Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cockenoe Is. vs Irene

The Cockenoe Island Sand Spit did not fare well in it's recent bout with Hurricane Irene.
All of the islands vegetation is gone as well as a foot or so of the top of the spit.
Above is an old metal post, one of many that was exposed with the removal of the vegetation.
My guess is that these were part of a dune grass protection fence from a few decades ago.
Seems like I remember something of that sort.
In this post Irene picture we are looking south. You can use the back round trees as reference point for the next photo.
This photo is the same part of the spit, from summer of 2010.
Here is another shot from 2010, this time looking north towards the mainland.
Same north facing shot, after Irene.
Check out the small dark projection in the middle of this photo.
It is what was left to the root system of one of the beach plants, this root is about a foot or more in height, it is easy to see where the plant snapped off and how much erosion took place in order to expose the remains of the plant.
The USFW bird fencing has been either ripped out or snapped off and is now on the eastern side of the island.
The metal fence post were either bent 90 degrees or snapped in two.
I tried to pull this line out of the ground, impossible!
It is covered over with so much sand and rock, it might take a backhoe to dig it up.
I'll leave it for the next hurricane or for someone else to find in another fifty years
There is still bird life around, I found six American Oystercatchers at Cockenoe and another fifty three gathered on Crow Island, these were some of them.
A half dozen Osprey were feeding in Norwalk Harbor, here is one carrying an Atlantic Menhaden, one of the ospreys favorite dishes. This fish is locally know as "bunker"
There was a feeding frenzy near the Cockenoe Is. sand spit, not only by Laughing Gulls, but a number of Common Terns and Herring Gulls as well. 
The disturbance was from small bait fish being pushed to the top by bluefish.