I have finally reluctantly decided to block messages from Marilyn
Davis. I will still know when she has sent one because of the
response. Might I suggest that others tired of the same propaganda
do the same or at least avoid responding as it is obvious that
measured responses have no effect.
On a more pleasant note some brief observations arising from a
Central Coast NSW stay in February/March. A good spot for woodland
birds was the North Entrance nature reserve especially a group of
tracks on the left (heading north). The heath areas in Munmorah SRA
have been very badly burnt in the Christmas fires and are probably
best avoided for some time. On a very windy day Chittaway Point
provided a good range of seabirds. Katandra Reserve was infested by
leeches which I have not seen there before - is this usual after
rain? This was a nuisance as it removed any desire I had to stand
still to check out birds - especially the case for my husband who was
foolishly wearing sandals.
Also I copy a story from the NY Times. I have done this rather than
give a url to avoid people possibly having to register to read it.
After a Pair of Rare Sightings, Birders Converge
April 25, 2002
By E. VERNON LAUX
NEWBURYPORT, Mass., April 22 - Birders from many states in
the East converged on Massachusetts this week to view two
rare visitors to the state, birds from different species
that probably originated in Asia.
One was a species of falcon called the Eurasian kestrel
(Falco tinnunculus), a long-tailed, swift-flying bird about
a foot long or longer. The other was a shorebird called a
Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva), a plump creature
about 10 inches long, with a black belly and golden
highlights in its feathers.
The Eurasian kestrel had been recorded once before in
Massachusetts, in 1887, when a female was collected in
Hull. This time, an adult male was reported by Robert
Verity Clem, a wildlife artist, who spotted it on Thursday
along the causeway connecting Morris Island and Stage
Island to the mainland in Chatham, on Cape Cod.
On Sunday morning, after capturing and eating a meadow
vole, it soared away over the outer dunes of the Cape and
has not been seen since. By then, as many as a thousand
birders had gone to Chatham to view it, some from as far
away as the West Coast.
The species is widespread in Europe, Africa and Asia, but
has rarely been recorded in North America. A handful of
sightings have been recorded in Cape May, N.J., for
example, but only one was accepted by the state Rare Birds
Committee, a birding organization.
The Pacific golden plover, a strong flier, is known for its
long-distance migration and routinely shows up far from its
normal range in Siberia and western Alaska, where it nests,
to Hawaii. But this sighting was the first time the species
was recorded in Massachusetts and only the second in
eastern North America.
Rick Heil, one of the foremost field experts in bird
identification in North America, saw the plover, in
breeding plumage, on Plum Island in Newburyport on Sunday
afternoon. Mr. Heil called other birders, who posted the
discovery on the Internet, which many birders were already
monitoring to track the kestrel.
[The plover was still on Plum Island on Wednesday, and
hundreds of birders, many of them already on hand to see
the kestrel, had turned out to view it as well.]
The only other record was of an individual seen in Cape
Why were these birds found where they were? Probably
because there are many expert birders in both places to
spot them. Massachusetts and New Jersey have long and rich
ornithological histories and many expert birders.
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