“My Patch”

My favorite birding magazine is BirdWatching which is published six times a year by Madavor Media, LLC.  One of the common contributors is Pete Dunne, an author who is described as “New Jersey Audubon’s ambassador at large.”  In the September/October issue, he has a piece entitled “My Patch.”  It is about a nearby spot where he can bird, when time is short, with some certainty of success.  I think Seabrook Island, as a SIBer’s ‘patch’, rather fits his definition.  Thus, I would like to share bits and pieces of this article from BirdWatching’s Vol. 32, Issue 5.

Pete describes his “new favorite spot” as being “a 13-minute drive from my door.”  “Why this particular location …..?  In a word, birds …. the volume of birds and the delicious proximity.”   “And yes, I love to spend the day birding Cape May, but that takes planning …… when I count up the minutes and the benefits, I find that I invest most of my birding time in my local patch.

“I’ll bet you have one too, and I hope, like mine, your patch is protected. Be a shame to wake up one morning and find a sign on your site ….. . All local natural areas are priceless, offering variable habitat for local wildlife and a focus for birders when good fortune knocks.  Make sure your local land planners appreciate the importance to this local Eden of yours.  You are your local patch’s greatest champion.  Be a vocal one.  And before interests compete, document, document, document.  Prove the importance of that local woodlot with breeding survey data, migration counts, and winter bird surveys.  Or team up ….. and organize an annual Earth Day bird outing for residents and local politicians.  Show them the special nature of your patch.”

Thanks, Pete.  Seabrook is our local patch! Substitute any of ‘North Beach’ or ‘Equestrian Center’ or ‘Garden/maintenance Area’ or ‘Jenkins Point’ for the woodlot mentioned in Pete’s paragraph.  Our Eden is at hand and its future is in our hands.

Submitted by:  George Haskins

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