Last Saturday, as a part-time participant in the New York State Waterfowl Count for the first time in years, I accompanied the Rubinstein sisters, Vicki Bustamante, and 12-year-old Hannah Mirando from Montauk. Readers may remember that Hannah also was a key observer in the 100-plus-year-old Montauk Christmas Bird Count held on Dec. 14 of last year.
Two weeks and 109 years ago, Roy Latham and his farmer brothers undertook the first East End Christmas bird count centered in Orient. On Dec. 28, 2013, the Orient Christmas count was re-enacted for the 100th-plus time. None of the original cast of characters is still around to take part in this century’s Christmas counts. After the Lathams did it for 50 years or so, Paul Stoutenburgh took it over and carried it on for the next 27 years.