2011 Norwalk Islands Bird Watching Tour
Sun, sea breeze and beautiful wildlife make a perfect combination and that's just what the Norwalk Seaport Association offers up in its bird-watching.
Set to depart from the Seaport Dock adjacent to the Stroffolino Bridge at the corner of Washington and Water streets in South Norwalk, the 42-foot C. J. Toth Quest catamaran will take participants on a three-hour cruise.
"This is our third year of doing these cruises," said Jerry Toni, trustee of the NSA. The idea, he said, originated from one of the organization's volunteers who had a friend who is a master conservationist in the state and an avid birder. "They were talking about it and thought it would be a great addition to our programming."
Larry Flynn, a master wildlife conservationist with the state's Department of Environmental Protection, volunteers his time to lead the cruises, Toni said. "He's a native Norwalker and a boater and he knows the Norwalk islands intimately."
The day before the cruise, he said, Flynn will go out to the islands and take note of which birds he sees and where they're found, then plan the cruise around that. "We only do these cruises on the mornings of high tides, which is ideal," Toni said. "It means we can get the boat into more places."
Cruises also vary depending on the time of the year. For instance, cruises in early June are likely to offer the opportunity for viewing fledglings. "Now, of course, those baby birds are growing up," Toni said.
The cruise will most likely encompass a trip out the eastern channel and a visit to Goose Island, which is a breeding ground for various seagulls and cormorants. From there, the trip will probably move to Cockenoe Island, where there are many herons and egrets that nest in the trees, he said.
"Then the boat will loop back around and will probably go in between Grassy and Chimon islands. It's really whatever you luck out and get to see. During the last cruise we went further west between Sheffield and Shea islands and there was a perregrine falcon trying to attack a nest, so we got to see that action."
The cruise welcomes all levels of bird watchers and binoculars will be made available for anyone who needs them. Cruises are limited to 40 people, so reservations are suggested.
Sheffield Island Dock (View)
N Water St & Washington St
Norwalk, CT 06854
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|