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A Step Back in Time

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A Step Back in Time
Good morning, All~


A trip to Long Island earlier this week included a bit of time travel....


Tuesday morning showed a bit of sun peeking through some glorious clouds as we left the dock on the bottom of the tide.


[CLICK to enlarge each image]







Transport was via one of my favorite vessels: a 20-foot Chincoteague Garvey - pushed by 48 horses of the Yamaha persuasion.






Our purpose was to enjoy the southbound shorebirds. This Marbled Godwit was the star of the day - I had not see one in about 35 years.






Mister Godwit was joined by lots of other migrating cousins, including Short-billed Dowitchers, Sanderlings, Semi-palmated Plovers, Semi-palmated Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs and Black-bellied Plovers. All fed furiously before the rising waters would put their banquet beyond their reach.


We also saw - and were serenaded by - about a dozen Royal Terns.






Most surprising, though, was this Benighted Soul, evidently unaware of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act et cetera.






He was rigged for Beetleheads and Tattlers - and lay in wait with black powder and lead shot in his muzzle-loading hammer double.....






Looks like he had some early stick-ups carved by an early Sanford....








Not sure how he got back and forth to the train - to ship his birds up west into Fulton Street each day. We could not discover any old skiff or sloop on the beaches or in the creeks nearby...






Maybe we just imagined him.....having spent a little too much time with Thomas Eakins and A. B. Frost....



All the best,


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Great twist on a shorebird trip and for us eastern shoremen thats a Chincoteague Scow not a blasted Garvey.
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Good morning, Roy~


Thanks for the clarification on the nautical nomenclature (although I hear tell you eastern shoremen have been known to misidentify Broadbill as Blackheads!)


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Yes and a bufflehead has been known to just be called a dipper. Curious as to who made the scow you took a ride on? That 48 special would have been about the size motor a working scow would have used but for the ones of us who liked to play with them a 115 was about right hanging on the back if its an all glass boat.
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Dipper???? You mean butterball ?


I believe my friend bought it from someone down your way. I'll ask him the next time I see him.


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Very Nice ? Thank You
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes" - Thomas Jefferson
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
One in the same!
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Steve and others,
Question of the ignorant (me!),

Why do shorebirds migrate so early? Besides the natural gearing inside them, why do they migrate when it is still so warm?

Larry
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Larry~


Most simply put, migration is largely about food resources. Animal populations "chase" food resources around the globe on cycles that evolve with each species/population.



The timing tends to maximize food availability on breeding grounds, stopover areas and wintering grounds. Day length (amount of daylight) affects hormone levels and is thus an "ultimate" factor in timing; such factors evolve over many seasons. Ice/snow cover, weather and actual food availability are "proximate" factors - which can affect the timing (and success) in any given year.


Two shorebird examples that come to mind are the Red Knots. They nest in the Arctic tundra and spend the winter in southern South America. Their Spring migration is linked to the egg-laying of horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay and other Atlantic coastal locations.


The (apparently extinct) Eskimo Curlew migrated southward in time to feast on Crowberries ripening in the Canadian Maritimes in late summer. Gorging on this high-calorie food enabled them to quickly pack on fat to fuel their non-stop flight from Labrador to South America.



The group known as "shorebirds" (as with "waterfowl") comprises many species with many different ecologies, migratory cycles and travel distances. It seems true, though, that most shorebirds tend to migrate (at least in the summer-fall periods) earlier than most waterfowl. One guess is that the young develop flight capabilities earlier in the calendar year and so are able to depart their nesting grounds sooner. Smaller body mass maybe be an important factor behind the more rapid development.



Of course, I welcome any thoughts or insights of others on this site.


Hope this helps!


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Larry,
There?s an ecological concept in mammals called Bergmann?s Rule. Basically says that as you go away from the equator the volume relative to surface area of a species increases. Volume conserves body heat and surface area dispersed it. It?s especially obvious when looking at white tailed deer- a doe from Canada can easily weigh as much as a mature buck in the south Texas brush country and key deer are a subspecies as whitetails as well.

I?d say this probably applies to birds and across species as well, as the smaller species tend to migrate first to stay ahead of the weather (shorebirds and bluewinged teal) and larger ones (Canada geese are a prime example) only when they are forced to by the weather. The pattern tends to reverse itself in the spring with small birds bringing up the rear on their northward migrations.
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
 Steve, how cool. That is great storytelling and wonderful pictures.
Another factor that is often overlooked, or not practiced by modern gunners. Is the calling of shore Birds by whistle. Several species, particularly yellowlegs, and black Belly plovers are very easy to whistle into range. They respond so immediately I can only imagine gunning them would not be difficult.

Thanks for sharing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
http://www.hillmandecoys.com
Mullica Hill NJ

Last edited by:

jode hillman: Aug 12, 2019, 4:04 PM
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Steve, your posts never disappoint.

I think my generation has lost its sense of history and ancestry without actively learning about these cool past lives of hunters. The history of Shorebird hunting is something that seems to be lost with time, at least around where I live.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Good morning, Jode~


I'm so glad - but not at all surprised - that you enjoyed the "beach bird" post. And, I'm especially happy that you noted the call-ability of these wonderful birds.


One of my favorite paintings is Thomas Eakins' "Whistling for Plover" ( In fact, I'm going to treat myself to a framed copy soon.)








My partner Craig Kessler frequently calls in both Black-bellies and Greater Yellowlegs (Beetleheads and Tattlers respectively) when we are gunning the south shore for ducks and Brant - as both shorebirds overwinter on LI (along with Dunlin, Sanderlings, Turnstones, Purple Sandpipers, Oystercatchers and a few other stragglers).


Our recent foray was in preparation for the 2021 (not 2020) LIDCA Annual Show - which is typically in early March. In addition to lots of antique shorebirds, we think we'll have space for contemporaries, too. We're hoping we'll be graced by the presence of some Hillman "snipe stool" when the time comes.


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Steve- captain John dropped the sport off for the morning shoot.


Great South Bay
West Sayville, N Y
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Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Good morning, Tom~


Great portrait of one of our Grand Old Men of Great South Bay - thanks!


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Quote Reply
Re: A Step Back in Time In reply to
Steve Sanford wrote:
Good morning, Jode~


I'm so glad - but not at all surprised - that you enjoyed the "beach bird" post. And, I'm especially happy that you noted the call-ability of these wonderful birds.


One of my favorite paintings is Thomas Eakins' "Whistling for Plover" ( In fact, I'm going to treat myself to a framed copy soon.)








My partner Craig Kessler frequently calls in both Black-bellies and Greater Yellowlegs (Beetleheads and Tattlers respectively) when we are gunning the south shore for ducks and Brant - as both shorebirds overwinter on LI (along with Dunlin, Sanderlings, Turnstones, Purple Sandpipers, Oystercatchers and a few other stragglers).


Our recent foray was in preparation for the 2021 (not 2020) LIDCA Annual Show - which is typically in early March. In addition to lots of antique shorebirds, we think we'll have space for contemporaries, too. We're hoping we'll be graced by the presence of some Hillman "snipe stool" when the time comes.


All the best,


SJS



That?s great Steve, I figured you have been witness to their call-ability. I will try and set aside a bird or two too send you way. The shorebirds are a favorite of mine.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
http://www.hillmandecoys.com
Mullica Hill NJ