[CT Birds] Gulls of the Norwalk Islands.

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Sat Mar 17 19:47:01 EDT 2012

Boat tour: Norwalk Harbor to south side of Chimon Is. then working  
the deeper water east to Sunken Island in Fairfield. The return trip  
was inside the islands.
2:30 to 4:30 with Larry Flynn, Frank Mantlik, Dennis Varza

We started in the area south of Chimon Islands where Larry had the  
large numbers yesterday. The area was practically empty. We then  
worked our way to the east were birds were reported at Southport  
Beach and Sherwood Is. In the off shore area from Southport Beach To  
Penfield Reef Birds were everywhere. Looking in the water, we saw  
brown ribbons of clustered larvae. In some areas the larvae were  
below the surface and in such density as to turn the water brown.  On  
the return trip closer to shore thousands more were found from  
Southport Beach to Cockenoe Island. The number of birds observed were  
so large that the estimates are very loose.

We have come to believe that the gulls seen yesterday in Norwalk are  
the same ones in Fairfield today. And, likely the same ones in  
Stamford earlier in the week. It seems that they travel further than  
expected to find the barnacle plumes. Earlier in the week when Frank  
and myself had no gulls in the Bridgeport-Stratford area and they  
were not directly off shore, they were likely in the Norwalk-Stamford  

A quick look at reports of others show observations ranging from  
Greenwich to Milford. Tomorrow I will go through them to create a  
general report.  My thanks to everyone for looking for gulls for us.

Dennis Varza

Brant	500
Canada Goose	2
Mute Swan	3
Gadwall	4
American Wigeon	25
American Black Duck	400
Mallard	3
Green-winged Teal	4
Greater Scaup	8,000
White-winged Scoter	120
Long-tailed Duck	150
Bufflehead	22
Common Goldeneye	10
Red-breasted Merganser	6
Common Loon	4
Northern Gannet	1
Double-crested Cormorant	3
Great Cormorant	3
American Oystercatcher	3
Bonaparte’s Gull	5

Barnacle Gulls	30,000	75% Ring-billed, 25% Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull	20
Tree Swallow	1

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