Wednesday, July 21, 2010

King Rail x Clapper Rail
A friend recently sent me a couple of photos of what he told me was a Clapper Rail at Hammonasset Beach State Park. I took a look and immediately thought this bird looked like a good candidate for a hybrid of King and Clapper, a phenomenon that is not all that uncommon, at least in some places. This hybridization has been well documented and is generally thought to occur where salinity readings average 5,670ppm; Kings preferring lower salinity and Clapper higher.

I sent the pictures to a couple of expert friends and they concur that this is indeed a hybrid bird exhibiting a characteristic mottled appearance. Interesting! AG

Early Calling Katydids

Each year in the first few days of August, southeastern Connecticut can expect to hear the first katydids of the year calling, a sign of summer being well on its way and a symphony for those who enjoy the sounds of nature.

Interestingly, last night I hear katydids calling in three or four locations about four miles north of Long Island Sound. This is about 11 or 12 days earlier than I have heard them. Amazing! I suspect that the timing of our "heat wave" has something to do with it.

Have any of your noticed this early calling? What dates in the past and this year have you noticed the start of their nightly chorus? Another indicator or global warming?