[CT Birds] Norwalk Islands

lpflynn at optonline.net lpflynn at optonline.net
Fri Jul 31 22:59:23 EDT 2015

While doing a American Oystercatcher survey by boat today, Luis Martin (Nat. Aud) and I came across a spectacular encounter.
On the Cockenoe Island sandbar (Westport CT) 200 or so Common Terns suddenly flushed, with one hundred flying west and another hundred flying east, 
At first we saw no cause for the flush,but in a few seconds, Luis shouts "Peregine Falcon!"
Sure enough there is a young PEFA chasing the eastern COTE's and now has one weak lone young tern plastered against the water, the Falcon stoops and stoops from low distances on the tern that can no longer take flight, it's looking really bad for the young (now possibly injured tern)
Out of nowhere the tide changes, the entire eastern COTE flock that were fleeing the scene now turns course and attacks the PEFA!!! OMG!!!
This was one incredible moment as we followed the tern colony actually drive the falcon out of the area and off towards Compo Beach. WOW!!!
The tern colony eventually settled down and went back to business.
Other interactions were several Double-crested Cormorants surfacing with fish only to be immediately pirated  of their catch by Great Black-back Gulls. One DCCO had a large eel, which the gulls divided among themselves.
It's just incredible how life play out...out there, it's incredible Nat Geo at it's best!
Plus it was simply magical that Luis and I were there to catch a small glimpse of some of those theatrics today.

Larry Flynn
Norwalk, CT

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