[CT Birds] birders and police

Sailcarm at aol.com Sailcarm at aol.com
Sat Jan 9 20:40:29 EST 2010

Without going into great detail, I am writing this post mostly as a warning 
 to anyone birding in eastern CT in the vicinity of the Thames River area 
in  Waterford (i.e. the Quaker Hill area, the Smith Cove area, and the river 
area  east of Conn College) JUST ACROSS FROM THE SUB BASE IN GROTON: Be 
careful, esp.  if you have a scope. Don't assume that everyone will know that 
you are a  birder and that everyone will think you are "a good guy" or gal, 
for that  matter.  In this post 9/11 world the simple act of looking at ducks 
in the  river with the scope  "aiming" at the sub base can quickly attract 
the  attention of the locals who don't know that a scope is not a  missile  
launcher and who then call the Waterford police.  It all worked out  OK, but 
for a few moments I was the most scared person in the world. It is not a  
pleasant memory and has been made all the more fresh today by reading about  
similar events.  In the naivete and excitement of my early days  of birding 
(this incident was 'winter '05 or '06) I assumed that my small  stature would 
make me seem non-threatening to anyone.  I found out  differently that day 
and have been quite careful since then.
p.s. I'm here in Florida for a while.  If I were home I could  look in my 
birding journal and tell you exactly what street in Waterford I was  standing 
on when "the incident" occurred.  Will never go back there  again!  I do 
remember that I had to cross railroad tracks to access this  street and that 
it was near some fields, forest and marshes owned by Conn  College I think.
Carolyn Cimino

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