Tag Archives: osprey

Unsung Hero #247

Last week at Longshore, Chris Davies — a 9-year veteran professional golf pro and instructor — took a short detour off the course. He helped not a golfer, but a raptor.

There are 3 osprey nest on the Longshore course: one by the 1st and 2nd hole; another near the ER Strait Marina; a third on the exit road, by the 12th green.

Chris — an avid fisherman — was asked to help save a young osprey. A fishing line was wrapped around its wings. It could not fly, or barely move.

With the help of Dave Boviei — longtime golf course starter — Chris used fishing line cutters to rescue the beautiful bird.

The rescued osprey

Then he returned to the junior camp, where head pro Jon Janik and PGA pro Mark Farrell were helping 18 young golfers learn the game.

Hopefully, the osprey Chris saved will return next spring. It will spend the winter down south.

Unlike Chris. In addition to golf, he’s a gifted hockey instructor at the Longshore rink.

Westporters — and ospreys — are lucky to have him here.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email 06880blog@gmail.com. Hat tip: Mark Farrell)

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Chris Davies

 

Roundup: Hiawatha Lane, Abortion Ban, Salsa Fresca …

Though Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger dismissed a suit by Hiawatha Lane residents against Summit Saugatuck — developer of the 157-unit apartment complex by I-95 Exit 17 — the neighbors vow to fight on.

Carolanne Curry writes: “A close analysis by (our) attorney of the findings in Judge Berger’s decision, would show the Judge’s decision to be weak enough, flawed enough, and sufficient enough to warrant an immediate and vigorous appeal. During a conversation on Friday our attorney relayed that the merits of an appeal were convincing and justifiable. (Read the decision dated May 31, 2022  here.)

“We have come too far to simply relinquish our sincere efforts and the many successes we have achieved, especially while there are viable pathways to further success that are still within our reach. Our chances of success today are like all the chances we’ve continuously embraced for nearly 20 years. We’ve gone ahead each time and achieved many wins. We still remain an affordable working class neighborhood. We still remain a community with history… and hope. We still remain committed to stopping something so very wrong.”

An appeal would take 12 to 18 months, Curry says. That would put a hold on construction.

The biggest challenge, she says, is funding. Her email included a goal of $50,000 to cover the current balance owed, and legal fees going forward. Click here for details, and more information.

One of the Hiawatha Lane homes on the demolition list.

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With 23 sponsors, it was already clear that a “sense of the meeting” resolution supporting a woman’s right to abortion would pass the 36-member Representative Town Meeting.

But — after impassioned debate — the non-partisan legislative body enacted the member without dissent from the 29 members still on the Zoom call.

The RTM has weighed in on national issues before. In 1969, they voted 17-15 to oppose the Vietnam War. After the Sandy Hook massacre, they resoundingly called for an end to gun violence.

District 4 representative Andrew Colabella told “06880” after last night’s vote:

“Tonight the RTM, men and women, stood together and in unison, eloquently and passionately to adopt a resolution asserting that Westport supports the constitutional rights and principles established in Roe v. Wade, and opposes the elimination of those rights by any subsequent Supreme Court decision.

“Putting aside individual beliefs and political affiliations, this nonpartisan body, like always, setting precedent by discussing and taking action voiced, loud and clear with great enthusiasm while holding back tears.

“The future is terrifying. We are fortunate and lucky  to live in such an educated and strongly passionate diverse and inclusive town that, like our state, goes above and beyond to protect women’s rights.

“Furthermore, the best health care is provided free of political interference in the patient-physician relationship. Personal decision-making by women and their doctors should not be replaced by political ideology. This was affirmed in our unanimous vote.

“And like the people that we are in this town, ready to give a helping hand, will take pride in helping those beyond our borders whatever decision is rendered.”

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No such thing as a free lunch?

Don’t tell that to the crowd at Salsa Fresca yesterday.

The Post Road healthy Mexican spot gave away free lunches — and dinners — all day long. It was “Customer Appreciation Day.”

Lines were long, but they moved fast. No one worried about swiping credit cards, or fumbling for cash. Customers definitely appreciated that.

Gracias, Salsa Fresca!

A small part of Salsa Fresca’s long line.

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When newly minted teacher Haleigh Donovan put out a plea for books for her underserved 4th grade classroom, “06880” readers came through.

Dozens of Westporters donated hundreds of books. Others sent gift cards, for the 2014 Staples High School and College of Charleston master’s graduate to purchase too.

Soon, she and her parents — Staples grads Dan and Nicole Donovan — will pack up a car, and head south. Haleigh will spend the summer setting up her classroom.

With each book, she’ll be reminded of the generosity of hometown friends and strangers.

Haleigh Donovan, with a small portion of Westporters’ large donations.

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Former 2nd Selectman and Board of Finance chair Avi Kaner — named last year one of the “Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life” — just returned from a B’nai B’rith trip — to the Vatican.

He and his wife Liz were part of a private audience with Pope Francis.

The pontiff said: “The promotion and deepening of Jewish-Christian dialogue has been something close to my heart since I was a young boy, because at school I had Jewish classmates; it is a dialogue made up of encounter and concrete gestures of fraternity.

“It is good that we should help one another, because in each one of us, in every religious tradition and in every human society, there is always a risk that we can hold grudges and foster disputes against others, and at times do so in the name of absolute and even sacred principles.”

The delegation responded: “Your Holiness, we hope that all people will stand together against antisemitism, against anti-Christian discrimination and against intolerance directed at Muslims. In recognition of our common home and common destiny, let us protect the environment, care for the most vulnerable and promote mutual understanding rather than mutual recrimination. Thank you, Your Holiness, and may God bless all people everywhere with shalom, with peace.”

Pope Francis shook Kaner’s hand, looked him in the eye and said, “Pray for Peace.”

Pope Francis and Avi Kaner.

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It’s been a while since we checked in with the Fresh Market ospreys.

Carolyn Doan reports: “There is at least one chick in the nest. There are probably more, but this was the most visible, sitting right up front with mom. Dad brought in a fish. All is well.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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It could take years — if ever — for the improvement project at the Main Street/ Weston Road/Easton Road intersection near Merritt Parkway Exit 42 (first reported yesterday on “06880”) to be completed.

Let’s hope there’s some routine maintenance done of the traffic island there before then.

If it looks like this today, just imagine a few years from now.

(Photo/Terry Brannigan)

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On the other hand … there are plenty of handsome entrances to private Westport roads.

But can any of them beat today’s “Westport … Naturally” beauty?

(Photo/Valerie Szeto)

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And finally … Jim Seals — half of the ’70s soft-rock duo Seals & Crofts — died Monday in Nashville. He was 79.

I knew (but never really cared for) the group’s hits like “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl.”

But I did not know — until I read his obituary — that Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were part of the Champs, who had a 1958 hit with “Tequila,” another song that did nothing for me. (They joined after it was a hit.)

Nor did I know that Seals’ brother Dan was a member of England Dan & John Ford Coley (“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”). You guessed it …

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Roundup: Jersey Mike’s, Osprey, Kiwanis …

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Jersey Mike’s — the “fast-casual sub sandwich” shop in Compo Acres Center — has closed permanently.

That’s what a sign on the door says. The location — which opened in September 2015 — is already gone from the website of the 2,171-store chain.

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Meanwhile — not far away — an osprey has returned to its Fresh Market perch.

Alert “06880” reader Wendy Crowther reported last evening: “He was primping the nest as I passed by just now. I drive by Fresh Market to and from work or doing errands nearly every day. I always look in that direction.

“This is my first sighting since he left for parts south last fall. I was in my car so I don’t have a photo.”

So this one from last year will have to do:

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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Like many Westporters, Stephan Taranko has followed the news from Ukraine closely.

He has a special interest: His family is from there.

Earlier this month, he ordered 50 flags, to hand out at the Stand With Ukraine rally on Jesup Green.

They did not arrive in time. When he finally got them, he did the next best thing: He put them on his mailbox, with a sign inviting people to take one.

Steve lives on a private road, off Sturges Highway. Yet all 50 were taken quickly.

Westporters around town are also decorating their homes and yards with Ukrainian flags. Several line Prospect Road, in a show of support for that courageous nation.

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The Kiwanis Club is one of Westport’s less publicized civic groups. But they’ve been around for decades, aiding everything from Safe Rides and local playgrounds to gear for the EMS bicycle unit.

Very quietly, they continue to enrich our town.

The other day, they donated $5,000 to Save the Children’s relief efforts in Ukraine. Now Kiwanis is gearing up for their grant program for high school seniors. Funding comes from their annual family-friendly Mini-Triathlon at Compo Beach.

The Kiwanis College Grant application is open to income-qualified Staples High School who have demonstrated academic excellence and service to the community. Click here for an application. The deadline is April 15.

The Triathlon is open to all ability levels. It includes a point-to-point swim at Compo Beach, followed by short bike and run courses in the Compo neighborhood.

The event is great for first-timers, and families wishing to race together. To register for the September 11 event or donate to the college grant program, click here.

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What do Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, Golda Meir, Jackie Kennedy, Peggy Guggenheim and Mother Teresa have in common?

All will be celebrated this Saturday by Westporter Suzanne Tanner, in her inspiring millinery musical “Voices of Herstory.”

The event (March 26, 3 p.m., St. Andrew’s Church, Kent) coincides with Women’s History Month. And it’s for a great cause: Proceeds benefit Ukrainian refugees, honoring the memory of Tanner’s daughter Tess.

PS: Wear a hat!

Suzanne Tanner

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We all know how “Romeo and Juliet” ends, right? (Spoiler alert if you don’t: badly.)

On April 8 and 9 (7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively; Sacred Heart Community Theatre, Fairfield) you’ve got a chance to change Shakespeare’s 425-year-old classic. Internationally renowned pianist — and Westport neighbor —  Frederic Chiu is a Prokofiev expert. Among his most noted works: the piano suite from the composer’s “Romeo and Juliet” ballet.

Almost 30 years ago, Chiu discovered the original score. Written entirely for the piano, it contained a revised ending. The lovers do not die.

Twenty-five years later, he commissioned choreographer Sandra Shih Parks to collaborate on “Romeo & Juliet: The Choice.” The audience votes on which ending — Prokofiev’s original happy one, or the traditional dismal version — will be performed.

It debuted at Drexel University in 2018, with Chiu playing the entire ballet on piano, while dancers performed — and the enthralled audience waited for the outcome.

Now, WSHU brings it to Fairfield. Click here for tickets and more information.

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Staples High School’s Zero Waste Committee is wasting zero time making an impact.

In addition to next month’s pop-up thrift shop, countering the wasteful “fast fashion” shopping trend, co-chairs Kayla Iannetta and Jenn Cirino are partnering with Sustainable Westport and ZenWTR for a Compo Beach cleanup on April 30.

This is the first time all the Zero Waste Committees from different Westport schools join together for one effort.

ZenWTR is the first beverage in the world to be certified plastic negative (meaning they remove more plastic from the environment than they produce, by investing in sustainable programs). ZenWTR is sold in the Staples High School cafeteria.

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A new store — Bobbles & Lace — has opened their first Connecticut location in Bedford Square.

Lindsay Rose Rando launched the store 14 years ago in Marblehead, Massachusetts. B&L offers “modern fashion forward designs at affordable prices.” There are other outlets in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.

Rando says she “loves the sense of community” in Westport, and calls her Church Lane location “bright and beautiful.”

Bobbles & Lace is opoen Monday through Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bobbles & Lace, Bedford Square. (Photo courtesy of Inklings News)

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Yesterday’s Roundup noted that Michael Bolton was representing Connecticut, in last night’s premiere of NBC’s “American Song Contest.” The show is a US version of the long-running Eurovision competition.

We missed the trailer — which features our neighbor touting his home state’s charms. It includes a few shots from his Westport home.

Alert reader Ann Marie Holm sent it along:

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A few seats remain for this year’s Westport Library “Booked for the Evening” gala. The June 1 honoree is television producer/screenwriter/ author Shonda Rhimes — twice named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Shonda Rhimes

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Earlier this month, “06880” reported on Coleytown Middle School students headed to the state Mathcounts competition.

A followup: Vikram Sarkar finished first in Connecticut. He leads the 4-person Connecticut team that will compete in the national event, in Washington. Ayush Rudra finished 9th overall.

Vikram Sarkar

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While driving on Roseville Road the other day, Bob Weingarten spotted this unusual sight on a tree.

He has no idea what it means. But he figures at least one “06880” reader might know.

If you’ve got a clue, click “Comments” below.

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The first day of spring was Sunday.

Right on time, here’s a very vernal photo for our “Westport … Naturally” series:

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … in honor of Frederic Chiu’s choose-your-own “Romeo and Juliet” ending (story above):

 

Pics Of The Day #1148

Westport’s favorite osprey … (Photo/Franco Fellah)

… and a yellow-crowned night heron, in the marsh off Canal Road. It is very unusual for this type of heron to venture this far north. (Photo/Deb Green)

He’s Baaaaaack!

Or maybe “she’s” back.

It’s hard to tell an osprey’s gender.

But Westport’s favorite snowbird has returned once again from winter in the south.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

He (or she) is back in his (or her) traditional perch, next to Fresh Market.

Can spring weather be far behind?

They’re Back!

Spotted near Terrain yesterday.

Welcome home!

(Photo/Susan Iseman)

Welcome Back!

Westport’s favorite winter snowbird has returned home.

Okay. This snowbird is actually an osprey bird.

Alert — and nature-loving – “06880” reader Wendy Crowther spotted the much-loved raptor this morning. He was perched at his usual spot: the nesting platform near Fresh Market.

(He started out here on a utility pole. But in 2014 Eversource — then called CL&P — relocated the nest a few yards away, to avoid short circuits. The original pole now has a black protector, making it unsuitable for nesting.)

So far we haven’t seen his mate. Perhaps this year they traveled separately.

Wendy Crowther was driving this morning, and could not get a photo of the osprey. But here’s what the osprey looked like just over a year ago — on March 26, 2016. (Photo/Wendy Crowther)

[UPDATE] Red-Tailed Hawk Rescue

Alert — and humane — “06880” reader Colleen Zapfel writes:

While driving on Sasco Creek Road today, we saw a man named Rob stopped next to an injured osprey. [NOTE: Readers — including Audubon experts — have identified this as a red-tailed hawk.]

It was sitting in the middle of the road, not moving, as cars drove by. We got out to help.

Osprey

We called animal control, went back and put him in a box for safety.

Gina from Westport animal control picked him up. She took him to Dr. Plunkett  in Fairfield.

So if the osprey red-tailed hawk you love to watch is gone for a few days from its normal nest — now you know why. 

A Friend Returns

Every year like clockwork, swallows return to Capistrano.

Just as regularly, an osprey comes back to Westport.

Specifically, to its tall perch next to Fresh Market.

Yesterday, alert “06880” readers — and avid osprey fans — Wendy Crowther and Jo Ann Davidson both spotted our feathered friend, for the first time since last fall.

(Photo/Jo Ann Davidson)

(Photo/Jo Ann Davidson)

Only one was seen. Perhaps its mate was out fishing.

Or just enjoying a fine spring day, back in the town that always welcomes it home.

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)

Our Ospreys: The Sequel

As reported yesterday, Westport’s ospreys have returned to their (relocated) nest, high above Fresh Market.

Drivers regularly stop to gawk. But busy Route 1 is not the only place in town to spot these magnificent raptors.

Ospreys

Three other platforms exist here. Two were created by CL&P (in their pre-Eversource days), in partnership with the Westport Conservation Commission.

CL&P set old utility poles at Longshore. One was on the right side of the exit road, near the 12th fairway. It’s hosted a nesting pair for at least 5 or 6 years.

The 2nd pole was set in the back of the guest parking lot, to the left of the marina. A pair nested there for a while last year, but seems not to have had success with eggs or chicks.

A 3rd platform exists to the east of Burying Hill Beach. In a private yard next to the seawall — erected, probably, by the homeowners — it has been home to some successful nesting ospreys.

Meanwhile, alert reader Mary Ann West reports that purple martin “scout” arrived at Sherwood Island yesterday. Scouts  venture ahead of the flock after spending the winter in South America.

Tina Green spotted the early arrival as she helped set up 24 “gourd condos” in Connecticut’s 1st state park.

purple martin at Sherwood Island

The “condos” (pictured above) consist of 12 “homes” per pole. They were established outside the Sherwood Island Nature Center last year.

The houses are removed after each nesting season, cleaned and put up just before the birds arrive. That keeps more invasive species from taking over the colony. Last year, 105 new featherless baby bird residents were monitored by volunteers.

The fledglings were banded in early July, before they prepared to fly the coop back to their wintering grounds. The Westport band is red, so if you see a bird sporting a red metallic band, it’s one of ours.

Another pole with 12 condos will be added soon, making a total of 36 purple martin couples very happy.

Sherwood Island is also home to 2 other Westport ospreys. The park’s couple — Will and Kate — are due back to their nest soon. It’s set up in the marsh outside of the Nature Center.

You can see it there — or on the “osprey cam” (click here).

The big debate in Westport these days is over affordable housing. Ospreys and purple martins seem to have solved that problem. Perhaps we can ask CL&P/Eversource and Sherwood Island to help the humans too?

The Sherwood Island "osprey cam," earlier this morning.

The Sherwood Island “osprey cam,” earlier this morning.