Thank you to those who have shown an interest and offered suggestions and 
support for the East Pond management.

Angus, your thoughts echo some of what I had submitted in my comments on the 
GNRA General Management Plan a few years ago. As I suggested  before, it may be 
time to have that discussion with NPS for a comprehensive plan to address the 
drainage issues and also to review the health of the Pond.

I recall a few seasons ago NPS Biologist George Frame and someone (his name I 
noted in one of my field notebooks) were doing some mud sampling of the Pond. I 
had asked to be included in the findings but do not recall ever receiving any 

Last night, I sent off an e-mail to George asking for the data and l have also 
reached out to other NPS sources for assistance.

Bob, there is no doubt that the shorebirds are not sticking to the Pond as 
before. Whether it is due to the health of the Pond or that better feeding 
areas have become available is anyone’s guess at this point.

I will share whatever I learn with the community as information becomes 
available and continue to do what I can in getting some much needed attention 
for a long term solution. It is no longer acceptable to scramble every season 
to get the water level right. Whatever the drainage problems are we need a fix 
not a patch.

"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of 
others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." ~ Frederick 

風 Swift as the wind
林 Quiet as the forest
火 Conquer like the fire
山 Steady as the mountain
Sun Tzu  The Art of War

> (\__/)
> (= '.'=)                                            
> (") _ (")                                     
> Sent from somewhere in the field using my mobile device! 

Andrew Baksh

> On Jul 8, 2019, at 8:00 AM, Grover, Bob <> wrote:
> Having worked as a wetland delineator for the past four-plus decades, 
> slogging through mud has become too much more like work than recreation, so I 
> have largely stopped going to the East Pond, However, on my past few visits I 
> have seen green paint-colored water in the pond, and the likely culprit is 
> the cyanobacterium Microcystis, which is highly toxic, at least to mammals.  
> Unfortunately, it has become prevalent during warm weather in fresh and 
> brackish water bodies throughout Long Island and beyond.  Could the 
> shorebirds be favoring the cleaner tidal waters and mudflats of the adjacent 
> bay instead of the pond?
> Bob Grover
> <image001.png>
> Bob Grover
> d +1 (631) 761-7369 | c +1 (516) 318-8536
> An Equal Opportunity Employer
> From: 
> <> On Behalf Of Angus Wilson
> Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2019 11:51 AM
> To: nysbirds-l <>
> Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Jamaica Bay East Pond Water Level 2019 & Nickerson 
> sandpiper ID
> Andrew, 
> Thanks once again for your updates on this important shorebird site and 
> tactful dialogue with the refuge staff. My impression is that the East Pond 
> has declined significantly over the years as a shorebird feeding and roosting 
> site. There could be many many reasons (assuming the data fits this personal 
> impression) but I wonder if the pond doesn't need a more extensive spring 
> clean so to speak? Maintaining this type of habitat (often called scapes) is 
> a fairly advanced science involving periodic draining, freshwater flushing 
> and remodeling. Shorebird focused refuges often construct multiple 
> impoundments to allow some to be kept flooded whilst others are drained and 
> then refilled. Similarly, isolated roost islands or shingle bars need to be 
> maintained so that birds can sit out the high tide undisturbed. The Raunt, 
> for example, has crumbled away and is now barely separated from the eastern 
> margin. It used to be the most important site on the pond. Drawing down the 
> water level on schedule is one thing but maybe more needed? I appreciate the 
> Park Service and the refuge are under tight fiscal constraints but maybe 
> birders can help through fundraising, donations of materials or if necessary, 
> with manual labor.  Has anyone sampled invertebrates in the surface mud to 
> monitor productivity? 
> I wanted to share with anyone interested, an an update on the water level on 
> the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens Co.
> Unfortunately, the news is not good. The water is quite high. On the South 
> End which is the where the first bit of mudflats would begin to show, the 
> water is right up to the phragmites on the edge of the trail before you turn 
> right to access the last bit heading towards the pond.
> Based on my record keeping of water level and dates, we are once again behind 
> on schedule. I do not see any kind of flats opening up until August.
> No doubt, the weather has not helped with the excessive rainfall but I have a 
> hard time reconciling why we seem to have a repeat of the same situation - it 
> seems year after year.
> Changing subject slightly, I'm puzzled about the BAIRD's SANDPIPER reported 
> from Nickerson Beach (Nassau Co.) yesterday. The few photos I've seen are 
> marginal (seemingly distant and partly obscured by grasses) but are 
> suggestive of an adult alternate plumaged Baird's/White-rumped Sandpiper. 
> However, the descriptions in several eBird checklists are either inconclusive 
> or strongly suggestive of White-rumped Sandpiper. I don't think leg color is 
> useful (both should be blackish) and at least two reports mention a 
> white-rump, which of course is damning for Baird's! Not sure anyone commented 
> on the color of the lower mandible at the base. Did the dryish habitat play a 
> part in the ID?
> Was wondering if there are better photos or if observers have changed their 
> minds after reviewing online photos and other reference materials?
> --
> Angus Wilson
> New York City 
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