Great White Pelican at Ding Darling

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR. February 28 - March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR. February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission. Photo may not be used without written permission.

We planned our Sanibel visit for weeks. The day we arrived an absolutely off the wall visitor from Africa also dropped in. A Great White Pelican, a denizen of the old world, with a range centered on Africa was found roosting amongst a flock of American White Pelicans in the J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Local residents and bird experts Lillian and Don Stokes alerted us to this bird after it was conclusively identified by Judith Davis, a  long time birder and roving naturalist for J. N. Ding Darling NWR.

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR.©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

Great White Pelican, J.N Ding Darling NWR. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

This is not an easy bird to miss. It weighs approximately over 30 pounds, for reference, the Brown Pelican average weight is 8.2 pounds and the American White Pelican weighs in around 16.5 pounds. While the Great White Pelican does superficially resemble the American White Pelican, there were a number of key differences. This Great White Pelican, likely a breeding condition female, had an overall pinkish cast. The bill was multi-colored with yellow, blue and red , there was a yellowish wash on the breast and massive legs were pinkish. Most notable was a pronounced bulbous protrusion between the upper bill and crown, and the soft tissue color around the eye was large and orange.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage, extralimital), with American Pelican in back, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage, extralimital), with American Pelican in back, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

This was the first recorded sighting of the species in North America. It was not known how the bird got to Sanibel, speculation ranged from escaped bird from zoo or collection, ship assisted ocean transit, hurricane driven, or simply a hop across the South Atlantic like the Cattle Egret before it. The bird had no leg bands. The wing feathers were not cut. The bird was capable of feeding in the wild, sustained flight, and was able to socialize with the American White Pelicans. There were, at last report, no records of errant GWP’s from North American Zoos and other collections of exotic waterfowl.

Great White Pelican on left (from Africa) with American White Pelicans, one doing head toss, pouch display, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on loft (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida.©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on left (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida.©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on loft (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida.©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on left (from Africa) doing head toss, pouch display with American White Pelicans, roosting, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida.©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Is this a good species? Time and the official ornithological reviews will tell. The bird was well seen by hundreds of birders over the course of three days. It flew off mid-day on the third day and has not been seen anywhere by anyone on the public record since then. The question of legitimacy of the species as a countable bird in North America rests with the Florida Ornithological Society report and subsequent review of their findings by the American Birding Association, ABA.

Great White Pelican on left flaps wings (from Africa) with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican on right flaps wings (from Africa) with American White Pelicans, roosting, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, with American White Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida February 28 -March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida February 28 – March 1, 2016. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Certainly anyone who saw the bird will not soon forget it, and it sure looked and acted like a wild bird. The greatest mystery is how a 22 pound white bird with a wingspan approaching a California Condor can fly away on clear day and simply vanish. Perhaps the bird joined migrating American White Pelicans that were beginning to move north at the time, or perhaps a future search of museum and institutional records will find the specimen of the first Great White Pelican to reach North America. In the old days many a bird was collected for museum records or to control the spread of disease, I personally hope that this is not the case, however if there is a specimen, blood or tissue studies could be used to conclusively determine the origin of the bird.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, Flying off for the last time since Feb 28 after three day at J.N Ding Darling NWR on March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, Flying off for the last time on March 1 , 2016 after three days at J.N Ding Darling NWR from 9am February 28 to 10am March 1, 2016. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

Additional Interview with Judith Davis talking about the Great White Pelican on BirdCallsRadio Click Here: BirdCallsRadio: Judith Davis, Great White Pelican

A group of Florida birders and others gathered for a quick pose to celebrate seeing the Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

A group of wonderful Florida birders and others gathered for a quick pose to celebrate seeing the Great White Pelican, (probable female in breeding plumage), extralimital, roosting with American Pelicans, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel Island, Florida. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved. Photo may not be used without written permission.

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Bird Food For People™ ~ Gilligan’s Restaurant

Gillian's Restaurant and Bar Historic Lewes, Delaware. Crab Cake with caesar salad & dressing, . ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

Gillian’s Restaurant and Bar Historic Lewes, Delaware. Crab Cake with caesar salad & dressing, . ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

In Historic Lewes, Delware Gillian’s Restaurant and Bar has a Crab Cake that is truly one of the best crab cakes I have ever had right inline with Old Salty’s. I choose to have mine on a bed with a caesar salad & dressing, the real McCoy of course.

Townsend went for the Crab Cake with mashed potatoes with fresh asparagus.

Crab Cake with mashed potatoes with fresh asparagusGillian's Restaurant and Bar ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Crab Cake with mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus. Gillian’s Restaurant and Bar, Historic Lewes, Delaware. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Chef AJ doesn’t use any filler and it’s HUGE! We ate every scrap and refrained from licking the plate.  

134 Market Street  Lewes, DE 19958 

302-644-7230 / FAX 644-7233

OPEN TUESDAY-SUNDAY 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM

 

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We Remember Noble Proctor

Noble Proctor, in the field having just observed a rare Northern Wheatear, late summer Allen's Meadow, Wilton, Connecticut. ©Townsend P. Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Noble Proctor, in the field having just observed a rare Northern Wheatear, late summer Allen’s Meadow, Wilton, Connecticut.  ©Townsend P. Dickinson  All Rights Reserved. 

Noble S. Proctor Ph.D., 73, of Branford, CT, died on May 28. He was born April 10, 1942 in Derby, CT to Alfred Proctor and Ruth Baldwin Proctor. He grew up in Ansonia where he roamed the valley, initiating his lifelong love for natural history. He attended Ansonia High School and upon graduation, entered the U.S. Army. After his Army years and before starting college, he was employed by Yale University to collect materials for Protein & DNA studies for taxonomy of bird classification. He received his B.A & M.S. at Southern Connecticut State University and his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. He was a professor of biology for 34 years at SCSU, teaching courses in ornithology, botany, and biogeography. He was also a wildlife photographer and has written & co-authored 10 books on birds and wildlife. For over 40 years, he led wildlife tours throughout the world, visiting 90 countries. 23 safaris to East Africa; 22 springs were spent in Costa Rica and 23 trips were made to Alaska where, for 14 years in a row, he spent up to five weeks on Attu Island in search for birds that wandered to U.S. shores from Siberia. He was among a group of scientists conducting avian field research in the Soviet Union for the U.S. Forest Service and spoke at the United Nations concerning the state of the environment on a world wide scale along with Jane Goodall. An ornithologist all of his life, he amassed a lifelong birding list of over 6,000 species worldwide, 814 species in North America and his most prized list of finding 512 species of North American bird nests. Noble worked with his close friend, artist, author, photographer Roger Tory Peterson during his revision of the Eastern Field Guide to Birds. He was among the founding members establishing the Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History in Jamestown, NY. His organizational memberships include; the American Ornithologists Union, The American Birding Society, CT Botanical Society, CT Butter Fly Association, and member of the New Haven Bird Club for 46 years. His many awards include; Outstanding Professor of the Year (SCSU), Connecticut Environmentalist Award, Outstanding Conservationist Award from the CT Botanical Society, CT Ornithological Association Mabel Osgood Wright Award in 2002 and in 2013 the American Birding Association’s Roger Tory Peterson Award.

He is survived by his wife Carolyn George Proctor of 43 years, his sons Adam Proctor (Courtney) of Nebraska, Eric Proctor (Amy) of New Hampshire, and his grandchildren Braxton and Alexis Proctor. He is also survived by his dear friend and longtime field companion Margaret Ardwin, his brother Alfred Proctor Jr., his many loving members of the George family and nieces and nephews.

A memorial gathering in remembrance honoring Noble S. Proctor will be held on Tuesday June 9th from 6:30-9:00pm in the third floor auditorium of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT).  Directions  and  Parking is available in the museum lot. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (311 Curtis St., Jamestown NY 14701). Cards of condolences can also be sent to his wife Carolyn and sons Adam and Eric and their families at 43 Church St, Branford CT 06405.

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Happy Easter 2015

Happy Easter to all our Family and Friends!

Mardi & Townsend Dickinson

Cottontail Rabbit, juvenile, residental backyard. @Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved. wwwkymrygroup.com

Cottontail Rabbit, juvenile, residental backyard. @Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved. wwwkymrygroup.com

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Bird Food For People™ ~ Kozy Corners Restaurant

Yes, You guess it this is another great place NW Ohio to stop in before the day begins or ends with birdwatching, photography or just plan need some good family cooked food.

Kozy Corners Family Restaurant. Oak Harbor, OH. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

Kozy Corners Family Restaurant. Oak Harbor, OH. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

To top it off  this place has become more famous since President Obama stopped in on July 5, 2012 for a hamburger, fries, iced tea and strawberry pie.

 

Kozy Corners Family Restaurant. Oak Harbor, OH. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

 Click on Directions AND additional Bird Food For People™ eateries

 

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Roland Clement Remembered

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CLEMENT, ROLAND C. Roland C. Clement, 102, died in his Hamden, CT home on March 21, 2015. Loving father of Charles (wife, Rosa), Connie, Alison Lawrence (husband, John Lawrence); grandfather of Vanessa (partner, John Rooks), Lorena, Bronwyn; great grandfather of Nelson & Regina; brother of Gerard; uncle to nieces & nephews. Predeceased by beloved wife, Muriel (nee Crowly), parents Germain & Angelina (nee Desjardins) Clément, and five siblings.

Roland became hooked on birds as a boy upon seeing a warbler eye-to-eye. Best known as VP & ecologist at National Audubon Society, Roland was a champion to curtail use of DDT & pesticides & innovate endangered bird conservation.

Roland was a fellow at Yale, a catalyst in founding the Environmental Defense Fund & chaired numerous advisory committees & organizations, including Norwalk’s Planning & Zoning Commission, Connecticut Audubon & the first environmental advisory committee to the Army Corps of Engineers.

The family expresses deep appreciation to the staff of Larson Place & Vitas Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an environmental or world changing charity of your choice 

*Nearby friends are invited to come to a Celebration of life for Roland C. Clement to be held  at Atria Larson Place, in the Quinnipiac Room, 1450 Whitney Av, Hamden, CT 06517  on Tuesday, March 24, at 4 p.m. http://www.atriaseniorliving.com/retirement-communities/atria-larson-place-hamden-ct/

Friends who are further afield, please send Connie Clement and family with reminiscences  by email to share at this event or afterwards. clementonwards@rogers.com

A Note below from Roland’s Daughter, Connie.

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that my loving father, Roland, passed away last evening March at the age of 102 in his Hamden home. Roland died comfortably with daughters Alison and myself and granddaughters Vanessa and Bronwyn with him this week. He benefited from 4 days of superb hospice care. Please share this news and the invitation with others you think would appreciate knowing. (Because our celebration /memorial is taking place so quickly, we hope you will help spread the news.)  Roland’s daughter, Connie Clement

Additional detailed information about the late Mr. Roland C. Clement and the exstordinary life and legacy he did to improve the natural world.
http://collections.conncoll.edu/clement/

Here are several Newspapers of ROLAND C. CLEMENT Obituary.

New Haven Register: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nhregister/obituary.aspx?n=roland-c-clement&pid=174460131

The Hour Newspaper: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thehour/obituary.aspx?n=roland-clement&pid=174461292

 

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