Saturday morning view

Yes, I know– today is Cinco de Mayo. Everyone’s talking about it. Everyone’s drinking themselves silly, too. Let’s maybe not do that. Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of a grand battle—maybe breaking out tequila and tired stereotypes isn’t the best way to celebrate it. Besides, there are so many things to do on Saturday mornings, and hangovers put a bit of a damper on them.

Of course, this Saturday is West Haven’s Heart Walk, and I fully expect most of the Greater New Haven area to turn out in force for such a worthy cause, but I’d rather talk today about something else.

Every Saturday during the spring and early summer, there are birdwatching walks at Hammonassett Beach State Park in Madison. Now, I’ve never really been one for bird watching—I don’t have the eyesight, I think, so I end up squinting at empty-looking trees and nodding sagely while people with far more experience than I point out the local (and nonlocal) fauna.

That said, do you know there are 438 species of birds in Connecticut? No, really. 438 different kinds of birds have been recorded living, or at least passing through, our fair state. Some have gone extinct since they were documented, and some were likely lost travelers, and a fair number were even artificially introduced. There have even been sightings of puffins!

I think my favorite birds to grace Connecticut’s skies—or at least the ones with the best names—would have to be the sooty shearwater, the magnificent frigatebird, or the (all)-American coot. With names like that, how can you go wrong?

Isabelle loves cormorants, and when we spy them on the shore she always tries to flag them down. Not gulls or sandpipers or pelicans, no, those don’t catch her eye. Cormorants. In the old days, they were thought to bring good luck to sailors and travelers. I hope that’s the case. It’s a nice thought, and kids nowadays seem to travel so far afield so soon.

Until next time,