66. Merlin Falco columbarius
  67. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
  68. Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe
  69. Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
  70. Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
  71. American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
  72. Common Raven Corvus corax
  73. Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
  74. Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
  75. Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor
  76. Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis
  77. White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
  78. Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
  79. Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus
  80. Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
  81. Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
  82. Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus
  83. Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus
  84. Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
  85. American Robin Turdus migratorius
  86. Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
  87. European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  88. Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
  89. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
  90. American Pipit Anthus rubescens
  91. House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus
  92. Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus
  93. Pine Siskin Spinus pinus
  94. American Goldfinch Spinus tristis
  95. Tennessee Warbler Oreothlypis peregrina
  96. Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum
  97. Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
  98. warbler sp.
  99. Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus
  100. Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
  101. Nelson's Sparrow (formerly Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow) Ammodramus nelsoni
  102. Saltmarsh Sparrow (formerly Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow) Ammodramus caudacutus
  103. Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana
  104. Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
  105. White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
  106. White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
  107. Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
  108. Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
  109. Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
  110. Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus
  111. Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula
  112. Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
  113. Large Tern Species
  114. Surf/Black Scoter
  115. Green-winged/Blue-winged Teal

Team Notes

Participants: Jim and Patrick Dugan, Tom Murray, Frank Gallo and Frank Mantlik, joined by new members, Dave Tripp and Fran Zygont, with cameo appearances from Nick Bonomo, and Gina Nichol.

Weather: Front through on Saturday. Light N/NW winds all night and well into Sunday afternoon when went W/SW. Perfect conditions.

Location: Outer Platform, Milford Point

Time At Location: 4:20 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. - 15 hours

Milford Point Surf Scoper’s Big Sit! 2018 In 2014, the year that our Big Sit! birding team, The Surf Scopers, recorded our highest species total of 117, I wrote, ”Well, on Sunday, we had the most amazing day I've seen in 21 years of doing the Big Sit! The weather set up perfectly; a front cleared on Saturday afternoon bringing N/NE winds overnight and through the morning. Birds moved overnight and we had a great pre-dawn and dawn flight.” Four years later, in 2018, the scenario nearly repeated itself. A front moved through on Saturday, bringing N/NW winds overnight that lasted well into the afternoon. Birds moved all morning and into early afternoon, with thrushes dropping low overhead at dawn, while diurnal migrants geared up to start their day. Low tide was in the morning, with high just before 4 p.m., nearly the same set-up as in 2014. Our overall species list was also remarkably similar. We added at least one new species, Tennessee Warbler, to our cumulative species list, which now stands at 191 species. The first members of our Surf Scoper’s team arrived at the outer platform at Milford Point at 4:20 a.m. and we stayed until 7:20 p.m. This year’s team was Jim and Patrick Dugan, Tom Murray, and Frank Mantlik, joined by new members, Dave Tripp and Fran Zygmont, and with cameo appearances from Nick Bonomo, and Gina Nichol. Thanks all for a great Sit! Our day started with listening to Great Blue Herons, Mallards, and Great Yellowlegs calling from the marsh. Mute Swan, both Night-Herons, Brant, Gadwall and American Wigeon also added their voices to the pre-dawn chorus. A Sora Rail even called before first light; they are fairly common migrants in the marsh, but are often too far out to hear. Just before first light, 3 Gray-checked Thrushes passed low overhead calling, along with 3 Swainson’s Thrushes, and 1 Hermit Thrush. A Barn Owl flew by at dawn heading west, but was not seen again in the evening. A fairly good-sized bird crash-landed in the bushes beside the platform at dawn, but could not be found even after extensive searching through the bushes. Once the sun was up, diurnal migrants started coursing through in a steady stream that lasted well into early afternoon. Highlights included Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, American Pipits, 4 species of warblers, including our first-ever Tennessee, and a Blue-head Vireo, which has only been seen on a couple of our counts. An Eastern Meadowlark dropped in for a brief visit, another rarity for the day, and we were blessed with a nice assortment of sparrows feeding close to the platform, including both Nelson’s and Saltmarsh Sparrows, and Swamp, Vesper, and White-crowned Sparrows. A lone Marsh Wren was seen in the Spartina, and a few interesting shorebirds put in an appearance, including 5 Pectoral Sandpipers, a Killdeer, Short-billed Dowitcher and Lesser Yellowlegs. We tallied Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine, both vultures, and 8 hawk species, including a young Broad-winged Hawk. Our rarest waterfowl was a Cackling Goose, 2 Wood Ducks, and a Lesser Scaup. We also recorded 2 American Coots, two early Horned Grebes, and both loon species, as well as Forster’s Terns, Laughing Gulls, 2 Bonaparte’s Gulls, and 3 large distant Royal/Caspian Terns. But, one of the most memorable experiences of the day, was seeing 2 American Bitterns, one of which flew in and landed in the marsh right next to the platform. We watched and photographed it feeding along the marsh edge, sometime right in the open, for 45 minutes, before it finally walked farther into the inlet and out of sight. It was truly amazing! At sunset, a bird started calling from within the same bush as the one had crash-landed into at dawn. Again, careful searching revealed nothing. Yet, periodically, the bird would start calling again from under same or other nearby bushes. Finally, the bird flew out and landed at the edge of the marsh. It was a Rusty Blackbird, another rare find, and our final bird for the day. Could it have been the same bird from the morning? It’s certainly acted the same. Perhaps it was exhausted and had spent the day sequestered within the bush, sleeping. We’ll never know, but it seems, at least, plausible. When we tallied it all up, our total came to 115 species! What a day. We can’t wait to Sit again next year! Thanks too to Stefan Martin for his recon’. He sat a great Sit at Stratford Point across the river.

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