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