[CT Birds] Fairfield, Penfield Reef

Chasbarnard at aol.com Chasbarnard at aol.com
Sat Mar 27 20:36:11 EDT 2010

I took a walk out Penfield Reef in Fairfield this afternoon.  There  were 
at least a thousand gulls, primarily Ring-billed but also good  numbers of 
Herring Gulls and a few Great Black-backed Gulls, feeding on and  along the 
edges of the reef.  To the West of the reef, extending towards  Sunken Island 
and Pine Creek Point, many hundreds of gulls (together with more  than 100 
Brant) were plankton feeding.  There were  4 Bonaparte's  Gulls in that 
crowd. The only ducks seen were about 55 Red-breasted Mergansers,  diving for 
Farther offshore, well beyond the Penfield Reef Lighthouse, gulls were  
flying by in a steady stream to the Northeast.  
The reef is much changed after all the winter storms. Much of the finer  
gravel which once covered the reef has been scoured off.  Now the reef  
surface consists solely of larger stones and walking is much more  difficult. The 
reef is lower as a result of all this scouring and it is probably  no longer 
possible, except on those days in which low tide is extremely low, to  walk 
to the reef's end without wearing knee high boots to get across the  low 
section.    The fringes of the reef no longer show much of  the sand and mud 
which were once there, so it is not at all as attractive  to shorebirds such 
as Sanderling and Dunlin.
 Hopefully, the currents will soon start to redeposit sand and smaller  
stones to the reef surface and fringes, making it more hospitable to humans  
and birds.
Charlie Barnard

More information about the CTBirds mailing list