[CT Birds] White Faced Ibis

John Pfitzner jkat61 at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 2 01:37:11 EDT 2014

I do not recall the exact date the white faced Ibis was first reported
But I am certain it was before saturday 06.21. On that day pavilion # 4
( the pavilion in between willard's island and cedar island trail entrances )
Was reserved for a party.
The attendees of the party engaged in a tradition of their native land ( India )
Which is " Kite Fighting " . This entails paper and wooded stick framed kites
Attached to kite line specifically designed for cutting the others kite line. It is
extremely abrasive to say the least, some actually has powdered glass impregnated in it.
The last time this happened at Hammonasset park management banned the practice
Of this in the park.  I and the two co- vice presidents of menunketuck audubon
Spent three hours in almost 90 degree heat and clear skies removing all of the line
And kites that were criss crossed over the entire marsh area at the extreme west end of the park.
I went to hammo on wednesday June 25th four day's after the "Party" to see the WF Ibis.
Before I even arrived to the marsh edge as i  approached the meadow I saw kite line
Strewn all over the meadow. I immediately removed all of it. about 500 feet of it. As I
As I walked the mowed path along the marsh edge and looked over the marsh I saw
A environmental and ecological disaster of colossal proportion.
I immediately forgot about the WF Ibis and ventured as far as I could ( without waders )
And retrieved as much line and kite's as I could. I also notified the park office. I returned to
Hammo the next day, this time with knee high wading boots and gloves. I spent an hour and
A half in the marsh and collected least FIVE THOUSAND FEET of vile abrasive kite line as well
As ten kite's, most of which had 300-600+ feet of line attached.
Another menunketuck member also collected a substantial amount of line and kite's,  as well as park maintenance
And Russ the nature center director.
I am quite certain that at least 20 - 50 so called "birders" and "photographers" went to hammo between
Sunday the 22nd and wednesday the 25th. What is more astonishing and deplorable then the disaster
In the marsh is that no one cared about what they saw in the marsh unless it was a white faced ibis.
No one reported it or removed any of it. all about one's selfish desire to check one off the "life list' or
To get the "money shot" or to show off some photo's of a rare bird. It is disgusting behavior.
And do not try to divert the blame to the park or management, It is all on you. The park 
banned them from doing it, and this year they used a different name and specifically requested
That area as to be at a more secluded location. the park supervisor contacted reserve america and
Alerted them that they are no longer allowed to reserve pavilions at the park. All of the collected
Material was brought to the park supervisor for evidence. He tried to pursue issuing citations for
Littering, but it was too after the event and no witnesses or reports on that day.
All those binoculars and scopes and cameras and no one saw the kite's and line ?????? REALLY ??
How sad and pathetic, Just proves the vast difference between birders and photographers and
Environmentalists, Like me..I could care less if i ever see a lazuli bunting or marbled godwit. or
Get a photo of one. And if I do, I will not tell anyone. All that concerns me is protecting the wildlife and the environment they live in.
When people see me at hammo with my camera and binoculars they will ask " are you a photographer or a birder"
I tell them " No...I am not...and I do not understand why you chose to insult me. Then I explain my answer to them.
I will make certain that cedar tracts and any area off trail on willard's island will be a protected area and signs will be posted
As to access is prohibited and subject to citation and fine. In the fall I will be monitoring that area and if I see anyone in
The cedars I will alert the park and EnCON police.
Happy 4th of July........
John Pfitzner

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