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Oct/Nov 2007


The Newsletter of the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society


Fall Migration Count Results (2007)
Charlie Parkel Memorial
Donald M. Ware, Bird Count Coordinator
Bird Walk 2
Fifty-six birders participated in our 13th Fall North American Migration Count on September 15th,
Coastal Clean-up 3 22 in Okaloosa County and 34 in Walton County. That is a record number of participants. I found
leaders for each of our 14 areas except FWB Central, and four of those leaders recruited other
Falconry 3 parties to assist. The newspaper advertisements were successful in attracting nature lovers to
volunteer as spotters or recorders. The three areas that reported the most species were FWB
Ft Morgan Fieldtrip 4
North - 87, DeFuniak Springs - 76, and Point Washington - 73. There were 9150 birds of 157 spe-
5 cies counted in the two counties , 129 species in Okaloosa and 116 in Walton County. They in-
Tap or Bottled? cluded 60 species that do not breed here. We found 17 shorebird species and 19 warbler spe-
Things To Do 5 cies. I want to thank all participants and I hope they enjoyed their time in various natural habi-
tats listening to bird song. (Area leaders that I assigned are in bold print.) Okaloosa County bird-
CALENDAR OF EVENTS: ers were; Mary Ann Friedman, Kelly Jones, Sarah Jones. Kathy Gault, Donald + Carol
Ware,Sandra Thome, Dennis Bragg, Lenny Fenimore, Fran Whelan, Bob + Norma Penhollow, Pat
CAS monthly meetings are Baker, Bob McKinney, Jean + Nan Estes, Karen Newhouse, Marie Woodard, Laurie Mackey, Joh-
held the First Thursday of nathan Caswell, Jo Ellen Cashion, Alan Knothe, Gerald Roper, James Kowalsky, and Dill Beaty.
each month at 6:30 PM at Walton County birders were: Robert + Chris Larson, Mary + Norman Theberge, John Gionnatti,
OWC Niceville Learning Ken Snoblin, Fred + Eva Mason, Nancy Donaldson, Bill Gardner, Chet Winegarner, Thelma Phil-
Resources Center (LRC), lips, Lois Gilman, Rick Hastings, Tom + Sharon Maxwell, Linda Jackson-Smith, George + Judy
Room 128. Non members Russell, Barbara Wheeler, Carole + Phil Goodyear, Stacy Meader, Robin + Tom Stiles, Caroling
are welcome. Geary, Stephen Holzwarth, Leda Sudan, Dan Burton, Chris Roberts, Gail Powell, Clarence Miller,
November 1, 2007: "Sea and John + Ruth Walton. The 27 species found in Walton County that were not found in
Monsters" Dr. Jonathan Okaloosa County were; 1 Double-crested Cormorant, 8 Anhinga, I Plegadis (dark) Ibis, 7 Canada
Bryan will take us to the Goose, 2 Mottled (or Black) Duck, 6 Bald Eagle, 1 Broad-winged Hawk, 2 Merlin, 3 Northern Bob-
world of the Mosasaur, the white, 2 Clapper Rail, 1 Sora, 1 American Coot, 1 Snowy Plover, 1 Wilson's Snipe, 4 Ring-billed
largest lizard that ever lived Gull, 12 Herring Gull, 10 Common Tern,1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 House
on the earth. Dr. Bryan Wren, 3 Wood Thrush, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Yellow-throated Warbler, 1 Kentucky Warbler,
helped to excavate a 1 Hooded Warbler, 2 Yellow-breasted Chat, and 2 Baltimore Oriole. More party hours in the
complete skeleton of a northern parts of Okaloosa County would produce more migrants, but we don't have enough quali-
Mosasaur in Alabama. The fied birders to explore some
head of this great lizard is on of those habitats. I
display at the OWC Science was fortunate to find a Clay-
colored Sparrow on the Fair-
November 2, 2007: grounds, and Pat Baker
Florida Trail - South of thinks the Black-chinned
Shoal River in Crestview Hummingbird at her feeder is
on Hwy 85 at 5:00pm the same one that visited her
RSVP to Nonie 862-9588 the past four years. The
most numerous species this
November 10, 2007: year were 995 Mourning
Bird Walk to the FWB/ Ok Doves, 770 Laughing Gulls,
County spray fields and and 725 European Starlings.
holding pond. Meet at Please mark your calendar
Coach & Four at 7:30 AM. now for our next two counts,
Don M Ware - 862-6582 the Christmas Bird Count 17
December 1, 2007: Dec 07 and the Spring
NAMC 10 May 08.
"Christmas Party"
December 17, 2007: A portion of the South Walton team for the North American Migration Count met on count day (September 15) at Cassine Gardens for a picnic
lunch and “strategy evaluation.”
Christmas Bird Count
Front, seated (l-r): Caroling Geary, Stacy Meader, Carole Goodyear, Robin Stiles.

CAS is dedicated to the protection of bird and wildlife habitat, environmental education, and a greater appreciation of Northwest Florida’s natural beauty.
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State Park To Hold Event:

Interpretive Kiosk Unveiled in Memory of Park Volunteer Charlie Parkel

NICEVILLE - As a memorial to Charlie Parkel, the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society, the

Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks, the Florida Park Service and the Parkel family have
collaborated in establishing an interpretive kiosk at Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville. The
kiosk will be presented, rain or shine, in its location just beyond Puddin Head Lake in the park
campground area. Charlie Parkel was an active member of the Choctawhatchee Audubon
Society and was an avid birder whose documented sightings resulted in the park’s bird list.
Using photographs taken by members of the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society, the kiosk
shows the park habitats Charlie walked through as he searched for birds and depicts water
and forest birds seen in the park.
All are invited to attend the unveiling of the kiosk at the opening ceremony on Saturday, No-
vember 3, 2007, at 2:00 pm. Admission to the event is free. For additional information, con-
tact the park office at 850-833-9144 or Lenny Fenimore at 863-2039.

Valparaiso-Niceville Bird Walk
By: Lenny Fenimore
Our October bid walk took place on our coolest morning
yet this fall. Our members and friends were joined by a
large group of enthusiastic birders from Bay County Audubon
Society, as well as visitors to the area. There were about 20
of us in all.
We started out at Badcock’s Furniture where we quickly
saw our first migrant bird, a swamp sparrow. In the trees
along the bayou were a couple of downy woodpeckers, or-
ange-crowned warbler and our usual suspects: cardinals,
blue jays, doves, etc.
Our stop at the abandoned landfill produced the next mi-
grants: blue grosbeak, indigo bunting,, tree swallow, a large
flock of migrant house finches, and a Cooper’s hawk in hot
pursuit of a fleeing meal.
But our best stop was Florida Park. There we saw the
most red-headed woodpeckers I have ever seen there, as
well as summer tanager, orchard oriole, nuthatches, eastern
bluebirds, Osprey and, as expected, laughing gull, brown peli- Swamp Sparrow
can, and Forester’s tern.
By the end of our walk we had tallied 51 species, and an
enjoyable morning.
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International Coastal Clean-

Clean-up at Beasley Park, Okaloosa Island
By: Nonie Maines

It was a cool and beautiful day September 15th. I didn ’ t have to get up as early as some of you did for the Mi-
gration Count, but I did stay up late the night before compiling trash lifespan information! Notice my hat… it ’ s
the new “ TRASH ION ” ! I attached some trash to it with
tags that said how long it takes for each item to degrade.
A big thank you goes out to Okaloosa County Environ-
mental Council for spon- soring these clean-ups twice a
year. CAS is involved by providing an educational dis-
play for the participants to understand more about why
they are doing what they are doing. I used a variety of
educational tools, games about storm water run-off and a
sea turtle “ hurdle ” game, a craft with reused toilet
paper rolls for binoculars and Choctawhatchee Basin
Alliance loaned me an “ E nviroScape ” model of a
town. With this model we can simulate toxins that are put on/in our land by fertilizers ( Kool-Aid ) , pesticides
( c ocoa ) and other substances that reach our waterways by storm water after a rain. It ’ s a wonderful tool
that is available to educators through out the Choctawhatchee Bay watershed! Adults are amazed by the re-
sults; kids are intrigued by the miniature “ toys ” . All in all it was a great time had by all who care about the
coast in their backyard!



Our meeting on Sep- tember 6th featured a delight-

ful young woman and her unique companion,
“Polo” a red tailed hawk. Summer Hargraves
gave a wonderful speech to a fascinated audi-
ence of fifty members or more. She told a tale of
falling in love with the romance of a long forgotten
sport called Falconry. Once upon a time, people
used falcons and other birds of prey to hunt for them.
Now, a select few that are willing to commit two
years of their lives as apprentices can be granted a
permit to trap and own a bird. The effort involved is
amazing and the legal protection of the birds is com-
forting. Summer was very knowledgeable on the
topic and did much to allay any fears of mistreatment of the animals. She was also quite an entertaining speaker
full of anecdotes . My favorite being the explanation of the sling shot that she uses to shoot squirrels with gobstoppers
(because the candy is biodegradable). As we all know, squirrels go still when in the presence of a predator, Cont p.5
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Fort Morgan Banding Station Field Trip

By: Bob Penhollow

Carolina Chickadees

Tennessee Warbler

Although there were only three of us, we had a very nice and successful trip to Ft. Morgan for the banding.
We saw many birds including White-eyed Vireo, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Ruby-crowned
Kinglet, Tennessee Warbler, and a life bird for me, a Blackburnian Warbler. There were others but those
were the highlights. Besides seeing the birds, the best part is that you get closeup views and sometimes get
to release the bird they catch, measure and band (if necessary). The weather was beautiful, even too nice.
A later cool front brought in more birds.

Data being gathered from an American Redstart female.

Thank you to Frank Meader for all of the fabulous photos!

Stacy Meader holds a Tennessee Warbler to release.
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Fall Into Fun at Our Local State Parks!

Bottle or tap? What a Waterful Question!
By : Theresa Dennis
FALL FESTIVAL Florida Caverns State Park

A CAS member just brought up a very thought provoking article Date: Friday/Saturday, November 2nd and 3rd 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
she saw on The Natural Resources Defense Council’s website : Description: Florida Caverns State Park will host its ninth Fall Festival event November 2nd and 3rd.Guests can observe cast iron cooking, corn-
The highlight of the article was the question of which is better
meal grinding, soap making, and cane syrup preparation. Other exciting
for us, tap or bottled water. The answer is a multi faceted ‘tap’.
It turns out that there are more strict regulations on tap water activities include live Blue Grass music, live animal exhibits and a civil war
because it is governed by the EPA, as opposed to either the encampment display. In addition a traditional country dinner and crafts will
FDA if bottles cross a state line, or the state if they do not. This be available for purchase. Fees: Entrance fees waived
accounts for far more consistency in the testing. This also
leads into more reasons why tap water is better for us. Energy Contact: ( 850 ) 482-1228.
consumption. We are all wanting to go green but we seem to
overlook the fact that tap water comes into our homes through ARCHAEOLOGY DAY Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
what should be an infrastructure that does not require trucks or
Date: Saturday, November 10th from 10am until 2pm and lecture at
fossil fuels, while bottled water does just the opposite. Bottles
also require nonrenewable resources to be created and many 6:30pm
are not recyclable, much less biodegradable. If your water Description: The Friends of the Emerald Coast State Parks and the Flor-
tastes bad please consider a filtration system, they are avail-
ida Public Archaeology Network are partnering to host “ Archaeology
able now in many styles and price ranges. Nalgene bottles are
indispensable for carrying your tap water around with you wher- Day ” at Rocky Bayou State Park ( 4281 Hwy 20 East, Niceville ) . Eve-
ever you go and they can be picked up for under ten dollars just ryone is invited to come by and chat with archaeologists from the Net-
about anywhere. Visit the NRDC’s website to read the entire
work, the University of West Florida, and Prentice Thomas & Associates.
article and get access to valuable information about how you
can keep track of just how safe your tap water is. Thanks to Archaeologists will be on hand to identify artifacts, answer questions, and
Mathilda Ravine for submitting this enlightening information let you know how you can become involved in archaeology in your area.
and please send in any topics you think should be in our news- In addition, Mary Furlong, Outreach Coordinator of the Northwest Re-
letter. Shared knowledge is the best flavor!
gional Center of the Florida Public Archaeology Network will deliver a lec-
ture at 6:30 pm. This lecture, “ F rom Prehistory to Preservation: the Ar-
chaeology of Northwest Florida ” introduces several archaeological sites,
Please take a moment of your time to thank Danny the importance of the public in their preservation, and available volunteer
Dean for his hard work as an Environmental Offi- opportunities in archaeology. Fees: Park entrance is free for participants
cer for the Okaloosa County Sheriff ’ s Depart- Contact: 850-833-9144
ment . We at CAS are proud to have him on our
membership roster and are grateful for his recent WETLANDS TOUR Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
victory in turning an illegal dumping ground on the Date: Saturday, November 17 10am – 12noon
Yellow River ( on highway 90) into an area that Description: Explore the area floodplain and learn about the plant and
the NWF Water Management District is now plan- animal life that rely on this environment for their existence. Make of day of
ning on turning into a park. He can be reached at it, with breakfast before or lunch afterwards at the historic Wakulla Springs Lodge. Fees: Free with Park Admission.

Contact: ( 850 ) 224-5950

Cont. from p 3 but if they are hit in the butt with something hard, they will run and become visible to the predator. Appar-
ently towards the end of the hunting season the really dumb squirrels have already been eaten and it takes quite a nudge to
get the remainder to move. After her enlightening speech she demonstrated how she baits her bird with what looks like a
huge cat toy, how she calls him to fly to her glove, and of course how she rewards him with food when he does what she
wants. Polo is a beautiful bird and it was wonderful seeing him and getting a chance to get close to him. I would like to
thank Ms. Hargraves for taking time out of her busy life as a college student and falconer to come and speak with us. I
would also like to encourage you to come out and see the other wonderful speakers that Thelma Phillips has lined up for us.
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society Membership
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Chapter Representatives • Our local Shorelines newsletter

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President: Nonie Maines
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To join, mail this form and a check, payable to National Audubon Society, to;
Vice President: Thelma Phillips
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Treasurer: Karen Newhouse CAS ONLY memberships are available and include SHORELINES NEWSLETTER ONLY.….897.3745 To join CAS ONLY mail this form and a check payable to CAS to; P.O. Box 1014 Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549.
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Bird Count Coordinator: Chapter Code: E-11 7XCH
Donald M. Ware……………....862.6582
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Education: Nonie Maines……...862.9588 Printed on Recycled Paper
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Thank you to the Fresh Market in Destin for the delicious refresh-….269.0665 ments at our October meeting . Please remember to show our grati-
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Shorelines Editor: Theresa Dennis our thank you cards at our meetings to show our local support.……………. Donations are welcome, and all contributions are tax-deductible. Feel free
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