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FLORIDABIRDS-L  March 2003

FLORIDABIRDS-L March 2003

Subject:

Re: Eurasian Kestrel Viewing Schedule

From:

Florida Nature Tours <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Florida Nature Tours <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 17 Mar 2003 10:35:02 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (82 lines)

 Hi Vera,

 I wasn't the only one to get his "tail in a knot", (very cute
expression by the way, I plan to steal it from you in the future),
judging from the number of emails that I received from within &
outside the state containing the phrases; "well put, well said & you
beat me to it, I was going to say the same thing."

I was in fact primarily responding to the unnamed persons to whom you
referred in your post who upon learning of your planned 3:00 AM
departure from Naples told you "not to rush driving up to Zellwood
because Harold does not lock the gates behind the group when they go
in so if you get there a bit later you can drive in and join them.
It's pretty easy to see where they are along the roads because the
fields have been mowed. So please don't worry about being left
standing at the gate. You might get the best view if you are first in
line but you won't be left out if you're not." If the people who wrote
that to you had mentioned anything about road problems or other
unavoidable delays, or if you had mentioned them in your post I never
would have bothered to write. But, when the only thing said is "not to
rush" & "you can drive in & join them," I felt that I should respond,
having myself  been directly involved in the coordination efforts
between the SJRWMD & the birding community regarding the kestrel as
well as every other rare bird that has been found there since the
district bought out the area 5+ years ago. I thought it important to
let people know that it's not legal to go in unescorted even if they
could see the group in the distance. I forgot to mention that since
the kestrel has been in the area a great deal of road work has been
going on & that the gate is opened by the construction crews before
Harold even gets there, & it stays open after the birders go in
because of that work. The work will not go on forever. The day someone
shows up late may be the day the gate is locked, or if it's open it
may be the day someone from the Justice Dept. or the investigative arm
of the USFWS or the FBI decides to make an example of that late
arrival. Keep in mind that the feds don't want us in there to begin
with, & the district has been in effect defying them on our behalf.
The last thing I want the district to get wind of is any birder having
a blasť attitude about what we are asked to do.

I don't know which route you took from Naples to the NE shore of Lake
Apopka, but if I were making the drive I would either take the short
cut through Arcadia, Mulberry & Winterhaven or the all interstate
route through Sarasota & Tampa. The first is just over 200 miles with
more than half that amount on secondary roads. The second is 30 miles
farther but as I said all interstate & expressway. Depending on how
fast you drive & if you planned to hit the Cracker Barrel before the
bird, I think that 3:00 AM was exactly the right time for you to
leave, as you did as well.

Please believe that I never meant to imply that you would arrive late
deliberately or that you were suggesting that others do that, I know
that you aren't that kind of woman. I just wanted to make things
crystal clear regarding what is required of us as responsible birders.
I also wanted to fill in those birders who came/are coming from out of
state, who didn't/don't know the history of the place, & the
importance of cooperation with the people who are looking out for our
interests.

 Wes Biggs
 Orlando


Vera Fitz-Gerald wrote:
>
> Now Wes, don't get your tail in a knot.  We all know the situation at Zellwood and appreciate the effort involved by Harold to allow us all to see a rare bird there.  I only meant that if one had a flat or got caught in traffic not to panic or turn around and go home because the chance of joining the group was pretty good. I did not mean to stay in bed for a couple of extra hours because I could not conceive of anyone being so inconsiderate.  And I left on schedule at 3am as advertised.  But I was grateful to know that after 4 hours of driving if I got caught in a traffic jam because of some yahoo causing a pile-up on I-4 I still stood a good chance of going on in and joining the group.
>
> Vera Fitz-Gerald
> Naples, FL


 Wes Biggs
 Florida Nature Tours, Orlando  407/363-1360
[log in to unmask]
 http://www.floridanaturetours.com

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