|A male Red-winged Blackbird perches on telephone wires beside a salt marsh in Connecticut.|
|Salt Marshes play a vital role in the health and well-being of the overall marine ecosystem, and provide crucial habitat for a wide variety of animals.|
There are a number of great resources online if you'd like to learn more about Ospreys, including this website, maintained by the Connecticut Audubon Society and this website maintained by the group Long Island Sound Study offers some more technical data on the natural history and overall health of the Osprey population in Long Island Sound over the last 60 years.
While the salt marsh was full of bird song and offered a cool expanse of bright green grass and rich black mud, not very far away I was also lucky enough to have the chance to wander along a sandy beach, to see which birds might be feeding in the surf and along the shoreline.I saw a number of terns feeding and flying by, including one which was rousted from its perch by a large Greater Black-backed Gull. In fact, it was another Great Black-backed Gull which gave me some of my better photos for the day, as I watched it attempt to pull apart and eat a fish it had found. I couldn't tell what kind of fish it was - if anyone has suggestions from the photos below I would love to hear them.
|A Great Black-backed Gull tries to pull apart a dead fish on the beach.|
|The same bird as in the photo above takes the dead fish with it out in the water.|
I watched this gull for quite a while as it first tried to pull the dead fish apart on the beach and then took to the air with it in its bills, before landing about 20 feet from shore where it resumed its efforts. At one point it even seemed to be trying to make use of friction, as it grabbed one small corner of the fish in its bill and then tried to life up and back, flapping its wings hard and tugging on the fish. In the end it managed to get at least one bite-sized piece down. Double-Crested Cormorants were also a constant by the water, flying back and forth along the beach and landing occasionally to fish in the surf.
|Double-Crested Cormorants are a fairly common sight along the New England coastline in summer.|
Throughout my time at the shore I had many chances to look out at the water and marvel at the beauty of Long Island Sound, feasting on the sights, sounds and smells of the Atlantic, from the graceful flight of terns and Osprey to the steady, gentle rhythm of the waves. I look forward to returning and seeing more of this amazing place.
Thanks for reading.
|All is quiet as evening falls on Long Island Sound.|
Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.