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November 2018

December 2018

An Old Map of the Ramsey CBC Circle

Fyke CBCmap (1)

Earlier this year, I stopped by the Brotherton house sale to see if I could find something to remember John (and Pat) by, and came across this incredible Christmas Bird Count map featuring the Ramsey circle.

The map, though musty, is a glimpse of our region before it got developed to a fare-thee-well. The map includes a ZIPcode for Hagstrom, so it can't be older than 1963.

Fyke got the map scanned, and it's now on view on the Fyke website.

You can see it here, and see how undeveloped this area was 50 years ago. You can enlarge the map and see amazing details.

My Column: The Christmas Bird Count

My column for The Record today is all about the Christmas Bird Count, which can start nationwide as early as tomorrow.

The column, which is on the front of the Better Living section, feature a wonderful photo of a Pine Siskin  by Barbara Dilger, who also provided an online photo gallery of winter birds, and a nifty photo of an Evening Grosbeak at Scherman Hoffman, by Robert Lin. (Thanks, Barbara and Robert!)

The image I sent in that The Record did not run is the above shot I took of this sloppy eater. Can you I.D. her? (Photographed on Saturday in the Celery Farm.)

Three local circles are conducting their counts this weekend.

The link is here.

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 6.48.14 AM (1)

All About a Rare (& Totally Displaced) Hawk in Maine


When I got word of a rare Great Black Hawk, a non-migratory raptor I'd seen and photographed in Belize several years ago, had somehow magically appeared in Portland, Maine, I thought it might be worth a column in The Record.

When I realized just how rare it was -- and how little fanfare it was getting compared to the released Mandarin in Central Park -- I knew I had to write something right away.  I interviewed Doug Hitchcox of Maine Audubon, who also supplied the images that appear with the column on line.

Thus, my column for The Record scheduled to appear in print in two weeks is online already.

You can read it here.

Here's how it begins:

By now, you’ve likely heard about the gorgeous Mandarin duck appearing almost daily in New York City's Central Park. Since its arrival in October, the web-footed wonder has become a social media sensation – even though he isn’t wild or rare.

While Mandarin Patinkin, as he has been dubbed, has hogged the limelight, a genuinely rare raptor from Central and South America has arrived from out of the blue in Maine.

The great black hawk had never been reported anywhere in the United States before this year, let alone 2,000 miles from home. The young raptor first showed up in Texas in April, reappeared in August in Biddeford, Maine, and then turned up in late November in Portland, Maine.

A photo of Maine's Great Black Hawk, taken by Doug Hitchcox, is above.

A photo that I took of one at Chan Chich Lodge in Belize is below.

Great Black Hwk Wright Belize


It's CBC Crowphy Time Again!

DSCN9297-001Once again, I have been flooded with calls, texts and e-mails all week, more or less, from folks asking: "Are Fyke and Bergen County Audubon vying for the Crowphy again during the Christmas Bird Count this year?

The answer is yes!

Both groups are doing their counts on Saturday this yaer.

As you may recall, BCAS eked out a victory last year in the CBC competition last year, 95 species to 82, giving Fyke a 13-species handicap this year. In the three-year history of the Crowphy, Fyke has never won -- even though we supplied the trophy to begin with! (Not to sound bitter.)

 Now only time will tell.