Though one can participate in the Christmas Bird Count tallying feeder birds from the comfort of their home, those who go afield can experience some discomfort on a winter day in New England. Though, as I said, weather conditions were generally pleasant this year, there was one story of human discomfort that I heard from one of the sector leaders: Linda Pivacek of Nahant leads a team around Rowley and one of her areas is Nelson’s Island at the end of Stackyard Road. Linda and teammates usually don Wellies, rubber boots, to walk out the marsh road to Nelson’s Island in search of snowy and short-eared owls. The marsh road floods at high tide and wading is a must. One participant, a Plum Island resident, had boots that had only rubber bottoms. He chose to remove his boots and wade in 40-degree water out and back! Not a choice that I would have made.
Steve Grinley is the owner of Bird Watcher’s Supply and Gift at the Route 1 traffic circle in Newburyport and the Nature Shop at Joppa Flats.