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On the Water: The Lobster Traps Are In

Flounder is scarce, striped bass are not yet here in sizable numbers, so our columnist set about repairing his lobster traps.

Apr 13, 2023
On the Wing: The Cardinal Rules

Cardinals, among our earliest singer each spring, are so familiar you might forget to appreciate them, but a century ago they were rare in New York.

Mar 30, 2023
On the Wing: The ‘Hallelujah’ Bird

I’m not sure if Leonard Cohen was into birds, but if he was, he might have appreciated the mess that is the European starling.

Mar 9, 2023
On the Wing: Lost in Merganser Time

Red-breasted mergansers rely on the open waters of our winter bays and harbors from November until April. They’ll be there if you walk anywhere along the bay side of the South Fork, between Southampton and Montauk. While they prefer salt water, they also frequent Hook Pond, Sagaponack Pond, and Georgica Pond.

Feb 9, 2023
On the Wing: The Great Chickadee Search

Looking for a walk and a challenge, I went to the Mulvihill Preserve in Noyac to hunt for wild chickadees. Hard? No. A unique reason to be in the woods? Yes. A winter activity for a winter bird.

Jan 26, 2023
Thirty-One Species, 10,000 Birds Tallied in Winter Waterfowl Count

On Saturday, teams of birders spread out across New York State to count freshwater ducks, saltwater ducks, and geese for the annual New York State Ornithological Association waterfowl count. Locally, from Shinnecock Inlet to Montauk Point, seven groups of birders faced winds and temperatures that were stubbornly in the mid-30s to peer into our ponds, bays, and coves. They located 31 species of waterfowl for a total of 10,451 birds. More than half that number, 5,303, were the familiar Canada goose.

Jan 19, 2023
On the Wing: Hear It or Not, It’s Watching

During this Christmas/New Year’s interlude, I offer a fun challenge: Take a walk in the woods at night. Try it. You may hear a great-horned owl, who, despite the cold, is starting its courtship ritual. Its classic hooting call — offered in the cadence of “Who is awake? Me too!” — can be heard for miles, the song of the blue winter night.

Dec 29, 2022
On the Wing: Christmas Bird Count Merry Indeed

Cold and wind greeted the 45 participants of the 93rd Montauk Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, but the rough conditions didn’t stop them from tallying 131 different species, the highest total for the count in the last 10 years.

Dec 22, 2022
On the Water: Last Trip of 2022?

To borrow a phrase from the game of baseball, the fishing season is now in the bottom of the ninth inning. Striped bass season concludes Dec. 15, blackfish season comes to an end seven days later, and Dec. 31 is the final day to retain black sea bass.

Dec 8, 2022
On the Wing: Turkeys, Turkeys, Everywhere

It’s hard to decouple the turkey from Thanksgiving, but long before we paired turkeys with mashed potatoes and stuffing and turned them into a national symbol, they were going about their business, hanging out in gangs, flipping leaves, and browsing the ground for nuts.

Nov 24, 2022
On the Water: The End Is Near

After a mixed bag of a season, I happily climbed aboard the Elizabeth II, a charter boat out of the Montauk Marine Basin, for a trip for cod and bass, both of which I latched into within minutes.

Nov 23, 2022
On the Water: A Return to Nomans

About 25 years ago, I recall jumping aboard the Viking Starship for the five-hour ride to Nomans (both the island and the area near Cuttyhunk) to target blackfish. Those trips were extremely popular, and one could retain 10 fish over 14 inches in length. Most of the time, the fishing was off-the-charts good.

Nov 17, 2022