[CT Birds] Least terns and Morse Beach
bulbophyllum at charter.net
Wed Jun 3 18:59:20 EDT 2009
Least Terns, at least not large numbers have not always nested at
Morse Beach. I do not recall the date but think it was in the early
90's when a disturbance at Eatons Neck (?) on the north shore of Long
Island lead to the arrival of terns at Morse Beach. So the tern
colonies do move.
The area I suspect the birds were nesting at Morse Point (could be
wrong on this) was the eastern tip behind the primary dune. When I
walked this area last year it was apparent that high marsh plants of
the tidal marsh were colonizing the otherwise barren sands - a sure
sign of sea level rise from climate change (?). We know from the New
London tide gauge, that since 1980, sea levels has been rising as
twice their former rate.
We also see along the entire coast of Connecticut, the rapid expansion
of the tidal marsh grass Juncus gerardii (black grass actually a rush)
into the uplands. It is likely that this migration onto uplands
(marine transgression) is due in part to the 18.6 lunar nodal cycle.
I suspect on top of that is the accelerated sea level rise effect.
It may be that at the current stage of the lunar nodal cycle, Morse
Beach may not be suitable to sustain tern nesting.
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