Birding by Boat – Royal Tern plus

Sunrise over the harbor

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:

Offshore Fairfield

Laughing Gull

Snowy Egret

American Oystercatcher

And the Common Terns……

The colony.......

A great morning!

-Alex

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4 Responses to Birding by Boat – Royal Tern plus

  1. Betsy Hermann says:

    Hi Alex,

    Glad you’ve had decent weather for birding. We are living in Rainly rather than Rangeley these past couple of months. Activity at the feeders and in the yard have been good and also entertaining. A pair of chickadees are nesting in one of our birdhouses. The parents are zooming in and out of the house most of the day. We think the babies are being fed. A female Harry Woodpecker appears with one baby in the morning. Mom has been busy feeding Junior bugs and bird seed. Junior is so darn cute with his baby fluff still showing. We are still getting the 5:00am wake-up call from the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker most mornings with his pecking on the workshop metal stove pipe. Such a beautiful bird and such fun to watch. The female has not been spotted for quite a long time now.

    A female Mallard Duck appeared on the beach with 10 little ones, which had.to be only days old. Little fluff balls following Mom and peeping continuously. Bruce saw a female Merganser with little ones last week on the lake. No baby loons have been spotted yet. We hear the loons call most nights. Nature is just so beautiful. .

    Really enjoy your birding adventures, which I have sent to a few of my bird loving friends.

    Happy 4th to you and your family.

    Hugs,

    Betsy and Bruce too

  2. Dave says:

    Your sunrise photo should be on the cover of National Graphic.

  3. James Purcell says:

    Wow that’s awesome! btw, I have never heard of a Black-capped Night-Heron before, it must be really rare!

    James

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