Saturday saw the beginning of the Christmas Bird Counts on Long Island, something that was started in New York City in the first years of the 20th century and has been continued annually ever since. At the beginning there were no bird field guides, no roll film cameras, no digital cameras, no birdcall players built into cellphones, no spotting scopes, and the binoculars in use were barely equivalent to opera glasses. There were many fewer observers and parties were still traveling around in horse and buggies.
Friday afternoon I was driving my pickup along Daniel’s Hole Road passing East Hampton Airport when three healthy looking female deer jumped the low fence on the edge of the airport side of the road and bounded across in front of me to the mowed field beyond. I saw them from a fairly long distance and slowed accordingly.