Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sandy vs Norwalk Islands

Superstorm Sandy brought major damage to the Tri-State area, we have been well informed on that, but lets not forget the Norwalk Islands.
This early 1900's stone shack that stood proudly on Goose Island has been shattered by Sandy.
She saw many hurricanes and storms before, but could not bear the wrath of this incredible storm.
Above, is a current photo, her roof is torn apart as are her massive two foot walls and foundation.
Incredibly her NWR sign still stands, thankfully it was on the lee side of the storm.
Below, looking from the east, is the shack with it's  Double-crested Cormorant Breeding Area that swells to many hundreds, perhaps over one thousand Cormorants in nesting season.
In this post Sandy photo, along with the ruins of the 100 year old shack, almost all vegetation was wiped clean of the island.
All shell and vegetation that the Gulls,
and Cormorant nested upon has been washed into Long Island Sound

This is a photo of a Snowy Owl on Goose Island.
Here is the same area, just a few degrees east, the shell, sand and most vegetation are washed away.
Hopefully this will fill in again, a few species of breeding birds are also hoping for the same.
On to Cockenoe Island, this is the South West area, pre Sandy view.
This is the Heron Rookery Area
Same area on Cockenoe, post Sandy. The mass erosion is very evident.
Thankfully, this erosion didn't touch the Heron nesting area.
The Southeast side of Cockenoe, pre Sandy, note the trees and flagpole location plus the slope of the terrain
Same area, post Sandy,  here we see major erosion, the slope is now a cliff, several trees have fallen from the erosion and the flagpole has become very close to the edge. 
There is no need for me to mention the Tern nesting bar on this island, it has eroded further and it can not longer be considered a viable nesting area since it will be submerged on many spring and early summer high tides.
Hopefully a few new nesting areas may arise in the island chain.
Will we be ready?
A few other scenes, this is the shack on Sheffield Island.
Uprooted trees and shrubs encompass the whole southern shore of the island chain.
some more
and more

This Razorbill, that we found in Norwalk Harbor, before the beach and close to Cove Marina
doesn't seem to give a dang about any of this!

"                                          O bla de, o bla da life goes on..." Lennon & McCartny