to see if there were any newly hatched babies.
I called my friend Alvin and we were off.
Our first stop was Goose Island, we know the
Cormorants were hatching, but how about the Gulls?
Surely enough, along the sandy coastline we saw the
first little puffballs of the season, Great Black-back Gull
chicks love to hang out along the shoreline, and there were a few,
just yards from the bow of the boat.
I never get tired of these little guys, they are beautiful.
We head off to Cockenoe Island in Westport, I know we will find a few American Oystercatcher chicks along this islands coastline, not to be disappointed, as soon as we saw the first pair of adults, we saw one, two, then three little fuzzy chicks following their parents around.
From the south side of the island we saw that the heron colony was doing well, then a Least Tern flies overhead with a small fish in it's bill, I follow the tern with my binoculars but soon lose it in the distance.
What I do know is that this bird is bringing food back to a nest, what I what to know is where is that nest?
Least Terns are on the Threatened Species List in Connecticut, mostly due to the losses of their preferred nesting areas, they nest just above the high tide lines along sandy beach areas.
They need little to no human disturbance and absolutly no disturbance from dogs, feral cats, raccoons and others, a hard spot to find in Connecticut these days.
Anyway, we made our way out to the small sand bar (or whats left to it, from severe erosion)
and darn if there aren't a few terns flying around, as we get closer to the tiny sand spit, we see more and more terns. Mostly Common Terns but there are a few Least in the flocks.
As we scan through the birds on shore we see many birds sitting on nest, 50, 60 70 nesting birds.
Then it hits me, it's Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of boaters will becoming here in the next few days, and if these birds don't get some sort of protection immediately, none of their eggs will make it through the weekend.
It's 1pm, I make a phone call to Nick Bonomo, hopefully he can help organize something very quickly.
We talk briefly and Nick is on the case, the word gets out on CT Birds and the ball is rolling.
Charlie Barnard calls me and said he has some left over signs and stakes from when DEP roped off Long Beach in Stratford a few week ago, he will walk the one mile to get them, he knows there are not enough for what we need, and stops at a hardware store to pick up more stakes, twine and ribbon.
He also makes a stop at the Town of Westport they have a few more signs available.
We meet back at the boat at 4:30, Charlie, Alvin and I have the nesting area completely roped of by six o'clock.
I can't believe the response from the many people that stepped up to make this happen so fast.
Not in any particular order, The Town of Westport, CT DEP, US Fish and Wildlife, National Audubon, CT Audubon, and the many individuals that made this happen.
Thanks to All!
One of the newly hatched GBB Gulls.
Tell me this isn't adorable!
Most gulls are still siting on nest
This little gem is an American Oystercatcher chick
to small to get away, little stones are like mountains
to them, they hide in between the rocks and
can easily be stepped on as they are almost invisible.
young from the dive bombing terns.
When the terns got to close to the Oystercatchers
chicks, in return the adult Oystercatcher would chase off the terns,
it seemed to be never ending, the oystercatchers
had this place all to themselves until a day or two ago.
Least Tern sitting on eggs.
Common terns here.