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Tuesday, April 27, 2021


FOSS's Brian Keaveney and his family have just added modifications to the new Red Necked Grebe platforms they built and installed a couple of weeks ago in the marina bay. 

The ramps allow the birds to more easily access the nesting platforms and the small flags on wire are to deter Double Crested Cormorants.  

All four platforms now in place are being used.  

Let's hope for breeding success this season!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


Well, we did it! ....SAFELY

Who could have predicted that the least-organized of all the Sam Smith Park Clean-Ups would have been so successful and enjoyable? And in THIS YEAR specifically!

Sadly, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we weren’t able to keep track of every volunteer with a sign-in sheet. But what we do know is that we started with 100 bags and ended with less than twenty. And that doesn’t include those keen individuals who brought their own bags! So thank you, one and all, for coming out!

Upon final inspection, it was incredibly difficult to find any traces of garbage in the well-travelled areas where there had been just a few hours prior. If that isn’t considered a success, then I don’t know what is. 

Alongside the many, many bags of more traditional garbage, we also found over 140 pounds of metallic waste (including a 3 foot piece of I-beam and a loading dock truck bumper). I am very happy to say that the south beach is safer and more picturesque without it!

But in all seriousness, every person who decided to take a bag with them for their Sunday walk has my sincere thanks. It takes courage to decide to help out, and to do so despite all of the restrictions and difficulties present in this year is beyond commendable. So thank you all for your help and your dedication to our environment. Here’s to hoping that 2022 brings the clean up to even greater heights!

Stay healthy,

Alan Roy



Wednesday, April 14, 2021


This morning, I put this sign in the Swallow Field to hopefully persuade well-meaning people from putting bird seed on the nest boxes or on the large rock.  By educating, we can all do our part to discourage this practice when we observe it.  I know the message on the sign is blunt, but it is a fact.  That cute little invasive, non-native, non-protected House Sparrow can be a fearsome raider when it comes to claiming a nest box.  As we know, Tree Swallows are a declining species suffering the same realities as all other aerial insectivores and the boxes are for them.  I have added a couple of disturbing pics to make my point – sorry!  It is important to note that all monitors of Bluebird and Tree Swallow boxes are experiencing the same problem for which there are no robust proven solutions.  We always research and try different approaches. We want this project to always be worthwhile.  This year we blocked all entrance holes until the swallows arrived and, then, only opened up the field one section at a time … and, as I am sure you have noticed, this year proves to be the best ever! 

Terry Smith


Two of the three Red Necked Grebe nest platforms that FOSS's Brian Keaveney (and family) built this week are now out in the marina bay. The last one will be put in Wednesday. The total will be four.

Several pairs of Grebes immediately raced over to the nesting platforms!