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Re: Birding trip

I am glad you had a safe and enjoyable trip!  Interesting how nature does what
it feels like and repopulated itself.

Never had the pleasure of watching the
snow geese.


----- Original Message ----
From: "Aplfgcnys@aol.com"
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006
8:45:49 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Birding trip

We're back from out semi-annual trip
to Bombay Hook NWR, Delaware, 
and Chincoteague, Va.  What a great trip!  The
snow geese at both places
were more numerous than ever. If you don't know snow
geese, please try
to find some.  The snow-goose congregation is just about the
most exciting
natural phenomenon I can imagine.  In both places there were
thousands of birds.  The sound is amazing - sort of a high-pitched
Groups of birds take off, circle around, and settle back down - how do
ever manage not to sit down on another goose.  They are so close-packed
but they never seem to have a problem. Also at Bombay Hook, there was
enormous number of ducks .  The snow geese congregated in one area
and the
ducks in another - real segregation.  We didn't see as many different
as some years, but the numbers of Mallards, PIn-Tails and Shovelers
enornous.  Lots of Coots, too. 
But one of the thrills at Chincoteague was the
two bald eagles we saw on
Sunday morning, and the two immature Black-Crowned
Night Herons. 
To keep this horticultural  - On Thanksgiving weekend the
14-mile service
road on Assateague Island is open from noon to 3:00 PM.  We
always plan
to take this drive, but this year it was closed on Thanksgiving
Day because 
of the Nor'Easter that had come through.  However, for years I
have been
noticing and commenting on the fact that pines (Loblolly) and
Bayberry are
the dominant species on the lower part of the island, but as you
northward, Junipers begin to appear, and by the north end of the drive,
are more Junipers than pines.  I think I have mentioned in past years
fact that some years ago there was a plague of pine-bark beetles that
devasted some of the lower part of the island.  The administration made
a big
deal out of planting a variety of trees and putting up many signs that
explained that the problem was a result of the "uniculture" of pines, and that
the planting of diverse  trees would correct the problem.  Of course, now it
is not possible to find any of the many diverse trees that had been planted,
but the pine forest has restored itself quite beautifully, with the seedling
trees not about 15-18 feet high and growing up to 18 inches a year.
Instead of
turkey, we feasted on Crab Imperial.  Not good for our 
waistlines, but once a
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