[CT Birds] White Faced Ibis

Comins, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Wed Jul 2 13:27:58 EDT 2014

We will be adding this to the list of topics we will discuss with DEEP in a meeting that is hopefully to happen soon this summer.


Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation
President, Friends of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

Audubon Connecticut
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488

Phone: (203)264-5098 x308 
Fax: (203)264-6332

pcomins at audubon.org
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-----Original Message-----
From: CTBirds [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Mark Szantyr via CTBirds
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2014 12:27 PM
To: CTbirds
Cc: John Pfitzner
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] White Faced Ibis

And you know, the more i think about this, the more it seems like we should be wondering (once again !) just what the leadership of the parks commission and Hammonasset in particular are doing to maintain these spaces as conservation land rather that amusement parks.  This event should have been stopped if in fact it was prohibited activity. It apparently was not in some desolate area but in pretty plain sight... They were kites. Probably in the air, you know?  In fact, any kite flying during the bird breeding season should be reconsidered by the management. 

Likewise, with all the people on staff at Hammonasset, i find it hard to imagine someone could not have been reassigned to clean up the mess. Again, its a wildlife conservation  area. 

I disagree with John. It is not on us. It is very squarely on the management of Hammonasset to answer for this like they have for the other gross conservation problems at the park  from recent past. 

Perhaps its time for more letters to the Governor, commissioner, and park staff. 


Mark Szantyr

> On Jul 2, 2014, at 10:58 AM, Mark Szantyr <birdinggeek at gmail.com> wrote:
> And perhaps a larger question might be why the activities on Saturday were not observed by the park staff and curtailed and subsequently, why the litter, if it was as significant as reported, was still there on Wednesday. 
> Mark Szantyr
>> On Jul 2, 2014, at 9:46 AM, James Winkelmann via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
>> John,
>> Somewhere in your rant is a reasonable point.  Unfortunately, it's 
>> buried under layers of poor grammar and punctuation, overly broad and 
>> unduly harsh criticism of an entire community, and cloying self 
>> congratulation.  As it stands I think you've simply alienated a group 
>> of natural allies.  While yes we all bear a shared responsibility of 
>> environmental stewardship, the real culprits here are the ones who littered the marsh.
>> James
>> On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 1:37 AM, John Pfitzner via CTBirds < 
>> ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
>>> 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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>> _______________________________________________
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>> rg

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