The Coastal Center at Milford Point

The Coastal Center at Milford Point: Address, Phone Number, The Coastal Center at Milford Point Reviews: 4.5/5

The Coastal Center at Milford Point

The Coastal Center at Milford Point
4.5
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4.5
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ImmerWandern
Palos Heights, IL7,219 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
The center is managed by the Connecticut Audubon Society. The parking lot was relatively small but there were just a few visitors during the weekday morning that we visited. The center is open dawn to dusk. The visitor center was open for a children’s camp but not for visitors in general so we had no access to the exhibits inside nor to the bathroom. There were a couple of “portolets” our in the parking lot, however. There was a short raised walkway to a small viewing platform directly from the parking lot. It looked directly at a complex of purple martin nesting boxes. Definitely spend some time to observe these swift-flying birds going back and forth from their human-engineered homes. At times the purple martins stood on top of their pods and chirped away at each other.

The shoreline was accessed via a pathway leading directly from the front porch of the visitor’s center across the a road to a raised wooden walkway. There was a mourning dove nesting in a tree right at the start of the walkway. We hadn’t made it to the viewing platform when a Northern mockingbird started singing its musical medley from a shrub along the walkway; it flew to another perch to continue its performance. Not to be outdone a small song sparrow also sang its lungs out from atop a nearby shrub. There were small Eastern Prickly Pear growing in the sand just to the side of the walkway; they were blooming with bright yellow flowers.

After surveying the lay of the land from the platform we headed out onto the sand and headed left, looping around the tidal marshes. It had not been our plan but we happened to visit during low tide. The beds of tidal marsh grasses appeared healthy; smooth cordgrass in the shallows and along waters edge, and the salt-meadow cordgrass just a bit further inland. It should be noted that large portions of the sandbank was roped off to protect plover nesting areas. Actual piping plover nests were further guarded by round tall wire cages placed over the nesting site.

Kildeer were our first shorebird encounter; there were a couple chirping loudly, running in and out of the roped off area. One chased off a blackbird; it appeared they were protecting a nest.

We then spotted piping plovers. Their small size and color pattern were a perfect camouflage amongst the stones, sand and seashells on the beach. If they weren’t moving it would have been almost impossible to see them.

Semipalmated sandpipers were easier to spot mainly because they clustered are the water’s edge to feed.

The most obvious were the American oystercatchers, no only because of their bright orange bills and relatively large size but their raucous cries.

Both adult and juvenile ring-billed and hurricane seagulls were quite, sitting on the sand.

A single Snowy egret fished the the shallow waters - successfully - near a pair of Brant geese. We spotted a solo Least tern as well. Another solo bird was a double-crested cormorants drying itself on a sandbank.

The large sandbank we were able to walk on was stony in places but full of sea shells wherever we went, sometimes to the point that the sand was completely buried. We recognized oysters, scallops, clams, and mussels among the innumerable shells. When mollusks die their shells wash up ashore. Clearly the waters in this area were rich with shellfish. Oystercatchers feed exclusively on shellfish including clam, mussels, oysters and other mollusks. This limits their habitat to a narrow marine habitat of salt marshes and barrier islands. Given the obvious abundance of mollusks at Milford Point it was clear these seabirds had picked a good place to stay.

Our sightings weren’t limit to avian species. There were 3 pairs of breeding horseshoe crabs, 2 on a distant sand bank and 1 right on the stones above the waterline on our side. The larger horseshoe crab in front was dragging a smaller one slowly up the beach make it the female and the latter the male. The female crab had been tagged, and the tag had a US Fish&Wildlife website at which to report the tag number and other info.

On the exposed muddy banks on the mainland we observed countless tiny Atlantic marsh fiddler crabs climb out of their burrows to feed and wage battle with fellow crab.

Even though the inside of the visitors center was closed we made sure to visit the viewing tower. It provided an excellent overlook onto the sea marshes in general and onto the artificial osprey nest in particular. A tall wood platform had been set up on a small island. A solar-powered webcam had clearly been set up. We saw on adult brooding on the nest and another perched on man-made post nearby.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at this nature reserve.
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CarolTop
5 contributions
Oct 2019 • Friends
This is a great place for a walk along the shore through the marshland area. There is also a building with small aquariums and several observation decks that look over the marsh and Housatonic River. There are nice quiet places to sit and take it all in and watch the birds and other wildlife. Highly recommend.
Written October 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HungryI223
Orange, CT34 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
Last time we were here was last fall, when my brothers came to town to visit. We walked down the wooden walk to the shore, enjoying butterflies around us, views of Long Island Sound, and the mouth of the Housatonic River. The main building was closed the day we came, but there was still much to enjoy. They offer some great programs for adults and children throughout the year.
Written April 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jmurphybrown
Milford, CT15 contributions
May 2018 • Friends
A little get away within a little city that you don't want to miss. Great spot for wildlife viewing, walks on beach, shady seating and informative nature center. Never been crowded on any of my visits, check it out.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Holly B
Easton, PA84 contributions
Aug 2018
we found the costal center in the spring when exploring after we moved near the area. Nice welcome center and you could explore both the ocean and marsh sides. Noticed a flyer for programs and summer camps the CT Audubon Society offers, decided to sign my boys up, they loved their weeks at camp, hands on exploring and learning about the habitats and inhabitants of the marsh and beach sides staff were phenomenal. THe kids are already planning for another week next summer. We also go just for a walk on the beach and to check out the wildlife.
Written August 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert C
Hamden, CT83 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
Had a couple of hours between appointments and decided to head out to the Coastal Center for a peek. Small kid camp going on but had no issues, Purple Martin Houses were packed with birds and the marsh (low tide) was interesting from the viewing platform. Follow the path out to the point was beautiful and we watched a deer from about 25 yards for awhile and walked the beach (alone) for as long as we wanted. Shells shells and more shells! Only complaint was the walk wasn't particularly handicap accessable so Meg's rollator wasn't much use but that's beaches everywhere. Cameras in the center on osprey and purple martin young along with several displays (and a bathroom) made it a great stop!
Written July 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

turnmaster
Tampa, FL59 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
Definitely worth a short visit. They have two cameras showing nest of Purple Warblers and Ospreys with young in the nests. Nice short walk to sound side. Very nice and quiet. Great for bird watching.
Written June 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Parker Sturbridge
813 contributions
Sep 2017 • Couples
This short drive takes you to a totally different dimension of this area. Peaceful, scenic and quiet, it evokes Cape Cod or some other New England beach location. Climb the tower for a stunning view and definitely walk out to the beach on the point. It's a quick vacation only a few minutes off the interstate, and is beautiful in any season.
Written January 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert K
New York City, NY73 contributions
Aug 2017 • Couples
Feels like you're completely removed from the area when you spend time here. There's 2 sides to explore: The marsh side, which is viewable by an observation tower and is spectacular at sunset. And the sound side, which features a small pond/inlet, and sandy, natural beaches. One of the most relaxing places in the area and absolutely worth a visit.
Written October 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TinaConnecticut
Connecticut41 contributions
Aug 2017 • Family
If you want to appreciate nature, then there is nothing better to discover the Coastal marsh area, see the different wildlife including an eagle family that lives near by. Great place to relax.
Written August 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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