December 30, 2008
I received an e-mail from Michael O’Brien today that contained the following photos of a snowy owl. He saw the bird at the Savage’s ditch dune crossing north of the Indian River inlet, on his way home from participating in his home state of Maryland’s CBCs.
I am delighted we can add this bird as a count week species for the Rehoboth CBC. Which by the way had a lincoln’s sparrow, brown pelican and the black bellied whistling duck at silver lake along with all the regular suspects for a final total of of 136 species. I will be going after the bird in the morning…wish me luck.
December 6, 2008
While driving to the “Flying Wild” training a few days back I found myself behind a large SUV. In itself this is not so unusual. Neither was seeing a bird on a sticker on the tailgate, although it was weird it was a Piping Plover. As I pulled up to the red light behind the SUV I realized just what message the sticker was trying to convey….
The sticker stated that Piping plover tastes like chicken. This is not the first sticker I have seen in opposition to piping plover nesting habitat protection. I have seen one other anti-piping plover sticker. That sticker was on the back of an Apple Electric Company vehicle– a piping plover inside a red circle and slash across the picture. We all know that to be in universal NO sign. After google-ing Piping plover sticker–I found it is a widspread problem, from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras from the Hamptons to the Outer banks and all along the eastern seaboard. Upset people sporting stickers and wearing t-shirts to protest the amount of beach set aside in summer for the nesting needs of piping plovers. One of the googled articles I found was a man who debunked the idea that piping plovers really do taste like chicken he had lived with shorebird trappers in south America and told why they would not be eaten on their migration south.
When I saw the first sticker on the Apple Electric truck I called the number just above the sticker to ask why they didn’t want any piping plovers. The woman was very apologetic and said it was only a joke. She stated that her husband, the owner of Apple Electric, thought it was funny. I explained I was new a to the area and a birder and why would anyone not like the piping plovers. She was mortified to have to answer my call. I expect her husband got a good tongue lashing that night.
I know it is a drag for me to go to Cape Henlopen State Park and not be able to get to the point to view birds because it has all been roped off for piping plovers. But I understand the birds and their issues. I can imagine how I would feel if I was ignorant of the birds and their needs and I wanted to fish and all my tackle was too heavy to carry.
I learned a lot doing this post & I hope never to taste piping plover. I’ll stick to duck. I’d also like to thank everyone who does obey those little string fences for helping the piping plovers.
November 21, 2008
During our Big Sit at the Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch this year just before sunrise Jeff took a break from counting birds to set up his camera hoping to catch the green flash— a very noble but difficult goal. We all patiently waited. FLASH! It was an instant. A wow moment. I don’t think Jeff got the photo but it was an amazing sight that is in my mind’s memory card. That is one of the best things about being married to a fantastic tour guide. He adds so much to my world. He not only gives me the moon but shares with me the stars and planets and various celestial phenomenon.
Visit Skywatch Friday–it’s a cool blog to visit to see many other celestial photos from around the globe. I find it fascinating to see other viewpoints on something we all share. Enjoy.
November 20, 2008
Wild Delaware is a coffee table book designed to promote the vanishing wonders of Delaware. Kevin Fleming–no relation–is a slower Delaware native that work fro National Geographic for many years. He decided to embark on this project to help other people see the beauty that lower Delaware has to offer. It is a fine tribute to this small state. The essays by Jim White, Derek Stoner, Jean Woods, and of course Jeff are a perfect compliment to the gorgeous photos.
For information on how to order a signed and numbered copy from the Wild Delaware website or come see us Saturday November 22, at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth for a book signing and meet the photographer and the other contributors.