This June Enjoy the Beauty of Birds on Long Island Sound with the Seaport Association

Bird Cruises are one of the most popular excursions operated by the Seaport Association in Norwalk. Although Connecticut is a small state, it is rich in birdlife with more than 430 different bird species to spot. If you are a veteran or novice birding enthusiast and want to add seabirds to your list, hop on board the C.J. Toth, a 49- passenger vessel with the Seaport Association on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, and Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26 from 8 am to 10:30 a.m. for the June Bird Cruises that welcomes adults as well as children.

An avian adventure on Long Island Sound in June provides a unique opportunity to see birds in their natural habitat. Every cruise is different because you never know what will fly your way, making this excursion an adventure in itself. The bird cruise in June offers different things to see than the bird cruises offered in May. June is the month when many birds breed making it the perfect time to look for birds where they nest. On this guided tour escorted by Will Schneck, a member of the esteemed Connecticut Young Birders Club, passengers will learn about local bird behavior and biology and, most importantly how to spot them. “One thing that we will be looking for is birds that are nesting, raising their families, resting, and feeding,” says Schneck. Among the types of birds, you may see on this eco-adventure cruise are nest sites and nest colonies of ospreys, and long-legged egrets with their graceful S-curved necks and long dagger-like bills, as well as playful American oystercatchers, herons, terns, gulls, and cormorants to name a few.

Another special feature of this cruise is the chance to spot birds at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge on Sheffield Island. Here you will see a variety of habitats that support nesting and wading birds. This spot is known for its small population of herring and great black-backed gulls that nest along Sheffield Island’s rocky shoreline. The importance of the Norwalk Islands to wildlife, especially migratory birds is enormous, and the special Bird Cruises hosted by the Norwalk Seaport Association give nature enthusiasts, adults, and children alike, the chance to spot these magnificent seabirds up close with the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide.

Bird Cruise Details
Passengers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to the 8 a.m. departure. The vessel leaves from the Seaport Dock that is adjacent to the Stroffolino Bridge at the corner of Washington and Water Streets in South Norwalk. Parking is available at the adjacent lot or at the Norwalk Parking Garage. Tickets are available online in advance by clicking here and are $25 in addition to a small ticketing fee. The Seaport Association advises reserving your Bird Cruise early because these popular excursions sell out. Make sure you include your email when reserving your ticket. If the tour is canceled due to inclement weather the Norwalk Seaport Association will contact you via your email.

Before embarking on this cruise, be sure to pack sunscreen, your camera, binoculars, water and snacks, and your sense of adventure!

About the Norwalk Seaport Association

The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage. The Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for the environment and how the preservation of historic buildings contributes to our quality of life. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment, and our maritime heritage.

Classic Schooner Sails SoundWaters Opens this Weekend!

Anyone who has ever dreamed about gliding full sail on a classic schooner should visit SoundWaters, an environmental education organization located in Cove Island Park in Stamford. They offer regular sails on the SoundWaters, an 80-foot three-masted replica of a 19th Century sharpie schooner, which leaves from Brewer Yacht Haven Marina in Stamford.

Afternoon sails from 3 to 5 p.m. on selected dates from June through August are great for families with children age 5 and up, offering the chance to help hoist the sails and raise the trawl to discover who lives underwater. This summer, afternoon sails are offered on the following dates: Sunday, May 29, Sunday, June 12, Saturday, June 25, Sunday, June 26, Sunday, July 3, Saturday, July 9, Saturday, July 16, Sunday, July 17, Saturday, July 23, Saturday, July 30, Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14.

Sunset Sails on selected weekends and weeknights from June through August are intended for adults, who are invited to bring dinner and their favorite beverages on baord and relax while watching the sun go down. These sails are intended for Adults, as alcohol is often brought on board. Sunset Sails are offered 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm on the following dates this season: Sunday, May 29, Sunday, June 12, Saturday, June 25, Sunday, June 26, Tuesday, June 28, Sunday, July 3, Wednesday, July 6, Friday, July 8, Saturday, July 9, Friday, July 15, Saturday, July 16, Sunday, July 17, Wednesday, July 20, Friday, July 22, Saturday, July 2, Wednesday, July 27, Friday, July 29, Saturday, July 30, Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14.

On July 2 Soundwaters is offering a “Fireworks Sail”, that is truely an unforgettable event that is set against the dramatic backdrop of Long Island Sound from 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm. Tickets for this very special sail are $75 per person.

Tickets for Afternoon and Sunset Sails are $30 per person and all children must be at least five years old. To reserve your space please call 203-406-3335 with a credit card. Prior to the day of the sail, tickets are also available at the SoundWaters Center in Cove Island Park and can be purchased by credit card, cash or check. Spaces on day of sail are available first come first served. Passengers can pay in person (cash or check) on the day of sail dockside (Brewers Yacht Haven Marina). Note that these spaces are not guaranteed. For any additional questions or if you would like to make advance resevations phone (203) 406-3335 or email hstarks@soundwaters.org.

To reach the Marina coming from the North on I-95:-Take I-95 South to Exit 7. Merge onto N State St (merge into the middle lane, the far left lane will take you back to I-95 South). Turn left on to Washington Blvd (5th Traffic Light) Washington Blvd will turn into Dyke Lane Continue on Dyke Lane. Take a right onto Batemen Way. Turn left into Brewer Yacht Haven Marina and follow the pavement to the southwest corner of the marina. The Schooner SoundWaters is located at Dock S1.

Coming from the South on I-95: -Take I-95 North to Exit 7.-Merge onto S State St-Turn right onto Washington Blvd-Washington Blvd will turn into Dyke Lane- Continue on Dyke Lane.- Take a right onto Batemen Way- Turn left into Brewer Yacht Haven Marina and follow the pavement to the southwest corner of the marina. The Schooner SoundWaters is located at Dock S1.

The gate into Brewer Yacht Haven Marina is open Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm and Saturday 8:00am – 1:00pm. If your sail is after 5:00 pm on a weekday, after 1:00 pm on Saturday, or on a Sunday, a SoundWaters staff member will be at the entrance gate into Brewers Yacht Haven Marina 30 minutes prior to the start of the sail to check in passengers and direct you to parking. You must check in at the gate 5 minutes prior to the start of the sail.