[CT Birds] Hammonasset

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Thu Jul 2 10:03:37 EDT 2015

Amen!! What else needs to be said......well, maybe just one small  
reminder- SHOREBIRD PUDDLES!! Since they were filled in, how many  
Shorebirds were seen in the fields last fall where they use to be?  
Hint.....ZERO!! I remember flocks of shorebirds including Golden  
Plovers, Upland Sandpipers, Ruff, Phalarope, etc., using those vital  
puddles. Thank You Mark for your continued "concerns" and for keeping  
this at the top of the list. To think that this State has lost and  
continues losing so much of the minimal remaining vital coastal  
habitat is profoundly disheartening!

Keith Mueller

Quoting Mark Szantyr via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>:

> At one time hammonasset was a birding gem. It had nearly every  
> habitat you could want and was  only moderately used by the  
> non-birding / beach-going public. There were few large groups using  
> the park and few to no large park-monopolizing events.
> The birds loved Hammonasset. The low-key, bird-friendly management  
> regimen ensured all types of birds could use their required habitats  
> without fear of those habitats being managed or gentrified away from  
> avian usefulness.
> Manage mosquitos, increase parking, get rid of rain pools, market  
> the park to every type of outside group, even those that are known  
> to damage habitat, improve the facilities for beach-goers at the  
> expense of habitat,  clean it to the whim of well-meaning special  
> interest groups even if it means killing an owl or two...in short,  
> ruin the unique habitat-rich character of the park and makie it a  
> mecca for the throngs of big- cash paying constituencies that raise  
> the money necessary to make the park valuable in the eyes of  
> administrators and legislators.  How can birders compete with that?   
> How can birds compete?
> This park was so much more than that.
> Sadly, Hammonasset was the only game in town. No other park in the  
> state provided its unique offerings. Now it is just one of many  
> overused, over-populated venues in an overcrowded state.
> I remember days birding and studying birds there. I remember banding  
> a Northern Wheatear with Noble and Dennis. I remember banding hawks  
> with Ray,  i remember sorting through a flock of sparrows with Buzz  
> and finding both Clay- colored and Lark, i remember annual Upland,  
> Baird's and Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Barn, Saw-whet, Long-eared and  
> Short-eared Owls, and a perky little Black-throated Gray Warbler.
> This was my favorite place to bird and now it is being ruined, one  
> alleged improvement at a time.
> Sure, people and organizations are showing concern but are afraid to  
> make waves.  Some folks are trying. Sadly, very few of them knew the  
> park at its best. They are satisfied with this shadow of its self  
> and hope to play nice in order to keep a conversation open. It is  
> just very sad.
> I am sorry some of you are upset by my negativity. I am deeply  
> mourning the loss of an old friend and don't really have time nor  
> energy for nicities.
> Mark Szantyr
> Storrs
> Mark Szantyr
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