[CT Birds] Hammonasset "improvements"

Dan Rottino rottino at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 18 13:08:45 EDT 2013

My wife and I are particularly disturbed by the developments described in the recent post below.  I know the shorebird pools near the nature center are in the parking area and that may be unavoidable.  The paving of the gravel lot at East Beach is totally unnecessary, a complete waste of money, and will definitely be a detractor for the sparrows, snow buntings/horned larks, (killdeer as already mentioned) and other birds that use the sparse grass/open areas to pick insects/seeds from throughout the year.  Trudy and I were married at that pavilion and we strongly feel paving takes away from the charm and character of the park.  Furthermore, pavement may create more issues - hot/dry conditions around perimeters and runoff both of which would be bad for birds.  Paved black parking lots only make it hotter for people and cars too.  I am very concerned that this type of thing could continue.  How would birders be impacted if the paving continued throughout the entire Nature center lot (Snow buntings, sparrows, and Lapland longspurs no more)?  I don't think it is so far fetched.  The paved lots at that end of the park frequently are filled to capacity during summertime peaks and additional paving could easily take place.  A grass/gravel parking lot may not seem like habitat to most people, but birders know that it is valuable.  This type of habitat is used in the critical late fall-winter-early spring period when the lots are mostly vacant of cars.  Paving them for peak periods just doesn't seem worth the trade-off to me.  I hope whatever has been done already is the extent of it.  It always boggles my mind why government undertakes these projects which seem to be of little use to me (if not harmful) when others go left undone (such as the slow repair of the damaged observation platform at Willard's, lack of benches throughout, pile of debris at West-End, money that could be spent on conservation elsewhere in the state.  Speaking of the West End, that paved lot is huge - well enough we do need some lots, but isn't that enough?  Pave paradise, put up a parking lot?  If others feel the same and can help us out by letting us know who to contact to express our concerns and suggestions, please let us know.  I just want to "save what's left" as another CT birder says.  Thanks for listening.  Sincerely,  Dan Rottino

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Subject: Hammo
Date: Sun Jun 16 2013 22:34 pm
From: jkat61 AT hotmail.com
Killdeer with two newly hatched chicks
Marsh Wren ( Heard and observed )
Two Black Crowned Night Herons, I initially was observing a single
Night Heron perched on a tree overlooking the creek that runs under
The in/out roadway a couple hundred feet south of the fee booths.
A Snowy Egret flew down and let out a screech as it landed on the edge
Of the creek and flushed what was two herons, one must have been at
Creek edge and the egret was not happy about it. both the herons flew
To the other side of the road and perched together in a tree overlooking
The creek.
For those of you who who are not already aware of, say goodbye to the
Shorebird rainpools in the nature center / meigs point large grass ??
Parking area. The park/state has filled them in. I hope this is not a trend....
But hope is not reality...the sad reality is that this is the way hammo has always
Been, cash cow for the state, for the visitors and not the wildlife,
Anyone who has ever driven or walked past the east beach small paved parking
Area late evening in late april early may, even up to now, that rainwater collects there
And the Fowlers Toads emerge and start calling and mating. at least thirty to fifty.
There is a huge rainpool covering that parking lot now, the state or park managment
Will soon fill that area and bye-bye fowlers toads..... they have already paved 3/4 of
The gravel/sparse grass parking area at east beach,that was a prime and favorite nesting
Area for killdeer at least 4-5 active nests per season. no more........just the one mom and
Two young. really tragic and sad to see what is happening there...
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