February 3, 2006 [LINK]

Bell's Lane P.M.

A quick drive to Bell's Lane late this afternoon provided a few nice surprises:

I'm really getting spoiled by seeing those owls on a routine basis; I just wish they would come close enough for a photo! It was the first time I had heard their drawn-out screech call. The Horned lark was rather close, but flew away before I could get a photo. The absence of Mallards was somewhat surprising, but they tend to cluster together in bigger flocks during the winter.

Horseshoe crabs and Red knots

The National Audubon Society has a campaign to protect Horseshoe crabs, whose populations have been declining sharply in recent decades. The main problem is that fishermen are overusing them for bait. A species of sandpiper called the Red knot depends on Horseshoe crab eggs as a food source during its long annual migration from the south Atlantic coast to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. To send an e-mail message to your governor and legislators urging them to support a conservation bill introduced by Del. Morgan Griffith (R), just click on that link.