Fishers Island Conservancy President’s Spring Message

April 27, 2017

It is hard to believe that the spring bird migration is in full swing and can be seen and heard with great fanfare in the Parade Grounds Sanctuary. Once again the redwing blackbird’s chorus emanates from the cat-o-nine-tails as they set up house for nesting. Kestrels hover overhead and the harrier glides over the greening grass in search of prey. Soon the welcome songs of the yellow warbler will be joining the cacophony of spring peepers. Truly a wonderful time of year.

We at the Conservancy have had a very busy winter. First, you will notice the obvious. Clearing and invasive removal continued in the winter around the exercise path on the southern side of the Sanctuary. Piles of decade-old debris have been sorted, remediated and in some cases recycled. It is quite a sight as we get back to what Mother Nature gave us in the first place. Now the land is ready for some overseeding with the native seed mix that we have been spreading in the rest of the Sanctuary. Reclaiming this land has been a challenge but in the end, hugely rewarding.

As part of this initiative, the Conservancy, with the partnership of the Fishers Island Fire Department and Ferry District, conducted our second consecutive burn. The area adjacent to the State Police Barracks east of the playing fields and an additional parcel along Elizabeth Field closest to the beach are already covered in explosive new green shoots of grass. I would like to personally thank Fire Chief Hubert for taking this on and helping us complete our mission.

The Conservancy’s Spring Migration Bird Count is scheduled for the weekend of May 6th and 7th. We will be joined by our old friends Adam, Emily and Will from the University of Delaware. Please join us for an easy and educational couple of hours of birdwatching. Check the Conservancy’s website for details.

Summer is fast approaching, and it will be a busy one. The return of Nature Days, Sunset on the Beach, Talks and Walks with Doug Tallamy are just a few of programs and events on the calendar. Stay tuned for more information.

Please come to the Parade Grounds Sanctuary and see for yourself spring and summer in action. This open space gives all of us, the entire community, access to new walking paths, ocean vistas, native wildflowers and birdlife. Come down and enjoy the beauty and bounty that is Fishers Island.


Tom Sargent
Fishers Island Conservancy

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