I spent a very enjoyable morning birding a good portion of the Western Sound (Norwalk-Fairfield/Bridgeport) with Nick Bonomo, Phil Rusch and Roy Harvey. Overall numbers of birds out on the sound were quite low whether in terms of birds feeding or moving across. The highlight of our time offshore was an adult Royal Tern that flew closely past the boat, providing good identifiable views. Nick was able to chase the bird down and we again enjoyed close looks, clinching the ID. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a photo (darn!). Otherwise, only two Laughing Gulls and a couple Common Terns were about (plus the more common gulls etc.). Surprising, giving the time of year and our position near the Cockenoe Island tern colony. No Wilson’s SPs either….
As we moved inshore, bird activity began to increase quite a bit. We soon realized that the Common Terns were finding quite a bit of food inshore, giving them little need to venture out into the sound. Moving past the heron rookery we noted great numbers of Snowy and Great Egrets as well as Black-crowned Night-Heron. The Cockenoe Island tern colony was in full swing….absolutely hopping! My estimate was around 244 give or take a few birds with all of them being Common, including one first-summer bird. A pair of noisy American Oystercatchers were also present. An adult Little Blue Heron, no doubt breeding on Cockenoe passed by and soon we were able to net 9 Long-tailed Ducks and 2 Common Loons in the harbor. Photos below:
And the Common Terns……
A great morning!