Monday, July 30, 2012

A Rainy Weekend Along Long Island Sound

This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend a little time exploring a salt marsh and beach along Long Island Sound  in Clinton, Connecticut. From my previous trip to the area I knew that I would likely encounter a number of different coastal species, including Osprey, Double-crested Cormorant and Terns. Although the weather was cloudy and there were occasional thunderstorms passing through, I still managed to get outside and found the birds to be as active as ever. On my first night there I walked out to the beach to take a look at the moon rising over Long Island Sound.

The moon rising over Long Island Sound, Clinton, Connecticut.
The next morning I woke up early and headed back to the beach to have a look. The sky was gray, but the rain held off for a little while as I watched Double-crested Cormorants fly back and forth, low over gentle waves,  as half a dozen Common Terns swooped and stabbed the air, diving and dashing into the water to pick up small fish just below the surface. My next stop was a salt marsh, where in addition to European Starlings, Northern Cardinals and an Osprey, I also spotted a Great Egret, my first in Connecticut.

A salt marsh in Clinton, Connecticut. Salt Marshes play a vital role in the overall health of marine ecosystems and provide key resources for a wide variety of birds, fish and other animals.
Soon after I left the salt marsh it began to rain, and the wet weather stayed with us for the rest of the day. Fortunately, on Sunday my girlfriend and I went back to the beach, where we both managed to get a few phone photos of the Common Terns perching and fishing along the edge of the water. While I'm sure I must have seen these birds many times while fishing on Cape Cod when I was younger, this was the first time I had recorded them since I started biring, bringing my list for the year to 83, and my life list to 191.

A Common Tern perches on a piling in Clinton, Connecticut, with Long Island Sound in the background. These birds can be seen regularly along New England beaches where they search for small fish.
Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment