Oppose State Lands Giveaway – State Parks at Risk!

 

Audubon Connecticut

Contacts: Sandy Breslin sbreslin@audubon.org  203/804-0488, Patrick Comins pcomins@audubon.org 860/977-4469

Oppose State Lands Giveaway – State Parks at Risk!

State lawmakers have released the Annual Conveyance Bill (House Bill 6998) and – once again – they are proposing to transfer portions of our State Parks and Wildlife Management Areas to municipal and private uses.  The process will kick off with a public hearing before the Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE) this Monday (3/16) starting at 1 PM.  

WE NEED YOUR HELP OPPOSING THE BAD PROVISIONS OF THIS BILL!  

Since the Haddam Land Swap, Audubon Connecticut has been working with partners at the CT Land Conservation Council, CT Forest and Park Association, Rivers Alliance, Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy to strengthen protections for state conservation lands. We’ve made progress with successful passage of Public Acts 12-152 in 2012 and 14-169 last year, but this year with the state facing deep budget cuts, lawmakers are proposing some shocking giveaways of state conservation land including portions of Silver Sands State Park, Centennial Watershed Forest State Park, as well as two parcels for the benefit of private sand and gravel mining!

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SIGN OUR PETITION AND SEND A BRIEF MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE GAE COMMITTEE OPPOSING THIS BILL!

Sign the Petition opposing this Bill: https://works.audubon.org/petition/speak-out-against-give-away-state-lands-silver-sands-and-centennial-forest-parks-risk

Here is some additional information:

Alert sent by CT Forest and Park Association: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=cfd5efff-399b-4e87-8cbd-e1eb89201505&c=84a974c0-33fc-11e3-9f13-d4ae52754b78&ch=85afc130-33fc-11e3-a0a0-d4ae52754b78

Alert sent by Rivers Alliance with more detail on all sections of the bill: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/ u=820426c5ff0b6a2ae445c28ee&id=1487e96a93&e=fc52d1efae

Audubon will send an alert on Monday with a link that will allow you to email directly to your local lawmakers – they are the most important people who need to hear from you on this issue!

In the meantime, please submit a short statement to the GAE Committee on or before Monday (3/16) OPPOSING all transfers of state conservation land without appropriate review of their ecological value and an evaluation of alternatives, but especially the proposals for Silver Sands (Section 3), the Centennial Watershed Forest (Section 8), and mining in Killingly/Plainfield and Canterbury/Brooklyn (Sections 15, 16). The address is   GAEtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society with over 10,000 members in the state, works to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, research, conservation, and legislative advocacy.

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Bird Food For People™ ~ Finz Seafood & Grill

A worthwhile stop with wonderful seafood anything after a long day!

76 Wharf Street
Pickering Wharf, Salem, MA 01970
P: 978 744 8485 | F: 978 744 8487

Next town over from Marblehead & Mablehead Neck Peninsula

Map & Direction  http://hipfinz.com/directions-8.html

AND additional Bird Food For People™ eateries

Raw Bar, Grilled Fish Menu, Soup & Salads

 

 

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Scarlet Tanager, spring, territorial male, River Road, Kent, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Scarlet Tanager, spring, territorial male, River Road, Kent, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Merry ChristmasHappy New Year!

May 2015 bring you all good tidings, Joy and laughter throughout the year!

Mardi & Townsend Dickinson

 

 

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Couch’s Kingbird visits Manhattan 2014

Since Christmas Day, December 25, 2014, Manhattan has been a buzz throughout the birdwatching community far and wide! Thanks to New York City birder and Naturalist Educator for the New York City Audubon, Gabriel Willow who was contact by a resident of the West Village in Manhattan,  Zack Winestine., who sent him a photograph on Christmas Day 2014 of what is now known as the famed Couch’s Kingbird (Tyrannus couchii).  The First State Record ever in New York State and only the third ever to show up in the northeast.

A large, brightly colored flycatcher of southern Texas and Mexico, the Couch’s Kingbird is very similar to the more widespread Tropical Kingbird. The two were considered the same species for nearly one hundred years, but they can be separated by voice and very subtle morphological characters.

Food: Flying insects, some fruit.

Habitat: Lives in thorn forest, brushy clearings in tropical forest, abandoned agricultural fields overgrown with shrubs, riparian areas, and suburbs.

Live link updates on locations of the Couch’s Kingbird http://tinyurl.com/oxdvd3z 

Couch's Kingbird map of location in NYC

Couch’s Kingbird map of locations in NYC December 2014. Permission & thanks from creator of map Arie Gilbert.

Additional links and press on the Couch’s Kingbird:

12/29/14 6;57pm – A Rare Find, Couch’s King Bird Makes Appearance In The West Village « CBS New York    http://cbsloc.al/1ztWRqL

12/29/14 – Couch’s Kingbird spotted for first time in New York | New York Post. http://nypost.com/2014/12/29/couchs-kingbird-spotted-for-first-time-in-new-york/

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Townsend’s Warbler

Townsend's Warbler, young male, early winter, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, MA on December 26,2014. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Townsend’s Warbler, young male, early winter, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, MA on December 26,2014. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Finally I get to see my lifer of a Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) with  Townsend! How sweet is that?

It is very easy to get to by car, about three and a half hours from southern Connecticut. Directions to Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary: 98 Risley Road, Marblehead MA. For those that are unfamiliar with the area, you will need to go over the causeway from Marblehead proper onto Marblehead Neck to the sanctuary.

Marblehead causway to Mass Audubon Society Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. December 26,2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson /Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Marblehead causway to Mass Audubon Society Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. December 26,2014. iPhone 6 ©Mardi Welch Dickinson /Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Once over the causeway entering onto Marblehead Neck. As you turn on to Risley Road (a dead end), there will be a small parking lot to the left, with the entrance to the sanctuary ahead of you. See Map below.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.492409,70.839072,3a,75y,325.7h,47.36t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sUKf5BUJjKQLc6bWtiYu4qA!2e0

Massachusetts Audubon Society, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary sign. December 26,2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Massachusetts Audubon Society, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary sign. December 26,2014. iPhone 6 ©Mardi Welch Dickinson All Rights Reserved.

Once parked. Enter the sanctuary and take the path to the left. You’ll pass a small pond on your right after a few minutes of walking, and keep bearing to the left. You’ll then be near the “south entrance” to the sanctuary, and the feeders will be on the right side of the path.  There are a few small evergreens near the feeders that the warbler frequents.  Looking at the feeders, there’ll also be a path up a small hill to your right that has a few more evergreens that the warbler has been seen in.

Massachusetts Audubon Society, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. December 26,2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson /Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Massachusetts Audubon Society, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. December 26,2014. iPhone 6 ©Mardi Welch Dickinson /Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Current location is also at the very top of hill by fence over looking private residence that has hung a suet feeder for the Townsend’s Warbler. 

A huge shout out goes to several new friends Mathew Clark, Davis Noble, Kyle Wilmarth, Gabby and several ladies I met (forgive me on your names) for their intel and details about the area including places to eat. A hat tip goes to Andrew Sanford for finding this wonderful Townsend’s Warbler to share with all of us and for your techie information too. 

  • Bring food & drinks along to snack on. 
  • Take a bathroom break before going over causeway onto Marblehead Neck to the Sanctuary. No bathrooms available.

Lots of places to eat afterwards. Here are a few suggestions on Bird Food For People™ https://kymry.wordpress.com/bird-food-for-people/

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Christmas Bird Count History

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History of the Christmas Bird Count Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”: They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

Conservation was in its beginning stages around the turn of the 20th century, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a “Christmas Bird Census”-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.

The First Christmas Bird Count was on December 25, 1900. About 18,500 individual birds and 27 total participants Cumulative bird species list: 89 species total. 

Counts conducted in first Christmas Bird Count: 25 total counts

Scotch Lake, York County, New Brunswick                                                                                  Toronto, Ontario
Keene, New Hampshire
Belmont and Cambridge, Massachusetts                                                                                           Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts                                                                                       Winchester, Massachusetts                                                                                                                   Bristol, Connecticut                                                                                                                                Norwalk, Connecticut                                                                                                                     Auburn to Owasco Lake, New York                                                                                                  Central Park, New York City, New York                                                                                            Englewood, New Jersey                                                                                                                        Moorestown, New Jersey                                                                                                                       Newfield, New Jersey                                                                                                                            Baldwin, Louisiana                                                                                                                                Pueblo, Colorado                                                                                                                                      Germantown, Pennsylvania                                                                                                                  Wyncote, Pennsylvania                                                                                                                           Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                                                                         Oberlin, Ohio                                                                                                                                         Glen Elyn, Illinois                                                                                                                                  North Freedom, Sauk County, Wisconsin                                                                                          La Grange, Missouri                                                                                                                              Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California                                                                                    Neshaminy Creek & Upper Delaware River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                  Delaware River Meadows, Tinicum Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania

For detailed information about the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count 2014 Click here. Backyard Birds Feeder PDF list Click Here. Christmas Bird Count Attire Click Here

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