Date: 7/17/18 9:17 am From: Larry via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Cockenoe Island highlights- Red-necked Grebe
Back in my fishing days it was common to see terns fly across the sound to say around Eaton's Neck Long and back to Cockenoe with baitfish in their bill, it seems like a long distance to us, but we don't have wings. I'm looking at some of my older photo's of the Cockenoe "Tern Bar", there is very little left of it these days, and what is left can just about be covered over on our spring tides, and if there happens to be a boat wake, wind waves, or storm at this time, water can go over the top of the spit washing everything (eggs, chicks) away. Just take a good look at the everchanging debris on the top of that spit, how does that ever get there? High tides and big waves. Note that on any one day the debris is there and on another day it's gone, and on another day there is new stuff, When there are lower tides the debris stays the same.
A little history....
Irene in August 2011 and a very strong Nor'easter later that year really took its toll on the landscape of that bar, these storms washed all vegetation off the bar and worst it eroded much of the bar, probably losing half of the above high tide land mass. The following spring is when the bar became attractive ot Common and Least Terns, (it wasn't for years prior, but had held Piping Plovers and others in years past, FM may recall) That May of 2012 is when I discovered the terns setting up their nesting colony just before Memorial Day weekend, after a ton of phone calls to many, Charlie Barnard was able to help and stepped up buying stakes, roping, flags and everything needed, I picked him up from shore and we had the nesting area all roped off before the sunset. The colony did well. That late October, Sandy came along and eroded more of the bar, it was now really getting much lower and smaller, Fast forward to this year, I could not believe what little nesting area is left, and today what remains is barely above the spring tide lines, never mind wake, waves and storms. Incidentally, there have been years since 20012 when big spring tides and storms knocked out all nest and eggs, fortunately terns can re-nest a few times in season, and the colony survived. I have these Cockenoe nesting failures and recoveries well documented, I don't follow so much these days.
When I was a child back in the early 60's, that bar extended at HIGH TIDE about as far as it does today at LOW TIDE and was very wide. I would walk from the northern tip of that bar (today's low tide) to the main Island at HIGH TIDE and only get my ankles wet and that was in just a little area near the main island (where the PIPL nested this year) On weekends at any high tide there could be hundreds of people picnicing, sunbathing or whatever on the once huge bar that existed back then, believe me this was the place to be if you had a boat back then. I spent a lot of time on the bar in the 60's and 70's with family and friends Natural erosion will eventually overcome the remnants of this bar, it's just a matter on time, in the upcoming years there will be less and less productive nesting on this bar until it's just a few stones that are awash at high tide. The good news is that Oystercatchers have expanded their nesting areas to other parts of the island, to places that they did not nest just a few years back, and this year Piping Plover gave it a shot.
I'd bet that in another thousand years or so, that whole island will be reduced to a patch of land, about a hundred yards long and thirty yards wide, and if the winds and tides are right, come May you might find hundreds of screaming terns flying back and forth to feed their chicks, on a small sandbar that what was once known as Cockenoe Island
Larry Flynn Norwalk.
On Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 5:12 PM, Tina and Peter Green via CTBirds < <ctbirds...> wrote:
> Westport- Cockenoe Island-Red-necked Grebe continues just east of the Tern > colony area, 9 Sanderlings, 50-60 Common Terns, all off of their nests and > looking like they are getting ready to leave the area. It is obvious there > is no food for them at this end of Long Island Sound. > Canal Road Marsh- 6 Greater Yellowlegs > > Tina Green > with AJ & Sue Hand > Westport by boat > Sent from my iPhone > _______________________________________________ > This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) > for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. > For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/ > mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org > _______________________________________________ This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org