Date: 7/22/22 11:07 am
From: Larry via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Re: No terns at Cockenoe Island, Westport
Hi Sean,

There is very little land left on that sandbar compared to sixty years ago
when I was a youngster, I've been watching it erode for many decades.
Successful tern nesting on the remnants of that bar is getting harder and
harder each year as landmass disappears. Every nor'easter and storms like
Sandy and Irene have taken a big toll on not only that bar but much of
Cockenoe and other islands.
Unfortunately whatever land that it left on the sandspit can succumb and
become awash during the nesting season spring tides, and storms. Sometimes
just by a large boat wake at extreme high tide can do it..
I've watched those terns lose everything and attempt renesting one or two
times afterwards, depending how late in the season it is, with certainty
date's near mid to late July are getting very late for them to attempt a
renest, but it happens.
Some years there have been big numbers of terns on the spit after most or
all of the nesting is finished well into August, this is generally due to a
favorable amount of baitfish in this area, other years when there are lower
numbers of terns left, it's lack of food sources.
Another cool thing that I have witnessed, is while fishing mid sound, or on
the Long Island side, is the numbers of terns that will fly from CT to LI,
catch some food and fly all the way back to CT to feed their young. Of
course this occurs only when there is a lack of food nearby in CT.

Best,
Larry Flynn

On Fri, Jul 22, 2022 at 11:35 AM Sean Murtha via CTBirds <
<ctbirds...> wrote:

>
> I visited the Cockenoe sandbar by kayak this morning for the first time in
> a while, only to discover the Common Tern Colony there abandoned. Only a
> handful of adult birds were present. Many appear to have relocated
> westward to East White Rock, just east of Calf Pasture Island in Norwalk- I
> observed adults bringing food, aggressively driving off approaching gulls
> (and me when I drifted too close), and spotted a few young birds. But the
> rock is too small to support the numbers that used to nest on Cockenoe
> sandbar. I suspect high tides swamped the sandbar- to my eye it looks a
> little lower this year (though that's hard to judge).
>
> There were small numbers of Semipalmated sandpipers and at least one Least
> sandpiper on Cockenoe. Also a Brant, which appears to have a damaged wing
> but otherwise looking healthy.
>
> -Sean Murtha
>
> www.seanmurthaart.com
>
> CTBirds, a service of Connecticut Ornithological Association - Bringing
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CTBirds, a service of Connecticut Ornithological Association - Bringing birders together statewide. Please support COA: https://www.ctbirding.org/join-us/
CTBirds is for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For list rules and subscription information visit: https://www.ctbirding.org/birds-birding/ct-birds-email-list/
 
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