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  • Sunday night was cloudy and cool with a slight breeze. I set out for a second night on the trail of the once common but now rare whippoorwill. Last Thursday the Noyac and Bridgehampton hills were under my microscope. Sunday night it would be Northwest Woods in East Hampton and Napeague. I didn’t hear a single whippoorwill the first night. I was hoping that it would be a different story the second time out.
  • The summer birds are back in full force. Most are day birds, but some are nocturnal — the owls and the nightjars such as the nighthawk and whippoorwill.
  • When I was a boy growing up in Mattituck I poked around everywhere and at everything, collecting many of the things I found, be they animate or inanimate, or, as they say in Twenty Questions, “animal, vegetable, or mineral.”
  • Are there flowering plants that live in the seas? Yes, they are called sea grasses because, like land grasses, they are monocots, plants that only display a single leaf upon emerging from the seed.
  • It’s 3 p.m. on Sunday and the sun is shining in full glory following three days of cloudy rainy weather. The robins and cardinals are singing their territorial songs, the trees are beginning to leaf out, the red maples are flowering, and the scarlet and black oaks are following in their stead. By the time this goes to press, the shads and beach plums will be in bloom, to be followed by the dogwoods, then the mountain laurels. It is spring as I remember it.
  • A weekend with near-80-degree temperatures and it seems like spring prematurely turning into summer. Alewives, or river herring, are running, ospreys are sitting on nests, hardwood trees are budding, and at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, trailing arbutus are flowering up a storm, according to Jean Held.
  • Walking is good for you. My doctors say that. Just about every doctor says that. There are three kinds of recreational walking: fast steady walking, group walking with a guide, and walking by yourself or with another while studying the ground, sky, trees, and maybe water.
  • It was, indeed, a very rough March. But April is here and things are starting to pop. One sign of spring is the number of male robins on the greening shoulders along roads. Why they hit these shoulders first before the lawns is a question that has been nagging me for years, but that’s the way it is. On Sunday afternoon along Scuttlehole Road in Bridgehampton there were several, all males, of course. Females usually return several days after the males.
  • I’m in my 80s and spend a good deal of time thinking about the 1980s, when all sorts of things for the good happened on the South Fork, North Fork, and Shelter Island. And yes, there were many bad things to overcome.
  • The birds that have been showing up at your feeder daily will still need another couple of weeks of food to keep them going.