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Sunday, 07 December 2014 19:00

Another "Snowstorm"?

The winter of 2013/2014 was a historic one for snowy owls - fueled by a lemming-rich breedng season record numbers of snowies "irrupted" into the U.S. from the arctic. It was affetionately referred to as a "snowstorm" of snowy owls. Long Island was flush with the beautiful white birds for several months, with sightings commonplace at numerous locations, including Robert Moses and Cupsogue (Seatuck volunteer Ira Marder took these beautiful photos of one of last winter's Cupsogue snowies). I took me longer than I expected, but I finally found a snowy - my first ever - at Jones Beach one…
Monday, 26 May 2014 20:00

Ghost Chippy

My mother-in-law, Nancy, encountered this unique-looking sparrow in East Hampton on Sunday. She was watching a few wild turkeys across a field when she was surprised by what she described as a "white bird" flitting through the grasses. I opened one of the photos she sent me on my phone and said I thought it was a chipping sparrow based on the chestnut cap and white eyebrow streak - but I commented that I couldn't tell for sure because the photo looked kind of washed out. What I didn't realize until later was that the photo was actually quite clear…
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 11:07

Rare Woodpecker

The Smith Family, who have been long-time Seatuck supporters, recently spotted a rare bird in their backyard birdfeeder in Islip: a red-headed woodpecker. There have only been a handful of these birds reported on Long Island this year so far. The Smiths live just down the road from the Suffolk County Environmental Center - so we're keeping an eye out in the hopes the woodpecker will visit Scully soon! The stunning photographs of the bird were taken by Delee Smith, who is an accomplished amatuer photographer. Thanks for passing them along, Delee! All photos: (c) D. Smith 2014 - All…
Friday, 18 April 2014 13:31

Front Page Alewife Press!

More great press about our alewife work with the Village of Babylon! The Babylon Beacon ran the following piece on the Carlls River Fishway project on the front page of their April 18 issue ... The Carman's River, of course, is in Brookhaven, not Massapequa Creek. I think the author meant "and Massapequa Creek, where the project was started five years ago." And one other correction: we helped get some expert advice on the design of the fishway, but didn't supervise the structure's construction and installation. Anyone who knows anything about the Village of Babylon's fantastic DPW team knows that…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:23

First Fish!

After several years of working with the Village of Babylon to restore alewife habitat in the Carlls River, we were thrilled this week to document the first fish using the new fishway at Argyle Lake. The fish is arguably the first fish to make it past the Argyle Lake dam since it was constructed in the 1880s! Learn more about the story and see footage of the pioneering alewife below ...     There are a lot of people who deserve credit and thanks for this small conservation victory. I have to start with Brian Kelder who, back in 2009…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:20

3/26 Alewife Update

Even with the cold winter Long Island had a surprisingly early start to the 2014 alewife migration, with fish already reported this month in the Peconic River, Carmans River, Sunken Meadow Creek, Alewife Creek and Carlls River. The East End sites (Peconic River and Alewife Creek) were the first places to see fish, which is not surprising as the runs have moved east to west across the island in past years. The Carlls, Carmans and Sunken Meadow sitings were all from late last week. But this latest cold snap seems to have put the brakes on the run for now.…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:16

Alewife Survey Underway

The 2014 alewife migration on Long Isalnd is underway! Byron Young, a retired DEC biologist, made the first report today. He didn't see a fish, but he did spot the tell-tale sign of shiny scales on the shore. The scales, which could only be from alewives this time of year, are left behind on the shore after an alewife is consumed by a predator - often a raccoon or herring gull. Byron, who has been working on alewife restoration across Long Island for more than a decade, noticed the scales while surveying the pool below the Woodhull Dam on the…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:13

And So it Begins ...

The 2014 alewife migration on Long Isalnd is underway! Byron Young, a retired DEC biologist, made the first report today. He didn't see a fish, but he did spot the tell-tale sign of shiny scales on the shore. The scales, which could only be from alewives this time of year, are left behind on the shore after an alewife is consumed by a predator - often a raccoon or herring gull. Byron, who has been working on alewife restoration across Long Island for more than a decade, noticed the scales while surveying the pool below the Woodhull Dam on the…
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 20:30

My snowy, finally!

After a winter's worth of searching (mostly from the car, I confess), it finally happened today. On my way home from work I stopped in at the West End of Jones Beach and ... saw my first snowy owl! After surveying the dunes on the east side of the bathhouse at Field 4, I hopped in the car to try the west side. And as I drove over, there it was, sitting on the roof of the bathhouse! Just sitting there, like it had been there all winter. Like it was just waiting for me. Even still, I almost missed it. I…
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