[CT Birds] Probable Cave Swallow in Guilford.

David F Provencher (Generation - 4) david.f.provencher at dom.com
Thu Jan 21 15:38:55 EST 2016

Over the years I have spent a great deal of time standing on the Great Island boat launch observation platform in Old Lyme while scanning the marsh. I've observed many motorists who drive down the boat launch apron to the water's edge and then just sit there drinking coffee or reading the paper. On weekends it can be a steady parade of cars doing this. I find it particularly annoying because I bird by ear as much as by eye, and these individuals tend to keep their cars running while they sit there, destroying any chance of me hearing anything but the poor performance (and smell) of their car's engine. I have spoken with a conservation officer regarding this issue, in actuality he approached me and brought the subject up at the ramp one day. He told me there has been a good deal of complaints from boaters about the inconvenience of this. To be honest, I can not remember any of these "train spotters" (shall we say) being birders. But it would seem fairly likely that we are painted with the same brush as these inconsiderate people.

We can raise the issue with DEEP and perhaps expand their awareness, but even so, the expectations of only using the launch apron to either launch or retrieve boats is likely going to continue to be be enforced. This expectation extends to boaters as well and I have seen arguments and near brawls between boaters when one thinks another is staying on the apron too long. So we are caught up in an issue largely (if not entirely) not of our creation. The best thing to do is to not park on the apron and bird outside the car, this largely nullifies the argument we are blocking the apron. I have no doubt some COs will still play the "clear the area" card. And full disclosure, I have kayaked in January using the apron at Great Island, so boaters can show up at unexpected times.

Dave Provencher

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