Fishers Island Conservancy Fishers Island
Conservancy

Field Notes

Natural Beginnings

Natural Beginnings

Our lives present us with many wonderful opportunities – unique circumstances and moments in time that make it possible for us to do something equally wonderful. For me, it would be to share my desire and ability to simply love an Island. I will always be grateful to my Mom who in her own way from the beginning encouraged me to do just that.

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Latest Field Notes

Mar 03
2017
My Neck Of The Woods

My Significant Otter & the Other Side of the Tracks

It’s often during the dead of winter here on Fishers Island when it appears everyone wants to know everyone’s every move; just exactly all the “he saids” and “she saids” and of course the who saw “so and so” with whom. Sometimes I think just the opposite -that surviving the harsh and desolate comes with minding our own business like nobody’s business; to lighten up and see it’s truly in our own NATURE-the real things to talk about and perhaps put out there:

My S.O. and I have been in a discreet relationship for nearly five years. In August 2012 River Otter biologist Mike Bottini visiting from Long Island introduced the two of us. Admittedly in the beginning, I did enjoy the thrill of the chase; a bit exciting as we both have a reputation for being elusive. Islanders whispered that we were on- again, off- again, that I ran hot and cold. That’s all a bunch of “scat”! Especially up by Oyster Pond and Middle Farms.

I took a leap of faith with tips from local residents, thinking living west on the other side of the tracks really didn’t matter and apparently it doesn’t. The two of us have been sighted enjoying each other’s company at Duck Pond before the morning ferry.

Who knows maybe there is something to the whole idea- Ignore the Otter, Get the Otter: The Art of No Contact...at least another book.


Signage: Williams Timber Corp.

Feb 28
2017

Meeting Intuition Out In the Field

You are the fog horn of my heart. You wait in silence, then respond, thru thick and thin I know you. You are there.

As thought gives birth to grand ideas - you give a wider berth.

When I think I know exactly where I am headed with all this precious cargo, you remind me to take it slow - especially amidst the rip tides.

Yes, I am always listening. You have reminded me “again and again” just how to take direction.

Yet, you have trusted me at the helm.


Photo: February fog lifts up east

Jan 14
2017
My Neck Of The Woods

A Little Bird Told Me

I agree it’s not an image that would have made the cover of Audubon and there is not even enough flashing of chimney for Sweeping Magazine. But there it perched; this bright blue harbinger waiting to crown this Happy New Year.

Fishers Island has not seen the Eastern Bluebird in quite some time and for me these past six years- it is a first. Oh, there are though many vacant bluebird boxes standing within dense grass fields alongside empty estates waiting and waiting for a sign of its return at long last.

I was winding and rounding my way towards West Harbor across from the Softball field when four vibrant visitors flitted across the hood of the old beach car and darted upward.

Startled by brilliance of blue and of course smiling, I was “invited” to capture this one moment; these Bluebirds of happiness accomplishing their mission with such finesse. And while we humans are at it –giving wildlife our own attributes-this happy “subject” even appears stalwart.

The Island’s got a very different even unusual feel these days- and not just of winter. The Big Club up east has been razed; torn down, newly designed to be rebuilt and raised up again. Out with the old, in with the new this 2017.

With all the construction activities, the gate house which for decades has delineated Town of Southold from Private-remains manned which is also a first for winter. To me, still monitoring by bicycle in January, there is no feel of east meets west- ask any Bluebird!

I continue to record remarks on this change of climate, these moments of renewal and we Islanders resolve that happiness doesn’t come and go-but remains a constant for all.

Dec 21
2016

I'll Have a Blue Heron Christmas*

Without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a tall Pepperidge tree
Won't be the same dear, if you’re not here with me

And when those bluefish start migrating
That's when those blue-jays start calling
You'll be doin all right with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas

* From an Island Naturalist who hasn't sighted and documented Elvis - yet.

Nov 06
2016
My Neck Of The Woods

Seeing beyond exclusive, catching the elusive

It was the “Autumn of our content” with foliage reminding me of the best of a preschooler’s sponge paintings; the coral, reds, and orange that blend together so magically. Nor did it appear an illusion, the season’s Hunter’s moon; the push and pull of superior tides finally exposing the hidden mystery behind those Hungry Point Harbor seals — lush eel grass meadows so near to shore and laden with fish. There was, indeed, such fullness this peculiar October.

And for me, the certainty of warmth captured within certain shifting shadows felt like an Indian summer for all times. For weeks I could not help but imagine the Pequot people here on Fishers Island those hundreds of autumns ago. I felt a sense of viewing island vistas as others might have centuries before. There were odd moments when I didn’t see a mansion in sight, when crickets out-chorused leaf blowers, calm lapping waves south-side drowned out even the thought of a cigarette boat and, of course, Mother Nature could not help but to chime in.

I shared that sense of time and space on a recent afternoon during a class with local third and fourth graders. As I encouraged their mastery of indigenous storytelling and stewardship of the earth, I drove home the message with added lore and lure of the seals.

“Island clans of Scotland tell of Selkie folk-seals in the sea, shifting shape to humans on land. The Aleuts in the Bering believe they too are people of the seal,” I told them. “Here on Fishers Island, a seal appeared before my very eyes in a place where I imagine it may have appeared to the summering Pequot tribe hundreds of years ago — the very same seal!”

There was a hush and then a circle of raised and waving hands.

“I counted 500 jellyfish on the ferry ride this morning,” said one student.

Another said, “It was getting dark and my Dad saw an old sweatshirt lying on the bike path — it turned out to be a growling fisher!”

And another: “I heard a whole bunch of baby coyotes. Oh, and we got a new kitten named Autumn.”

And there was time for one more: “I saw a unicorn in Silver Eel Cove,” a student reported.

The next morning while monitoring up east, it appeared the island was busy telling its own story. Houses being winterized with plumbing drained, drapes drawn, and gardens still in bloom, all so hesitant to be tucked in so soon.

And the Big Club beach was shifting scenery too. Umbrellas furled and stowed, patio planks disassembled and stacked, windows boarded up, with herds of golf carts rounded up and corralled for storage.

Wait a second, I thought. The ending to this Indian summer can’t be so predictable; it was too special, too different. Besides it’s been around for hundreds of years, and I’m not done enjoying it!

Just then Islander Trudi Edwards stopped me; not coincidentally we spoke of islands — this one and another in Bahamian waters.

Suddenly, another voice — a loud “cr-r-ruck” as two ravens swooped over our heads, so close I could hear feathers rustle. Their echoing gurgle and croak startled Trudi sitting in her car.

“What was that?! Were those just ravens?” she asked.

I nodded, equally amazed as I knelt down to pick up a tiny gifted cedar twig that one of the talking birds had dropped in front of me.

I stared in awe and watched the ravens veer south, leaving enough anthropological (even biblical!) symbolism for winter.

I realized this was the perfect ending to the “Autumn of our content” but not before I ran down the beach and snapped a photo for my third- and fourth-grade tribe.

Oh, and the unicorn?

How could I not believe it?

Oct 10
2016

Along Came a Spider

Safe within your eye of storm no tangled web here to weave.
Where shade and lichen have drawn the line
Here, morning’s ray can’t deceive;
October’s feel is more August real.
So deep within the pitch of dark and pines
Autumn’s Jay just can’t believe.

Sep 04
2016
My Neck Of The Woods

Hummingbird's Great Spirit Too

In a blink of an eye, that's how summer has gone by so far. For me especially on a 9 by 1 mile stretch that is Fishers Island, where the human element swells and surges and by Labor Day, you just want to sit in the froth of that mountainous wave and ask "Wow, did I just ride that?"

The Island's so small that you can truly believe in asking it for a Do-over and have one too. Like the other evening I spied a Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovering in and out of Hosta beds searching for something sweet.

"Wait just a second while I get my camera" I whispered.

But that was actually on my back porch - 2 minutes down the lane and 2 minutes back. Of course upon returning, the sweet bird had already buzzed by for the night. I have also asked myself for Do-overs. To be more patient with seasonal bicyclists that aren't paying attention - after all I have pedaled in those shoes. And rather than imagining there is an "only catered to" atmosphere sweeping me under again; this August morning I smiled at a simple but rarely seen box of Familia Swiss Muesli on a store shelf and was grateful for all the other "delicacies" the market carries these days. Another feature of this small stage set of an Island is that certain qualities - nice ones - will resonate bigger and brighter if you're observing closely.

As naturalist here I often find expressions of "family"; both with wildlife and the human in unique places out in the field and they find me!

Yesterday, a longtime friend Carl (he and my brothers grew up fishing for King Mackerel from the Ferry dock back in the day) took the time to stop by my neck of the woods on Silver Eel Cove.

"I found the most unbelievable Hummingbird nest!" He then started to give me directions up Island by the Driving Range before I blurted enthusiastically.

"Wait! I'll get my camera".

"Grab a ladder if you have one".

I dashed inside for the camera and threw an old rusty hinged wooden ladder in back of the beach car.

Carl sat in his truck waiting for me patiently; I then followed close behind 20 minutes up east.

I remember thinking this is my wonderful get to Do-over in real time on a real tiny Island.

The afternoon's west wind had picked up but the sun's foggy swelter stayed its course while branches swayed and bobbed up and down.

It was nearly impossible to figure how this minuscule lichen covered nest designed with such precision was discovered. Then I remembered how tall Carl is. I started laughing when he offered to catch and bend the tree's limb for a perfect shot.

"No, this is like National Geographic" I jested. "We can't just interfere with nature's rhythm and timing".

Propping the old ladder, he agreed.

I climbed to the wobbly top step. "This is right up there with the Snowy owl's great spirit - that moment! I whispered excitedly.

And it is.

Aug 22
2016

Bear Crossing & Citizen Science

I dubbed him Admiral Bering (pun intended) and quite honestly I knew better when someone insisted "every naturalist should have a stuffed bear". It's just not me. But even this unpleasant thought of taxidermy didn't stop my heart from persuading my head that I would rescue him from probably some smoke - filled bar or a boring life in some overly decorated "den" stacked with volumes of books - even if it did have a spinning globe that lit up. So the Admiral wrapped snuggly in a gray moving blanket set sail on his maiden voyage; disembarking from an antique dealer's dusty display across choppy Fishers Island Sound aboard the ferry Munnatawket.

We have kept an eye on each other during long quiet winters. A perfectly gnarled piece of driftwood props the Black bear just high enough for his gaze to continue to encourage me to write.

I have felt though that there might be some other reason or purpose for us both - together. Then quite appropriately one morning it dawned on me: Educational Outreach and public awareness.

The idea and commitment of recording observations and trends of this marine environment and its unique ecosystems should not be done singlehandedly. We need each other - ok, and a bear! Much of my work on Fishers Island would not be possible without the support and efforts of the community. I am grateful to recognize that together we can bridge local traditional knowledge with Science; helping to preserve natural history while nurturing stewardship for all generations.

So this summer, keep a look out for bear crossings on a boat's bow: and a poster that encourages ferry captains and commuters to continue to remark on unusual wildlife sightings and marine debris across our Fishers Island Sound.

And Admiral "I salute you!"

Aug 08
2016
My Neck Of The Woods

A Welcome Messenger Of Hope

I knew right away it would have to be a message of hope, this very simple story; in a way, perhaps I insisted on it...

It was during early July - a week of particularly sorrowful news: police shootings in Dallas, unspeakable violence going viral on video, racial tensions taut. I had just received an email that informed me of a double suicide within my Bering Sea tribe. That would be five now, familiar faces with strong ties to their own island, disappearing in their own despair; all gone in just a year and a half.

And the glimmers? They all started with a phone call from Fishers Island summer resident Bob Meyer.He reported a banded pigeon huddled beneath the telephone pole and osprey nest outside West Harbor.

It felt like the last thing I wanted to do on a Saturday evening, but the day had been a scorcher and thunder showers were expected to blow in, so I drove right away to meet Bob who was standing watch over this worn out feathered messenger.

Before I knew it I scooped up my now-passenger pigeon and headed home with the bird in the front seat, avoiding two unsettled ospreys circling overhead.

Swinging by the Village Market at closing hour I ran in and grabbed an empty Harpoon I.P.A. box from the help-yourself corner. I smiled, thanking the universe for any humor: I.P.A. - Island Pigeon Association.

By nightfall, tucked cozily in the box in a terrycloth nest, Harpoon sipped lots of water, poked and pecked at a bird seed mix with an added concoction of cracked corn, dry peas, grains, wild rice, even a plain Cheerio or two.

Clearly exhausted, this winged voyager would not fly. Looking like its city-pigeon cousins, Harpoon sat for days with feathers puffed up just outside my cottage under the shade of an elm tree.

While this particular naturalist doesn't happen to have a pigeon coop set-up, the neighborhood soon found out there was a grounded visitor and kind folks took the bird under their collective wing by keeping a careful look-out.

Marj Beck texted one evening and asked if I knew about a banded bird and sent a photo of what turned out to be Harpoon at the school playground! I could've sworn the pigeon was nestled just outside. By 6 a.m. the next morning I rode my bike by the school, but there was no sign of my feathered friend. By 6 p.m. Harpoon appeared back at the cottage, perched under the elm tree. The next day, pedaling east past the Parade Grounds, I waved down school custodian Tommy Doroshevich who was mowing the lawn.

"Hey Tommy, did you happen to see a banded pigeon around the playground yesterday?

"Yeah! It sat all day right outside your classroom - the third and fourth graders you always visit - right there under the window, all day.

I thought it fairly amazing: a bird walking what looked like two football fields away and later returning "home." Then I got goosebumps - the nice kind - when I remembered the date: the day my Mom had passed a couple years before.

I turned around and headed back home to catch Harpoon and decode the bright yellow band around its leg, labeled "49 IF NLI 2016." I jotted the numbers and letters down on scrap paper.

The "NL," which I supposed would be for "New London," turned into North Long Island.

The "IF" originally was the "Iffy" sensation I felt while trying to locate Harpoon's owner, but that turned into "International Federation." It appeared my messenger was of thoroughbred racing stock.

So I searched the internet, piecing together lost banded racing pigeons of 2016 and flight distances across Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound. After a few emails and phone messages, I tracked down Tom Newman, the head of the North Long Island branch of pigeon fanciers. Our conversation was pleasant, and of course I made sure to add a few remarkable elements.

"I think this bird is a bit special. It survived two cranky ospreys, walked to the school playground AND back, thankfully outwitted the dog next door chasing a tennis ball through the yard AND there is even a 'dove interest'," I said. (Harpoon being a fancier too.)

Then Mr. Newman added his own remarkable element: Harpoon originally had flown from Smithtown, N.Y. I did my own quick calculating: 151.3 miles away, 2 hours 54 minutes - but that's if the bird took I-95! Someone suggested the pigeon got blown off course and found Fishers Island.

But the question remained: Would Harpoon take wing and return to Long Island?

"Well, I know the owner and he'll have to figure out how to get the bird back," Newman said. "Does Fishers Island - I don't even know where it is - does the island ship live (animals)?"

"Wait a second. I'm not packing this pigeon up to be sent UPS," I said. "I think its owner should come pick it up. I don't think it wants a life of competing and racing around anyways." I was trying to be funny, but really wanted the owner to take some responsibility.

Days turned into weeks. I sent clever updates with photos to Mr. Newman, narrating Harpoon's love affair with a mourning dove, documenting my first ever Amazon order of pigeon grit, how far the bird walked as it rejuvenated. I even confided that on my birthday, Harpoon happened to fly for the first time up to my open window - the nicest present.

If it's true that home is where the heart is, then this creature must have felt comfortably at home because we formed a sweet bond - of hope I think it was. A simple pigeon trusted it would be cared for; in return, those heavy sorrows of early July that I has been carrying began to feel lighter with each day I spent with Harpoon.

One evening, three weeks to the day of Harpoon's arrival, I leaned my bike against the cottage gate and gave my routine call of "Harpooooon," with a bit of cooing.

Bursting out from atop the canopy of one of the tallest elms on Fishers Island, soaring and tumbling with what appeared to be effortless joy against a purple sky, there went Harpoon!

"May wherever you land feel like home," I thought

Jul 08
2016
My Neck Of The Woods

Spotted sandpiper and sweet spots

We all do it at least once, especially during these early days of July: we make an appearance here on Fishers Island.

On a recent early Saturday evening, in my neck of the woods on the western end of the island, the Munnatawket offloads another parade of cars, then a screaming helicopter touches down (for a minute I am tempted to "fume" too). A stream of invitees-to-cocktail-parties traffic moves down the Fort Wright stretch. Laughter wafts from mingling on porches and floats with the scent of honeysuckle seaward.

The birds chirp excitedly and prep for evensong and with the dimming sunlight, I smile, knowing we already have made other plans. South towards Elizabeth Field airport, parallel to the runway, a sandy sanctuary invites me. Oddly, but ever so humbly - because I never RSVP - there is a sense of my past moments living in the Pribilofs that I embrace here. Maybe it is revisiting with the innate and intuitive, but I find myself appearing in this special place often, mostly to observe and now, over the years, more likely with a sense of protective preservation.

I have been happy asking the town of Southold to send me more signage to mark delicate nesting areas of the island'sslowly but surely rising population of oyster catchers. I've been enthusiastically sharing unique sightings of the elusive shore birds; creating posters to suggest a ban on Mylar balloons; taking time to untangle tidal pools strangled with yards of ribbon; and diplomatically reminding beach combers to leash their dogs, while explaining just what healthy habitat a wrack line is. For me it is like being a steward in "stewardship," and just NOT waiting for the "ship" part to come in.

And now sitting here peacefully this late Saturday eve in this sanctuary of sands on a sun-washed wooden plank, buried knee high in warm, smelly, salted seaweeds, I find my own sweet spot along waving sand dune grasses. A rarely seen Spotted Sandpiper appears and welcomes me as we share this moment.

Jun 20
2016
My Neck Of The Woods

Everybody in East Harbor Loves Raymond!

To me it feels unusually autumnal within some of these June moments; a northerly wind gusts and rustles the lush green leaves that then become silver. Against an utterly blue sky an egret coasts and swoops looking like some origami ornament overhead.

But then again, there is still the usual summer feel - ferries offloading more cars, returning college students arriving early for summer jobs, the scent of cut grass awaits families, even boats and moorings are united again.

When our Island Sentinel team monitors East Harbor it's not unusual for us to count the vessels that start rafting up in July and August - just off the Golf Course next to the old red roofed Coast Guard Station. Data suggests each year there seems to be more boats, I am grateful though that each year there seems to be less rubbish and marine debris along these sands; to me a sign of good neighborly stewardship.

There is a healthy and lush Eelgrass meadow within that Harbor too. I bring this up so boaters will be extremely mindful not to drag anchor and impact this unique habitat.

And then there is "Raymond. The Fish team at Mystic Aquarium helped me to identify a stranded Atlantic Torpedo ray (torpedo nobiliana) which Island Sentinel Olivia Backhaus discovered this month while recording morning observations at low tide up East. Come to find out Raymond "can produce an electric charge of about 170-220 volts. "Not enough to kill a healthy human, but it would knock ya for a loop!" That same morning the unique creature was ever so gently assisted back into the harbor.

So as we enjoy the glorious days of summer, so thankful for Fishers Island Sound with seagrass habitat that's willing and able to recover, we can all remind each other to tread lightly because "Everybody loves Raymond".

May 22
2016
My Neck Of The Woods

Slice of Life

"Who- Who- Who- Cooks- for you?" Barred owl's echo off Silver Eel Cove is muffled with the pillow over my head. Honestly Owl, I cook for me, but not at 4am. A few toss and turns later the chorus of songbirds announces the coming of day. The sun dressed in pinks, reds, even violet peeks peacefully over South Beach and the parade grounds. There is the flip flop of webbed feet above me; the cottage roof where a herring gull stands watch. With all my naturalist endeavors, I would like to think this bird is satisfied with baby bunker fish. Perhaps it got wind of strewn popcorn the Fort Wright crows often insist upon (my bad). As the 7:45am ferry docks, a pair of mallard ducks make their routine landing and quite a splash into a terracotta bath meant for that chorus of songbirds. It looks to be a calm blue-sky day and with tides low I grab binoculars and clicker and head off on my bike to Hungry Point.

Last year the harbor seals hauled off and out by May 8th. Today by 8:00am on May 11th, pheasants are grazing beside the old movie theater. Time flies with me as I coast down the hill and pedal even faster past the duck pond. I look for the wood duck Carl Scroxton always sees and I remind myself to ask Janio if I might place a wood duck house in that habitat. Looping around the post office, I veer off to the Village Market - with a hankering for toast and fresh squeezed OJ, I am making great time. A few minutes later I find that I have detoured to check on coyote tracks at Dock Beach. Rounding the bend I spy an overturned horseshoe crab. Just as I put on the brakes, I receive a text at 8:30am: Seven baby swans are in a pond before the Big Club. The morning shifts from third to first gear; the upside down Limulus is rescued and swims into West Harbor. The sun glints and climbs beside me as I dart back to the post office remembering I need to stop by Eiriksson's and check on the injured crow Lisa is caring for. My today is turning into a "to do." Just then Larry Horn waves me down-all timing seems perfect. I tell him all about the incredible minke whale sighting the ferry crew shared with me; last Friday eve just off Government Bell Buoy. But it's stinky VS. a minke as we revel in these stories. Larry pulls out his phone and shows me a picture of a dead skunk ashore on Chocomount! I joke that "smelling is believing" and speed off to photo document; smiling about our Island times with "All the News that's Fit to Print". I take a shortcut and whiz past the gate house waving to Johnny B.

"Don't give me a demerit!"

Bruce Hubert's bicycle van comes to a halt.

"Thanks for tightening these brakes, Bruce".

"Hey Justine, did you get the 2 Owls I dropped off, somehow got trapped in a house."

"Yes, barred owls, but the museum already has a specimen - I got them to a freezer" shouting from up the road.

I can tell the noon whistle is about to blast, remembering I didn't get to the store, remembering to thank Pierce for sharing Island history slides yesterday. It's a funny thing - memories on a tiny Island. Noting the osprey's attempt to nest neatly, I swerve through a cluster of branches and dried eelgrass dropped below on the Recreational Path. A sharp turn and I'm aimed towards Chocomount Beach whose monster's painted footprints appear different from 40 years ago-different species I suppose. Following the scent of skunk I snap a few pictures. I also follow the trail of nearby landscaping-wondering if the animal snuck into some mulch or even equipment on its maiden voyage from the mainland. The super tide over the weekend has me deduct differently. By 2:25pm, this afternoon I can see that the seals at Hungry Point are teasing me-hauled off but heads and snouts bobbing-no final departure northward yet. If I pedal fast now I can safely maneuver Island work force traffic headed home on Baby Doll, Popeye, and the 4:45 ferries. Finally arriving west myself, I run upstairs to check email: Would I please come east and document a dolphin washed ashore at the castle? I laugh, still wanting that slice of toast but blessed with this Slice of Life.

Apr 01
2016

My Safe Arbor

With supple sway and gracious bend atop crown and canopy so sure Give radiant rest to thoughts in flight; ideas seeking roots secure Await and see! There shines a beam midst budding vernal Swift Spiral Swirling Within annual rings; yet ever towards eternal Once Founded Then firmly Grounded.

Mar 31
2016

Naturalist Amazed!

I was just noting our early arrivals on Island this year. Tree Swallows already darting above the Parade Ground and Oyster Catchers claiming their rock clumps off Hungry Point. So I decided to arrive even earlier at Chocomount Beach this April morning. Scanning the horizon from atop old Picnic Rock I could bearly believe my eyes...

Mar 13
2016

My Side Of The Island

This past winter has been one of sharing my childhood memories growing up here on Fishers Island. Lots of recollecting between Jen Burns' 3rd and 4th graders, fellow passengers on the Ferry, fellow shoppers at The Village Market-even shared remembrances at a recently open Gatehouse. The importance of creating Local Traditional Knowledge through telling of our stories is to me the most "Natural" part of an island's history. It's very simple-especially the sharing part. For Instance I remember during summers when I was in 4th grade riding my bike to the Fishers Island Library.

My favorite book to check out was Jean Craighead George's My Side of the Mountain. What kid didn't want to be Sam who befriended and trained a Peregrine Falcon named "Frightful"? So while I am happy to circle up round a bench on The Parade Grounds with students and share the scientific name Falco Peregrinus (foreigner) for this migratory bird travelling great distances to our island; gifting actual stories of local sightings helps to promote and strengthen Stewardship of its actual habitat. Island Sentinels Gardner Thors and Conner Wakeman have each seen and documented a Peregrine Falcon both on the Recreational Path near Chocomount Beach and flying over Race Rock Lighthouse. Not that I ever doubted their own keen observations and innate naturalist qualities - I just wanted to finally meet my own "Frightful" - share with enthusiastic students My Side of the Island. Then this quiet March morning, rounding the bend by Z&S and Community Center, there perched on a pole alert and keeping watch - a simple symbol of this guardianship.

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Video Gallery

And A River Otter Runs Through It
And across it!
With tips from Community members, Island Naturalist finally meets River Otter in our unsuspected Duck Pond. All Drivers please use caution, all pedestrians please respect unique local habitat.

Barred Owl Radio
Barred Owls visit My Neck of the Woods this Chilly February night and I discover finally just “Who Cooks for Whom” here on Fishers Island!

Stranded Gray Seal Pup on Sanctuary of Sands
Young Gray Seal pup discovered Jan 22, 2017 on Southside Fishers Island parallel to Elizabeth Field airport. Monitored, with wounds photo documented, along with Community effort, disembarked across the Sound via ferry to the Mystic Aquarium for rehabilitation and hopefully release soon!

Low Temps, Low Tide, & Low Profile!
The tides appeared almost Perihelion at Hungry Point, Fishers Island this frosty January day allowing me a rare close up with Harbor Seals.

Eastern Bluebirds Sighted West!
Ringing in the “Happy” New Year here on Fishers Island, rare sightings of Bluebirds have been noted between Hay Harbor Mansion Cottages and the Softball field-even more rare for January.

Young Northern Harrier
I sighted this juvenile Harrier on January 5th across from the Driving Range, middle Fishers Island. I am very hopeful as it’s a sign that there was successful breeding and nesting in that neck of the woods - but on the ground within dense grasses!

Marine Debris Management PR
Monitoring north side during off season on Fishers Island with hopes that "seeing is believing"; it's tough to ignore the need for constant stewardship.

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