Friday, February 02, 2007

Opportunistic birding

I had a dreaded "planning" meeting the other day, in which we "professionals" discuss how a huge state park should be managed in the next ten years. My agenda, as a representative of Fisheries, was to eradicate beaver from the area and restore native brook trout streams. But I'm not by nature a persistent sort of person so I think what I may have accomplished, at best, was contributing an understanding of how native brook trout contribute to the ecosystem.

Oh well. I took every advantage of having a meetimg 20 miles away from work; I took the back roads on my way back to the office, and in doing so saw one rough legged hawk ( light morph), one goshawk (immature), a flock of about two hundred snow buntings (beautiful), and several ring necked pheasants. ( I know, exotic, but it was my 30th species for the year!) And, on the way home I saw a bald eagle. Sweet.


Lynne said...

Two hundred snow buntings?!?
I am so envious- I still have never seen one! I'm hoping to see them on the Sax Zim trip with Birdchick and Stan Tekiela. Have you decided if you're going along? It would be fun to meet you. :)

Endment said...

What a wonderful trip!
Have to ask --- where will the beaver make their home? Forestry took beaver out from the refuge next to us - I don't know where the beaver went....

Deb said...

Lynne- I don't think I'll be able to make that trip. BUT- I was just thinking, some weekend when you're at Hasty Brook maybe I could drive up and we could go to Sax Zim or the Hedbom logging road!

I do hope you get to see a big flock of snow buntings. I love how they look when they are flying.

endment- eradicating them from the whole park would not be realistic; the park is about 50 square miles. So even if they were removed from trout stream areas, they would still have plenty of habitat elsewhere.

the dharma bum said...

deb - the issue of beavers and trout comes up frequently on a fly fishing forum i hang out on... it's an interesting dilemma because here you have two native species, the brook trout and the beaver, competing with each other. it just so happens that from a recreational standpoint, the brook trout is preferable to most people, so the beaver gets the shaft.

as an angler, i don't necessarily object, but it's good to be mindful of that strange prioritization. hell, let me know if you need help busting up dams!

is this the park named after the river?

you'll have to keep me posted if the angling opportunities improve... :D