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  •    The last of the Long Island Christmas Bird Counts — the Orient Count — took place on Saturday. The count compiler over the last 20 years has been Mary Laura Lamont of Northville in Riverhead Town, and as of Sunday night all of the results had not been turned in to her. Nonetheless, after talking with Mary Laura, it is obvious that this was a very good count, especially for the North Fork territories and Shelter Island. Our part of the count was Cedar Point County Park on the east to Morton Wildlife Refuge on the west.

  •    There’s a war on locally. I don’t mean the war on D.W.I.s or the war on drugs, I mean the war on the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginiana. It was here on Long Island before we were, even before the first Amerindians, and is the only member of the antlered-mammal family native to Long Island, we never had moose, elk, or caribou. Apparently, being too native is similar to being too alien. I once heard a well-known gourmet writer on North Haven call them “rats.”

  •    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.

  •    We just learned something Monday as reported in both Newsday and The New York Times. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to rise; it’s up 3 percent over last year. Every time we inhale, we 7 billion humans breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. If that isn’t enough, all of the other billions and billions of organisms including both plants and animals with the exception of a very few, also respire, i.e., consume oxygen and discharge carbon dioxide.

  •    On Sunday at noon while sitting in the living room counting cars going by on Noyac Road, there was a sudden spate of bird activity swirling around the front yard. There were purple finches, red-breasted nuthatches, white-breasted nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, a downy woodpecker, and a Carolina wren. They hung around for about 10 minutes before picking up and heading west — all except the Carolina wren, which was not part of the group.

  •    Two big storms in a row; will God try for three? As Bob Dylan recited so eloquently, “Something is happening, and you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?” It’s like that now in the world of geoclimatology and geopolitics. The two are meshing in a most confusing way, and while wasteful wars besmirch the earth, people by the thousands are dying for no good reason and sea level rises with no sign of abatement.

  •    Live and learn, no matter how old. Reading Angus Wilson’s latest local bird-sighting blog, I just learned that there is a new species of Canada goose in town and it’s actually been here for a pretty long time, but it’s new to the East End in a couple of ways. Firstly, it was separated from Branta canadensis in 2004 by the American Ornithological Union and given its own scientific name, Branta hutchinsii, or Richardson’s cackling goose.

  • It goes without saying that the shoreline suffered and was changed throughout, not only along the entire Long Island-Staten Island-New Jersey shore. It will take a lot of thinking and a lot of action to put the coastline back in reasonable shape.
  •    It’s Monday afternoon. This could be the Big One of which I spoke earlier. It’s  pounding Noyac, and the best is yet to come. Noyac Bay is washing across Long Beach Road and marrying Sag Harbor Cove, it’s like the old days, before Suffolk County constructed Long Beach Road. Connecting Noyac with North Haven. I’ve been in this Noyac house since 1979 and have only seen those two water bodies meet up once before.