What a nice Thanksgiving gift, a Painted Bunting came to visit Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Cove Island Park, Stamford CT, today! Cove Island is the lovely Sanctuary that was host to The Fork-tailed Flycatcher last year on November 17, 2010 and that stayed around for quite awhile.
The Male Painted Bunting has been one of my nemesis birds. I could not seem to get it where it is supposed be, down south in the warmer climes. Who would think it would be up here, in my home state of CT? Well it is, and I’ll take it! Happy Thanksgiving indeed.
We were up having another look at the Western Kingbird in the early afternoon today. My pocket pal buzzed and I saw an email that was sent from CT rare bird list courtesy of Janet Mehmel. The Painted Bunting was discovered by Patrick Dugan. We departed the Xmas Tree farm with haste for Stamford hoping that the light would last long enough for a look. It did, we lucked out.
Photo notes from Townsend. This is at the extreme end of acceptability for me. Low light, respectful distance considering other birders, and an extreme crop make for these barely tolerable images. Canon 1DMk4, Canon 500mmF4 with 2X multiplier, ISO 32oo and fill flash. The colors are real and the bird was eating every Poke Weed berry it could get its’ beak on.
Directions to Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Cove Island Park, Stamford CT:
*Exit 9 off I-95.* If you are *coming from the North*, at the end of the exit turn left onto Rt 1. Get in right lane. Turn right at Seaside Avenue to the end. At that light, turn left onto Cove Road drive down hill to you see Cove Park on your right. Turn right into park. If you are *coming from the South Exit 9 off I-95*, end of ramp. Turn Right onto Seaside Avenue directly to the end. At that light, turn left onto Cove Road drive down hill to you see Cove Park on your right. Turn right into park.
As you enter Cove Island Park go to the right, then drive to the farthest end of the parking lot and park toward the right-hand (south-west) corner. The path into the Wildlife Sancutary is right there. The entrance to the IBA is to the right of the marina and to the left of the baseball fields.”
The park is open dawn to dusk. Arriving early is no problem. There are no gates keeping anyone out.
Bathrooms at the Skating Rink in Cove Park.
COVE PIZZA ~ Back up the hill at light look to 1′oclock 864 Cove Road Stamford
SMOKEY JOES BBQ ~ Go to other end of Cove Road look across Main Street.
1308 East Main Street 203-406-0605
Heed my advise. Please RESPECT the Painted Bunting and Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary at all times. PLEASE STAY ON THE TRAIL ALWAYS!
Please consider supporting the Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a beautiful little piece of property. It truly is a slice of heaven! Much work still needs to be done to remove invasive plants, keep the feeders stocked, and get more native plants in. Your generous contribution would be much appreciated. General membership is only $10, but larger amounts are happily accepted. Checks can be made out to “Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary”, which is a nonprofit, tax deductible organization. Please send memberships or donations to Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary, 1128 Cove Road, Stamford, CT 06902.
It is well worth the trip to see this lovely bird and the beautiful property on which it resides for now!