Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Birds

Feb 11 '10

Yesterdays eight inch snowstorm is long gone, now its time to head out and clear off the boat. The Great Backyard Bird Count starts tomorrow and runs through Monday the 15th.

In the past five or so years I have always managed a bird count by boat of the Norwalk Islands for the GBBC. The weather is suppose to stay in the low thirties for the weekend and if there is any wind it will make for a very uncomfortable bird count on a open boat.

Long-tailed Duck are perhaps my favorite species of winter diving ducks that migrate to the Norwalk Island chain each winter. This area is a great food source for these and many other sub-surface feeding birds, as each day commercial clamming boats work the many square miles of shallow bottom farming their oysters and clams.

These oyster boats do the ducks a big favor by stirring up the soft bottom, exposing worms, crabs, shrimp and more, making easy feeding for the ducks.

Situated off Norwalk Connecticut, in Long Island Sound, sit the Norwalk Island, these are a dozen or so small islands, most less than one mile from the mainland shore. Surrounded by relatively shallow waters, these islands and waters are a valuable area for many species of wildlife and fish. We will be exploring the islands, it's wildlife and fish in future blogs, along with plenty of photos.

But for now, it's time to clear off the boat and hope it's not iced in.

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