adult spotted lanternfly

This is a new invasive insect that should be collected, killed, and reported if seen.

Swallows

The Fishers Island Conservancy Fall 2018 Bird Migration Survey was held on September 23. Following Audubon bird count rules, the group made 15 five-minute stops. At each timed stop, the birders would count birds and call out what they saw.

We observed a total of 41 species, less than last year but still higher than average for past Fall counts. Starting later in the month than usual, we missed out on the large migration of swallows that occurred the week before, and certain species of warblers, but made up for it in the number of raptors (hawks and falcons) that were making their way south during the count.

Here’s the list of species reported from the count:
American crow
American goldfinch
American kestrel
American robin
Black-capped chickadee
Black-crowned night heron
Belted kingfisher
Bluejay
Blue-winged warbler
Canada goose
Carolina wren
Cedar waxwing
Chipping sparrow
Common eider
Cooper’s hawk
Common raven
Double-crested cormorant
Eastern Phoebe
European starling
Great blue heron
Gray catbird
Great egret
Green heron
Herring gull
House finch
House wren
Killdeer
Mallard
Mourning dove
Mute swan
Northern harrier
Northern flicker
Northern mockingbird
Osprey
Ruby-throated hummingbird
Song sparrow
Tree swallow
Tufted titmouse
White-breasted nuthatch
Yellow-rumped warblers
Yellow warbler

 

by Adam Mitchell, Associate Wildlife Biologist ® PhD Student, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology University of Delaware

sentinel
seagrass video

Underwater video by Marc Rosenberg, FIConservancy Island Sentinel.

Marc Rosenberg, 14, was the youngest Island Sentinel this summer, but he volunteered like a pro. His particular assignment was monitoring eelgrass beds around Fishers Island, and he produced an underwater video about the critical importance of eelgrass.

Nearly all of the seagrass left in Long Island Sound’s New York waters is located around Fishers Island. Unfortunately, however, it makes up less than 10 percent of seagrass’s historic acreage. Seagrass meadows were once abundant throughout the bays and harbors of the Sound, providing food, shelter and nurseries for thousands of ocean animals.

Marc quickly understood the risks to healthy eelgrass from nitrogen pollution (septic systems and fertilizer use), physical damage (vessel anchors, moorings, propeller scars, and fishing gear), and warming seas.

Chantal E. Collier, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island Sound program, impressed with Marc’s observations this summer, has invited him to present his film at a future seagrass coalition meeting on Fishers Island.

This dramatic image of a red-tailed hawk with its prey, a mink, is proof of the existence of minks on Fishers Island. The mink population here is described as “vibrant”.

osprey
Osprey

Bill Colman captured this image of an osprey hunting for fish July 20, 2018 at a dock owned by his in-laws, Bob and Margot Meyer. The picture was taken with a Nikon D800 camera.

Southold Town, which includes Fishers Island, Plum Island and Robins Island, has the densest population of breeding ospreys in eastern Long Island. In 2018, Andrew Edwards used a drone to record 34 fledglings in 17 active nests on Fishers Island.

dolphins

Max Soper shot this video of a few pods of dolphins Aug. 4, 2018 in Fishers Island Sound, with Hay Harbor in the background, and shared his exciting observation with FIConservancy. Island Sentinel Gardner Thors was also aboard to confirm sighting.

Although locally reported sightings are relatively rare, common dolphins have been seen in Long Island Sound with increasing regularity since 2009. Observers say they are venturing farther north for big schools of prey fish: Silver-and-yellow Atlantic menhaden (often called “bunker”) form schools by the thousands and are a favorite target for dolphin, porpoise and humpback whales.

Dolphins typically swim 2-4 mph but can reach speeds of 20 mph for brief periods. Coastal dolphins typically do not hold their breath for more than five minutes, which makes for good viewing.

aphids
aphids

Non-native Eurasian oleander aphids (Aphis nerii) coat pod of milkweed plant. Dianne Crary Photo

Dianne Crary observed this infestation of oleander aphids on her sister Jane Crary’s milkweed plants. Although spiders and ladybugs eat these aphids, there was no time to wait, because milkweed is the preferred food of monarch butterfly caterpillars.

“How can I control aphids on my milkweed?” is one of the most common questions posed by butterfly gardeners.

Dianne removed them by hand, squishing them or spraying them with soapy water. Check your milkweed plants often for aphids to remove them before an infestation gets a foothold.

entomology

“So creative!” “So well done!” “What a wonderful afternoon!” These were just a few of the comments heard as people left FIConservancy’s first-ever “Conservation on Parade” Sat. Aug. 11 at the Parade Grounds.

Seagrass

This August, Island Sentinels assist me in monitoring Hay Harbor.
Here, Marc Rosenberg documents scarring within seagrass beds.

This stewardship helps to further support & establish a Fishers Island Seagrass Management Coalition along with Henry L. Ferguson Museum and The Nature Conservancy, Long Island.

Way to go Sentinels!”

 

Video Snippet, From the Field, Justine Kibbe, Aug. 10, 2018

Doug Tallamy Sunset

University of Delaware entomologist, Doug Tallamy spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of over 350 people at FIConservancy’s 2018 Sunset on the Beach Sat. July 21, 2018 at the Fishers Island Club’s Beach Club.