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Sun City Center Audubon Club 1
SUN CITY CENTER AUDUBON CLUB April 2020
Ponderings from your prez
Our newsletter this month is filled with ideas to
help keep us sane and occupied during this
challenging time. There are pages for sharing with
grandchildren or with extremely bored seniors.
I’ve included my usual bit from science about the
benefits of nature. I was also going to include a
wonderful British ditty about birdwatching and
then stopping at the pub for Guinness – but since
the pubs are closed…. we’ll have to wait on that
Anyway, as you know, our general meeting for
April is cancelled. As you all know, the shelter-in-
place directive is now until the end of April. We
will keep you posted through email and our
website as to upcoming meetings, field trips and
events. Do be careful, folks. The corona virus is
not something to take lightly. My son-in-law is an
infectious disease research doctor at Harvard and
practices at Mass General. He is working 18-hour
days and is very concerned. So, wash your hands
and keep your social distance. But; also, don’t
We’ll all get through this with a little caution. And
to keep our spirits up, I have included a little
challenge. We all need challenges other than
finding a package of toilet paper to buy. Honestly,
people, I’ve had the stomach flu – leave some for
So, while we are all staying close to home, why not
make a backyard bird list (birds seen flying overhead
count too). Do it from now until we have our next
meeting – we can all compare notes then. I think
keeping a daily log with species and numbers would be
interesting. (Right now, I have so many purple martins
at the nest boxes, that I can’t even count them.)
Greatest quantity seen over this period; greatest
number of species; most unusual spotting.
I think the bird records will be interesting since we all
have different locations – and we will definitely have
some prizes – so start today!
* * * * * * * * * * I wrote this after losing my husband of 38 years, John
Revill. John loved the purple Martins and was actually
able to stand outside and call them back to their nest
boxes. Seeing them fly around me today, I know his
spirit is with them. This poem by Zen Master, Thich
Nhat has meant a lot to me and to others who have
lost someone they love. It means we never really say
No Coming, No Going
No after, no before
I hold you close to me
I release you to be so free
Because I am in you
And you are in me.
Sun City Center Audubon Club 2
News from our Master Birder
In these days of self-quarantine, I look forward even more than usual to my weekly bird walk on the West Campus Nature Trail. I live alone, so all the time at home isn't as hard on me as on most. Still, the trail is peaceful, full of bird song (if you come around 8 AM) and the birds probably won't come within 6 feet of me! One angry blue-gray gnatcatcher almost did, though. It flew in over my head, as I was sitting on Juanita Kent's bench, and roundly scolded me. I had never heard one do that before!
There were great crested flycatchers on the trail this morning. These birds are newly arrived spring migrants, and many of them will spend the summer with us. They are large for a flycatcher (8-9 inches) and are pale yellow on the chest and gray on the belly. They are easily recognizable by their loud raspy call. They also have a call which sounds like "wheep!" Look for them on the wires anywhere in Sun City Center.
Spring is here. The ospreys which had been kicked out of their nest on the corner of Pebble Beach Blvd. N. and La Jolla Ave. have returned and may nest. The faithful house finches which were constantly on my feeder all winter are far less regular now in their visits. The blackbird flocks of winter have disbanded, and I have seen common grackles carrying nesting material. I wonder - will they again nest in the traffic signals?
Bluebird Boxes Our bluebirds have started early! Monitors report
several boxes with nests, eggs, and fledglings.
Sun City Center Audubon Club 3
How to Boost Your Mindfulness and Empathy While Birding
https://www.audubon.org/magazine/winter- 2019/how-boost-your-mindfulness-and-empathy- while
Turning your focus to nature and wildlife can help allay stress and anxiety. But always make others feel at ease, too.
10 Common Bird Songs Made Less Confusing!
Check out this link to enjoy these beautiful bird songs. https://www.audubon.org/news/10-common-bird- songs-made-less-confusing
What can nature and birding do for us?
Helps Decrease Stress and Anxiety
Spending time in nature is inherently calming. The patience that birdwatching requires only serves to enhance this meditative effect. As birders learn to appreciate nature’s slower pace, it inspires reflection, relaxation, and perspective. The exercise benefits that come from walking outdoors also contribute to increased happiness and energy levels. Its quiet nature can be less stressful for introverts than other activities, while extroverts can also enjoy birdwatching in large groups. Birding can help your loved one connect with themselves, others, and nature as a whole.
Offers Multiple Cognitive Benefits
Birdwatching offers a range of sensory stimulation and memory exercises for older adults. Observing small visual details, noticing patterns in animal behavior, and listening closely to bird songs all help to engage your loved one’s brain. These memory- related tasks enhance older adults’ reflex skills, mental alertness, and can even benefit dementia. A UK-based professional on aging, Maizie Mears- Owen, explains: “Birdwatching can also be a valuable reminiscence activity, with the appearance of certain species and the sounds of bird song evoking memories.”
From Institute on Aging – June 8, 2016
Sun City Center Audubon Club 4
Three Day Trip to Gainesville
The three-day trip to Gainesville was a huge success for bird watching. We saw 63 different species on the trails. It was also spectacular for bat watching. Hundreds emerged right on schedule. The animals at Carson Springs Conservation also did not disappoint. We saw tigers and hyenas and lemurs, oh my. There are fewer than 80 left in the wild of some animals. It was amazing to be so close to them.
The sunshine accompanied us for much of the trip from our arrival at Silver Springs until we left Mycanopy. Since Gainesville isn’t very far away, those who have not visited these sites can see them during an overnight visit.
Can you find the bird? Patsey finds a friend A serval from Carson’s
One of my fondest memories of the trip was meeting so many Audubon members I had never met. What a great group of people. If anyone bought supplies for the trip, candy, donuts, or hand sanitizer, please give the receipts to Rod so he can close the books on this wonderful trip.
John Revill 1933 – 2020
Naturalist, Photographer, Sculptor – loving brother, husband, stepfather and grandfather
---or as one friend put it “the finest man I’ve ever known”
Sun City Center Audubon Club 5
Copy & Paste this Link to print picture and play https://0.tqn.com/z/g/homeschooling/library/birdword.pdf
Sun City Center Audubon Club 6
Coloring Time with Grandkids
Sun City Center Audubon Club 7
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
"The Peace of Wild Things"
by Wendell Berry
President Mary Duncan Vice-Presidents/ Patsie Ginley Programs Ann Fenimore Secretary Betty Giles Treasurer Rod Rodrigues At Large Gail Mongiello
Linda Floyd Refreshments Pat Dean Membership Loni Baxter Name Tags Jo Ann Wilkinson Conservation Joe Mustion
Melanie Higgins Historians Ed & Clara Clancy Newsletter Denise Rosen Publicity Susan Shuttleworth Greeter Gail Mongiello Field Trips/ Master Birder Ray Webb Three Day Trip Kathy Eckhart
Officers & Committee Chairs 2019-2020