Well, it's happening. In one week, I will be moving to northern Ohio and leaving Connecticut behind, probably forever. I was in Connecticut because of graduate school, and now that's done, and it's on to new professional endeavors in new places. Ohio is in fact a temporary location for us -- my job there is just a one-year position -- but the change is a good one. I'm very, very excited about all the new things we'll see, the place where we'll be living (much more on that later), and the job. But, of course, I'll miss many things about Connecticut, which has been my home for the past six years.
I'll be doing a few wrapping-up posts over the next week to properly say goodbye to Connecticut. (Don't worry, the blog is coming with me to Ohio.) One part of Connecticut that I will definitely miss is the shore. So during my final visits to Silver Sands State Park this morning and last Thursday, I was sure to thoroughly appreciate the creatures that I'm not likely to see again for quite a while.
It always feels special to see Clapper Rails in these marshes, and I was very happy to see one preening itself out in the open this morning. I don't know if I will ever again be in a place with Clapper Rails as bold and readily visible as those at Silver Sands State Park, and I will miss these birds for sure:
Snowy Egrets are very common here, and I took the time to admire these gorgeous birds this morning:
As a special shorebird bonus, a couple of American Oystercatchers lit up the shoreline this morning with their flamboyant beaks:
And a lovely Spotted Sandpiper scrambled over rocks at the water's edge last week:
The Piping Plover family has dispersed from their nesting area by now, and I was lucky enough to come across one of the juveniles in this park last week. I know it's one of the fledglings from the nest I was monitoring because of that distinctive injured leg:
This bird was moving and foraging well on just the one leg, and it flew away just fine. I have no idea what happened to this bird when it was a baby, but I'm heartened to know that it's made it this far. The more Piping Plovers surviving out there, the better. Fare well, lovely little bird, and best of luck!
A couple of Killdeer were running around on the beach this morning. I thought these birds might have also been this season's grown hatchlings, withthose brownish (rather than pristine white) bands on their breasts, but I don't know for sure:
A plump Groundhog was munching away in the flower-filled grass last week:
And this marvelous Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) posed for a picture:
This morning's insect highlight was a supremely blue damselfly (I'm not certain of the species):
I couldn't have asked for better sights on my final visits to the Connecticut shore!