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Herb Wilson teaches ornithology and other biology courses at Colby College. He welcomes reader questions and comments at:.

The schedule of bird migration is largely governed by food. Migratory birds leave Maine when their preferred food is no longer sufficient. The first to leave are the aerial insect eaters like swallows, swifts and nighthawks. Leaf gleaning insect eaters like warblers, vireos and tanagers are next on the calendar. Caterpillars and other insects on which these birds depend can be found through September. Few warblers linger into October.

The migration we are enjoying now is waterbird migration. As long as lakes are unfrozen, these birds can find the sustenance they need.

November can be a good time to see vagrant species. On Nov. 1, Derek and Jeannette Lovitch, Kristen Lindquist and Evan Obercian found a gray catbird and two orange crowned warblers in Portland.

The big excitement this November has been the Franklin gull at Lake Sebasticook, present for several days. This vagrant from breeding areas in the Great Plains provides the 10th record for the state.

Although none have been reported this year to my knowledge, cave swallows occasionally appear along the New England coast in November. The closest breeding population is in east Texas.

On Nov. 7, Lisa Dellwo and Bill Schlesinger found a yellow billed cuckoo in Lubec. On Nov. 9, Don Reimer found a blue winged warbler at Sebasticook Lake.

Sparrows occur throughout October as the seeds of grasses and other plants are available for these ground feeders. Most sparrows will depart before the first snows cover their food.

On Nov. 6, Tom Aversa and Bruce Barker found some remarkable waterbird diversity on Sebasticook Lake in Newport. They saw the expected freshwater species like Canada geese, mallards, Women Canada Goose Kensington Parka Blue Australia Sale American black ducks and green winged teals. But if you just saw the rest of their list, you would certainly think Tom and Bruce were birding at a coastal site. They saw common eiders, black scoters, white winged scoters, probable surf scoters, long tailed ducks, a red throated loon, a red necked grebe, four horned grebes and Bonaparte gulls. As is normally the case, these coast bound migrants did not linger. Striking it rich with fall waterbirds is a hit or miss proposition.

Fall birding on lakes and ponds can be exciting. You never know what you might see. In late October I took one of my two ornithology lab sections to Sabattus Pond, a known hot spot for ducks and other waterbirds in autumn. The first day we saw the expected buffleheads, ring necked ducks, greater scaup, lesser scaup, ruddy ducks and American coots.

In early November, a smaller flock of black scoters and white winged scoters visited North Pond in Smithfield. They were accompanied by a few red necked grebes, another species that winters along the coast.

a fine time for waterbird watching

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On that same day at Lake Josephine in Aroostook County, Bill Sheehan found a greater white fronted goose among the 800 Canada geese there. He was also able to find two cackling geese, a miniaturized version of the Canada goose.

Black scoters nest at high latitudes on small ponds. They winter along the coast. The hopscotch migration of these seaducks gives us a chance to see them on freshwater bodies.

The flock took flight and we were able to pick out two white winged scoters. Bill Hancock saw these birds later near sunset. He watched the flock fly south from the lake, making this sighting a one day wonder.

The next day those same birds were present but a student pointed out a group of birds in the middle of the pond. Several hundred dark ducks were arranged in a line, a common behavior in black scoters. Sure enough, that is what they were. The orange bills of these birds seemed to be illuminated from within.

It now mid November and the images of swallows flocking in August as they prepare to migrate are distant memories. Yet the fall migration still continues. The fall spectacle is a wonderfully protracted event.

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Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

The first segment of the statewide fall Canada goose season will run Oct. 8 25, while the northwest Canada goose zone dates are Oct. 8 12. The 2016 17 Tennessee Waterfowl Hunting Guide printed version had the dates incorrectly listed as Oct. 8 12 for the statewide zone. Following the opening segment, other statewide Canada goose zone dates are Nov. 26 27 and Dec. 3 Jan. 29, . (click for more)

Evans Picks Up For Race Against Gilbert In City Council District 5

A man was shot on Houston Street late Friday night. , Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot at the 1200 block of Houston Street. Police were called to a disorder and heard gunfire in the area. Officers located and assisted a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital by Hamilton County . on Friday, in a hazardous materials incident. The employee was reportedly filling a large, plastic container with a hazardous substance when the chemical splashed onto him. Fellow employees at the plant got the victim away from the container and called 911. The Chattanooga . (click for more)

TVA Invites Public To View Aquatic Health Surveys

Star Party Will Be Held Oct. 22 At Cloudland Canyon State Park

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Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Brown Middle School Principal Suspended Without Pay Over Unspecified Personnel Issue

TWRA Requests Public Input For 2017 18 Waterfowl And Other Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

Trojans And Panthers Unite In Thanking Fred Skillern

I have a dear and blessed friend who, when he learned he had Parkinson's disease, did not leave his house for almost a year. He hid, he wept, his soul was crushed and soon it was as though he became "a totally different person." Then he learned to fight. This June one of the very few people who even knew he was sick whispered to him about the Rock Steady Boxing program at the North . (click for more)

Roy Exum: Parkinson's? Fight It!

The Labor Day holiday, the final major weekend of the 2016 summer boating season is Sept. 2 5. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner.

The TWRA wants all those who visit the waterways to have an enjoyable time. However, TWRA officers will be on the watch for dangerous boating behavior, such as boating under the influence (BUI) and other reckless operation.

The faculties and students of both Soddy Daisy and Sale Creek High Schools would like to publicly thank former Commissioner Fred Skillern for his very generous donations from his commissioner retroactive pay to the two high schools. Once again, Mr. Skillern came through for the schools in his district as he did for so many years. Thank you, Mr. Skillern. Soddy . (click for more)

Sheriff's Office Warns Of Scam About Jury Duty Or Bond Fees

Man Shot On Houston Street Late Friday Night

2016 Labor Day Holiday Boating Weekend Is Upcoming

Oct. 19 Is Deadline To Men Canada Goose Constable Parka Navy Australia Submit Comments For 2017 18 Sport Fish Regulations

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is soliciting comments for its 2017 18 waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting regulations, including sandhill cranes. This is an opportunity for the public to provide ideas and share concerns about hunting regulations with TWRA staff. The comment period is open Oct. 15 Nov. 15, 2016. Due to recent changes in the timing of the federal . (click for more)

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The versatile and lovable Brittany really isn't built, for one thing, for bitter work from a duck blind, because its coat is too thin, and a big, crippled Canada goose is too much for it. The Lab or the golden, unlike the Brittany, pointers and setters, are flushing dogs; they won't point in the uplands. When hunting grouse and woodcock, one has to stick close to the Labrador or the golden, learning to recognize when they ''get birdie'' in order to be prepared for the shot when the bird flushes. And a pointer, the traditional quail dog in the South, is often too wide ranging for thick grouse and woodcock coverts.

There are other excellent hunting breeds: The German shorthaired pointer is first rate in the uplands, and the Weimaraner, which can also point, can be marvelous on waterfowl. I've seen a brilliant performance by an Irish setter on a quail plantation, and the springer spaniel can work well on upland birds and waterfowl.

Training a dog for retrieving (preparing one for upland bird hunting is another matter) can Canada Goose Discount Montebello Parka Australia usually be accomplished with a minimum of fuss, and some dog owners go to extremes in this direction. I recall hunting 15 years ago with a North Carolina waterfowl guide whose technique was utter simplicity. He brought two black Labradors to the blind with us, one a mature, accomplished animal, the other a puppy.

I once had a pointer that on similar excursions would not try to get into the raft or canoe but would swim around the lake for hours. If a floating log was available, he would cling to it, making the surrounding forest ring with his wailing.

Mr. Wolters, whose latest book, ''The Labrador Retriever'' (Petersen Prints) is a beautifully illustrated, meticulously researched history of the breed, encourages participants to bring their own retrievers to the courses. But he says that the courses, which involve both field work and lectures, concentrate on training dog owners, not dogs.

Some dogs are specialists: the beagle for rabbits and hares, the pointers for quail, the setters, English and Gordon, for grouse and woodcock, and some, such as the Brittany spaniel and the Labrador and golden retrievers, will find grouse and woodcock for you one day and retrieve ducks from an icy, wind torn bay the next.

There was a time when I would have added a Chesapeake Bay retriever to my list of preferred waterfowl dogs, but nearly every one of that breed I have encountered in the last 30 years was as stubborn as an oak knot. I shut the door on Chesapeakes 25 years ago when a friend brought his along on a trout fishing trip to a remote, mountaintop pond. Each of us used an inflatable raft, and when my friend was on the water I was amused by the dog's efforts to join him in the raft, despite curses and a flailing paddle. When my friend went ashore, the animal displaying the same persistence that would drive him incredible distances across rough, cold, open water for a downed bird that was drifting away nearly as fast as he could swim turned his attentions to me. After he had reduced the blade of my paddle by half, I, too, had to go to shore. The dog couldn't get it through his head that we were trout fishing, not duck hunting, and he was imprinted with the notion that when someone was afloat he should be beside him, his cold, unblinking eyes scanning the skies for incoming birds.

''I let the pup watch his daddy, and if he ain't showin' real promise by the end of the season, I get rid of him,'' he said. That technique is pleasingly simple. But it eliminates those animals that might have, with a little help, done very well; it leaves too much room for learning bad habits. And, of course, not every hunter has both a seasoned dog and a pup.

For thousands of years, man has used dogs to assist in locating and gathering upland birds and waterfowl. Every hunter has sometimes wished for an animal that would perform with equal skill in all situations, just as he has wished for one shotgun that would cover all contingencies. Workable compromises are possible, but that is all.

Mr. Dutton.

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Mr. Wolters begins training his own retrievers in the puppy stage, as early as seven weeks, and both he and the Orvis people say that if one begins training a puppy this fall, one will have a working retriever next fall. He also stresses that his method is designed to produce a practical hunting dog, not a candidate for honors in shows or field trials.


He is using his own black Labradors in this fall's classes. One of the dogs is 5 years old, the other 7 months old. This month's three courses are filled, but there will be two more in October. The $300 fee includes tuition and two nights lodging and meals. For reservations, call Susan Woodward at Orvis (802) 362 3434.

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Now and then, of course, dogs of a certain breed come along that defy the generally held belief about their capabilities. He then admits, by indirection at least, that his love for the breed may be affecting his judgment.

I have a particular fondness for the Lab for many reasons, among them its diligence, devotion and pleasant temperament. A Lab makes a wonderful family dog. Children can crawl all over it, pull its ears, sit on it. All the animal does when this becomes too onerous is to rise and walk away.

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In the Northeast, the all round hunter should have a Brittany, a pointer or English setter for grouse and woodcock, a beagle for rabbits and hares and a Labrador for waterfowl.

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A rebel instructor tells a man how to stand in a military position during a training exercise in Misrata, Libya, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. more

Monkeys eat carrots fed to an elephant at a state zoological park in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Representatives of the eight countries where elephants roam freely are meeting to secure a future for . more

In this photo taken on Thursday, May 19, 2011, a dog nurses two liger cubs at a zoo in Weihai in east China's Shandong province. Cong Wen of Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in eastern China says four cubs were born to a . more

A rebel instructor tells a man how to stand in a military position during a training exercise in Misrata, Libya, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. less

Activists from "The Wilderness Society" protest in lingerie outside a city store in Sydney on May 24, 2011. The Wilderness Society protest was held to draw attention to their claim that logging is being carried . more

A Belarus soldier performs with his dog Buy Men Canada Goose Langford Parka Brown Australia during the opening ceremony

In this photo taken on Thursday, May 19, 2011, a dog nurses two liger cubs at a zoo in Weihai in east China's Shandong province. Cong Wen of Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in eastern China says four cubs were born to a female tiger and a male lion on May 13. The tiger mom fed the ligers for four days then for unknown reasons abandoned them, she says. Chinese zoo workers brought in a dog to nurse them instead, but two died of weakness. less

Photo: James Poulson, The Daily Sitka

Photo: Greg Wood, AFP / Getty Images

Activists from "The Wilderness Society" protest in lingerie outside a city store in Sydney on May 24, 2011. The Wilderness Society protest was held to draw attention to their claim that logging is being carried out in the Australian state of Victoria's Central Highland forests for the production of paper, despite alternative plantation sources being available. less

Monkeys eat carrots fed to an elephant at a state zoological park in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Representatives of the eight countries where elephants roam freely are meeting to secure a future for the animal increasingly under threat. Miningand land development are threatening elephants' habitats as does ivory poaching, resulting in increased conflict between humans and the beasts. less

Dina Meek salvages what she can from her sister in law's home after it was destroyed when massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 116 people on May 24, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. less

Dina Meek salvages what she can from her sister in law's home after it was destroyed when massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 116 people on May 24, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. more

In this photo taken Saturday, May 21, 2011, Victoria Tolley, age 14, comes up with a coho fish head during the bobbing for fish heads event at the second annual Sitka Seafood Festival in Sitka, Alaska. The event was one of a host of activities held duringthe weekend festival. less

In this photo taken Saturday, May 21, 2011, Victoria Tolley, age 14, comes up with a coho fish head during the bobbing for fish heads event at the second annual Sitka Seafood Festival in Sitka, Alaska. The . more

Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images

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2015 Dove Season Opens Tuesday

NASHVILLE Dove season opens on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at noon (local time), which marks the annual start of one of Tennessee most long standing outdoor sports traditions.Tennessee 2015 season is again be divided into three segments: Sept. 1 through Sept. 28; Oct. 10 through Nov. 1; and Nov. 28 Cheap Men Canada Goose Citadel Parka Black Australia through Jan. 5, 2016. Hunting times, other than opening day, are one half hour before sunrise until sunset.Doves are found throughout the various regions in the state, but the highest concentration is in farming areas. The hunter must have in his/her possession a valid state hunting license and Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit at all times while hunting. Hunters must have landowner permission to hunt on private land.TWRA manages dove hunting fields in each of the four regions.The daily bag limit for doves is 15. There is no limit on collared doves. Doves not readily identifiable as collared doves will be considered mourning doves and will count toward the mourning dove daily bag limit. No person shall take migratory game birds by the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area. Any auto loading or repeating shotgun must be incapable of holding more than three shells while be used for dove hunting.In addition to the start of dove season, the early season for Canada goose also starts on Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 15. There is a daily bag of five for Canada goose. Bass TournamentAdams and Prince Tackle Tough Chickamauga and Win the Jasper Engines Oct. The victory earned the club $2,000.

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An Acton woman is wondering what could be done to prevent another incident of a Canada Goose getting tangled up in a soccer net after one of the birds was found dead in Rotary Park Tuesday morning.

Acton woman seeks solutions to avoid bird deaths in soccer nets

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Warren Harris, manager of Parks Open Space for the Town of Halton Hills, said the matter is being investigated and Environment Canada has been informed about the incident.

Ruth Queen was out for a walk with her dog when she noticed the lifeless goose tangled up in Youth Canada Goose Chilliwack Navy Australia Shop the netting of the soccer goal posts at the west end of the park, which is located beside Fairy Lake.

problem is why do they have to leave the netting up all the time? Can they just put it up when they actually playing soccer on it? asked Queen, who resides on Elizabeth Dr.

have reported it to Environment Canada and await word from them about what measures might be taken. 2007, the Town obtained a permit from Environment Canada to apply a dissolving oil to goose eggs in an effort to keep the population of the large birds from growing in the area.

is a first time occurrence for something like this happening, said Harris.

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Two more bits of Northern Shoveler trivia: They are monogamous, and the female poops on her eggs when flushed from her nest, "apparently to deter predators." Ah, motherhood.

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Guest Park II, Foliage Edition: In which, after a 40 minute traffic jam on the Palisades last Saturday, we visit Bear Mountain Park. It was nice scenery for gridlock, all apparently due to the park "Octoberfest." When we finally got in, we headed to the Overlook Lodge, where they had just finished serving what seems like a popular and lavish local brunch.

It been decades since I "done" Bear Mountain, and there were many surprises. The lodge dining room looks like that of a plush nursing home, but the lobby (left) is gorgeous, with a stunning view of Hessian Lake (above) that was drawing Japanese tourists like a magnet. A fireplace sent fragrant woods moke into the fall air. T he decor is a style that might be called High Adirondack Ursine. (Note the bears on the upholstery occupied by some cute guy from Brooklyn.) Even the sconces have bears.

We strolled down to the Octoberfest, which was more like a crappy flea market with buckets of beer; aside from some oompah music in the distance, there was little to fan the flame of German cultural nostalgia. One Buy Men Canada Goose Chateau Parka Spirit Australia vendor had taxidermy bugs and critters in frames, including a shadowbox with two little Thailand bats.

Guest Park! This Sunday past, we decided that the foliage in Prospect Park wasn quite advanced enough, and headed up the Palisades Parkway toward Bear Mountain. Squabbling over having missed the visitors center, and uncertain just where the Bear Mountain exit was, we peeled off into the vast, deserted parking lot of the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, a spot my family used to visit on childhood car trips.

No renovation could ever make it as cool as it looked back in 1923:

The March sun still no match for the gusty wind, but strong enough to bounce off the giant helmets of well protected Park Slope wheelwomen. These two were coasting along next to the hotly contested Prospect Park West bike lane. The action was quite far from shore; a young photographer named Nicole was training her big telephoto on it, and was kind enough to e mail me this shot. They have long beaks with protuberances called lamellae, which they use to strain out small crustaceans and plant life. I don know what had them so frenzied today, unless this is how they always behave, but they were so intent on "shoveling" in water that they hardly came up for air (or a photo). This shot (right), from Cornell, shows that cool beak. Apparently it no big deal to spot these, but I was tickled.

I won be getting to Prospect Park today to enjoy the inch or so of rain predicted. I felt a bit guilty for dissing mallards; they may be ubiquitous, but they are lovely.

Check out the gold bear atop the mirror. All the panels are hand painted with local scenic wonders and wildlife.

The building itself is gorgeous, and even the dedication near the fireplace carries out the Arts Crafts theme in the typeface and lanterns. What a cool way to honor your parents memory. In stark contrast, the grand, 1915 Bear Mountain Inn stares out at the carousel across the meadow, shuttered, fenced off and empty. As the sun set, it looked mighty spooky, perfect for Hallowe gatherings. (Someone please tell me: Are those vultures on the chimney, eyeballing the wurst at the Octoberfest?) But it actually closed for renovation, according to their website, and will reopen at some point as another "luxury" venue.

A Year in the Park

Jay Livingston Ray EvansFamous Music Corp. (ASCAP)A delightful tale just gets better: Todd Bieber, the young New Yorker who found and developed a roll of film of some frolicsome tourists in Prospect Park, did succeed in tracking them down, and visited them in Paris. Check it out here.

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Geese aren't stupid, however. In Fremont they've just moved to nearby golf courses and office parks. But at least the soccer and baseball fields, walking trails and lawns are relatively free of excrement.

"Without predators, this is what happens to any bird population that's well adapted to its habitat," said Eli Saddler, conservation director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society and a Lake Merritt neighbor.

These birds have scarred many of the greenest areas around the lake and drop an estimated 1 Ton of goose poop every 10 days.

"Our goal is zero hatch," said Chuck Canada, Fremont's deputy director of recreation services. "Canada geese are one thing that make Lake Elizabeth a very special place, but our maintenance staff simply could not keep up with the (poop) production."

7/20/07. These birds have scarred many of the greenest areas around the lake and drop an estimated 1 Ton of goose poop . These birds have scarred many of the greenest areas around the lake and drop an estimated 1 Ton of goose poop every 10 days.

At Fremont's Lake Elizabeth, which had a goose population similar to Lake Merritt's, city officials bought a herding dog to chase the birds away from soccer fields and into the lake.

The city also started rubbing mineral oil on the goose eggs. In the past 10 years, only two goslings have hatched at Lake Elizabeth, compared with about 15 a year at Lake Merritt.

Kernighan and Councilwoman Nancy Nadel are hosting a community meeting Thursday to gauge the public's response to goose poop and goose poop abatement measures. City staff, ornithologists and other experts will talk about geese and poop, and the public will be able to submit suggestions.

But discouraging geese on a city by city basis might not be the best way to address the problem, Saddler said. If every city starts coating goose eggs with mineral oil, the species might head back toward extinction, he said.

A ton of goose droppings each week has city looking at pens

Not long ago, the geese were nearly extinct in the Bay Area. But over the last few decades they've gradually replenished their numbers, thanks to international protections, lack of predators and a certain obliviousness to cars, people, pollution, noise, lights, dogs and cats. is expected to double by 2010, from 220,000 to nearly half a million, according to Oakland's Canada Goose Management Study.

Dog hazing is another possibility. Harassing Canada geese is legal as long as the geese are not touched. The city might allow dogs to chase and bark at the geese as a way to discourage them from returning to Lake Merritt.

Downtown Oakland's bucolic nature reserve has such a serious overpopulation of Canada geese which drop about a ton of poop a week on the 122 acre park that the city is considering introducing dogs to herd the geese into fenced enclosures, buying a goose poop Zamboni and spraying the goose eggs with mineral oil to prevent them from hatching.

In addition, park users and bird experts have suggested that the real answer might be coyotes, the primary predator of Canada geese.

The issue is poop. A ton of it. Each week at Lake Merritt.

7/20/07. These birds have scarred many of the greenest areas around the lake and drop an estimated 1 Ton of goose poop . more

"No one's talking about shooting the geese we don't need more gunshots in Oakland," said Jennie Gerard, chief of staff to Oakland City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan. "But people cannot lie down on the lawn because there's so much poop. It's an aesthetic issue. It's gross."

Last week, federal wildlife officials shot two coyotes in Golden Gate Park after they reportedly attacked two pet dogs. Saddler stopped short of saying coyotes should be introduced to Lake Merritt to feast on the geese, but did say that predators already living there should be encouraged.

Another option is to buy a Nature Sweep, a 500 pound vacuum billed as "the natural solution to a natural problem." The Zamboni like tractor collects goose feces and collects them in a hopper for later composting. Oakland will test drive a Nature Sweep next month, Gerard said.

Luke Skywatcher had a successful seven year stint in Fremont before retiring. Because of budget cuts, the city couldn't afford another dog, so it has hired dog consultants specially trained goose herding dogs that come in when the problem's especially bad.

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Lake Merritt isn't the only Bay Area spot overwhelmed by the honking, 10 pound fowl. Lake Elizabeth in Fremont, Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, the College of Alameda and nearly anywhere else that provides grass and water are home to ever increasing flocks of Canada geese.

The city's also considering replacing the short grass around the lake with long grass, which the geese don't like as much. Ultimately, the City Council will have to approve funding for any goose poop program in Oakland.

Fremont's anti goose tactics have worked. Since introducing the dogs and mineral oil, the year round goose population has stayed about the same but the migrating population has dropped by nearly 50 percent.

In Oakland, dogs are one option the city is Women Canada Goose Whistler Parka White Outlet Australia considering. The dogs would herd the geese into fenced enclosures that the birds couldn't escape until their feathers grow in.

The primary problem with the Canada geese is the tourist birds. About 250 Canada geese live at Lake Merritt year round, but in the late spring up to 1,400 migrating geese stop at the lake to molt on their way to cooler climates.

When they're molting, or shedding their feathers, the birds can't fly, so they need to stay somewhere with ample grass and algae, their favorite foods, and still water they can waddle into. When their new feathers grow in, around late July, they head south.

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Cari Simson, outreach and events coordinator for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC), agrees. "We're never going to turn the clock back to the 1850s. It's important to keep industry here and work with them to do the right thing inside their gates and out in the community."

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Our group of 17 kayakers four of them guides had set out on a bright August morning to circumnavigate Harbor Island and visit salmon restoration sites on the lower Duwamish River, a tour aimed at highlighting the unique urban nature interface of this highly industrial area, which is a federally listed Superfund site.

Shipping container cranes to our right and cruise ship loading platforms to our left, here wildlife and water are the only reminders of the original river. It once fanned out in a wide delta similar to the Nisqually south of Tacoma. Salt marshes and mudflats stretched from Beacon Hill to Duwamish Head in West Seattle, changing daily with the tides. The Duwamish Tribe lived here when the Egyptians were building pyramids; cedar longhouses up to 300 feet in length dotted the river delta when settlers arrived in the mid 1800s.

"Seal 12 o'clock," Whittaker said, pointing out an unmistakable ball like head. Harbor seals, California sea lions and sea otters are frequently spotted along this route.

"It's important to keep it industrial," Whittaker explained, using the country's largest cement plant as an example. "Moving all that gravel overland would destroy our roadways, and this industry keeps Seattle somewhat recession proof."

Now protected from the wind, we peacefully passed pilings coated in barnacles and mussels. Pigeon guillemots squealed as they surf landed like water skiers. Wearing black and white in the summer months, these seabirds nest under docks and in sandy banks.

An experienced kayak guide who opened Alki Kayak Tours in 2005, Whittaker is the tourism representative for the Washington State Oil Spill Advisory Council and sits on the citizens' advisory committee for the city's Shoreline Master Program update. He makes it a company priority to be "an additional set of eyes on the Sound looking for preventable ecological harm."

"People are interested in the industrial aspects of the Duwamish River and seeing how wildlife can exist and thrive here," Whittaker said. "A lot of Seattleites take this tour because the river has been cut off from us. This is the best way to see every aspect of it."

Beware of toxic materials. If you wade in the river or walk in the mud, wash your shoes off outside. Clean your children's and dogs' feet before going indoors. Aug. 27. Explore shoreline restoration areas, wildlife and birds, neighborhood history and Superfund sites (from a safe distance). Tour leaves from Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 Tenth Ave. S.) in South Park. Bring your own kayak: $10. Rent a kayak: $30.

A community advisory group involved in all aspects of the proposed Superfund cleanup, DRCC helps industries learn how to become better stewards not only by following pollution regulations, but by getting involved in restoration work and supporting community events. "There are a lot of interesting things here worth saving and preserving," Simson said.

"I'm surprised it's so green," said Gurmeet Singh, a first time kayaker who had never been out on the Duwamish. "This is not too far away from where I live, and I didn't even know about it."

One of these is the Herring's House Park wetland restoration project. Sitting on a shell midden, this was prime herring and salmon territory, as the ancient name indicates. More recently this land was home to one of the city's original lumber mills. The first step in restoring 11 acres of polluted tidelands was to replace its contaminated soils. Housing tribal offices and events, it will be open to the public this fall for art exhibits, music, lectures and permanent exhibits.

Whittaker directed us to the Herring's House shore, and we disembarked on a muddy swath of beach. As we slip slopped up the slope (flip flops not recommended), I pushed PCBs out of my mind, thankful for that replaced soil.

Saturday at Duwamish Waterway Park, 7900 Tenth Ave. S., in Seattle's South Park neighborhood.

A delicate balancing act on the Duwamish River

Local agencies, along with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, conservation groups and local neighbors, will join to celebrate the Duwamish River and educate visitors about its plight. The festival will feature updates on the Duwamish River Superfund cleanup, kayak tours, live entertainment (steel drum music, Mexican folk dancing and Duwamish Tribal youth dance), water taxi rides, free food, children's activities, health information, a toxic free nail salon, eco friendly car washes and an appearance by characters Bert the Salmon and the Mud Monster. Never eat crab, shellfish or bottom feeding fish from the Duwamish River.

We turned south into the East Waterway along Harbor Island, one of the largest man made islands in the world. To improve shipping access to river industries, by 1917 business moguls and civil engineers had removed 20 million cubic yards of mud and sand to change 10 miles of serpentine lower river into a canal 4.5 miles long. The transported earth formed this island.

Zigzagging through Harbor Island Marina, we spotted an osprey perched atop a mast. At least six pairs of these large raptors nest along the Duwamish (we saw two active nests atop light poles), their barbed feet perfect for nabbing fish. Blocking the channel, a tug nosed a barge into a new position, but the osprey eyed us more warily, accustomed to its home of constant movement and noise.

"It's going to be a beefy trip!" Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours shouted with a grin as he steered our double kayak from our launch point at West Seattle's Seacrest Park and out into Elliott Bay.

Herring's House is one in a corridor of seven lower river estuarine habitats built for migrating juvenile salmonids. Though far fewer than before, the fish return each year wild spawning and hatchery chum, coho, steelhead and cutthroat, as well as the endangered Puget Sound chinook. Cummings, coordinator of DRCC. "They provide places they can rest, hide from predators and eat." People for Puget Sound recently received funding for nine more such projects, and more funding is expected for additional habitat restoration for all species. "Rather than keeping people away from habitat areas, we want to make them more publicly accessible," Cummings said. Human use considerations include native plants, art, seating and interpretive signs to help people feel more welcome.

Important: Kayakers and others should not use any beach area unless it is designated public access.

I soon learned that "beefy" in this context meant navigating wind whipped waves across an open expanse of water. But the sun sparkled encouragement, and our group was all smiles as we headed toward a barge marked "HANJIN" piled high with shipping containers on the waterfront south of downtown the familiar sight taking on an appreciable immensity viewed from Buy Men Canada Goose Expedition Bonfire Australia our tiny craft. As a police boat sped past, a group of Caspian terns performed suicidal looking fishing dives ahead of us bright orange beaks pointed downward for vertical splashdowns.

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IntroductionHistoryRace to the TopSquare RockBeaver LodgeWaterfowl on Frog LakeLake HabitatI Spy in the StreamInside Dingle TowerResourcesIntroductionWelcome to your Sir Sandford Fleming Park BioKit Circuit. Use the activities in this circuit, Cheap Women Canada Goose Constable Parka Black Australia along with the HRM Urban BioKit, to explore the natural treasures and unique places in this park utilizing your keen powers of observation. In addition to the material required for the BioKit, you will need a clear plastic jar.

Race to the TopBehind the Adventure Earth Centre

A Tree's Life Story1) Each ring = one year

GPS: N 44 37.720' W 63 35.821'

Estimate the tree's age at the time it was cut down.

On the path you'll see a large tree stump. On the top of this trunk you'll find the tree's ring lines, as pictured here. Use your magnifying glass to count the rings.

During winter trees in Canada usually enter in a dormant phase, and so they do not grow during this period.

Life for trees is a constant battle for sunlight, water, nutrients and pollination. You can tell the age of a tree and the history of its life by counting the tree's rings.

In what stage of its life (young or old) did it have good growing conditions?

2) Large gap between rings = good growing conditions

About Environment and Climate Change Canada

3) Narrow distance = poor growing conditions

Sir Sandford Fleming Park BioKit Circuit The BioKits are nature observation guides designed primarily to be brought along during your outdoor excursions. The content of the printable version of the Sir Sandford Fleming Park BioKit Circuit differs from the content here because some changes and deletions were necessary in order to better suit the HTML format.

The park features a great variety of trees and animals. During your walk you will have the chance to go by a small lake called Frog Lake, which is home to many ducks, frogs, turtles and aquatic plant species.

HistorySir Sandford Fleming Park is a large urban park located across from the Halifax Peninsula, from which it is separated by the Northwest Arm inlet. In 1908, this property was donated to the City of Halifax by Sir Sandford Fleming for public use. During his time as Chief Engineer of the Northern Railway of Canada, Sir Fleming proposed the concept of worldwide standard time zones, and was credited as its inventor. This achievement, among others, earned him recognition as one of Canada's greatest minds of the 19th century. The park was originally his summer retreat, which he established after completion of the Intercolonial Railway.

Sit with your back against Square Rock, close your eyes, and listen closely to the sounds around you for five minutes.

A great way to experience the wild is to listen. The chirping of frogs, buzzing of insects and singing of birds are all sounds you can hear. Animals emit sounds for many reasons, including to attract mates, mark territory, and even to signal a change in weather!

Square RockGPS: N 44 37.689' W 63 36.027'

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Look at the fallen trees around the stump: can you match one of the fallen trees to this stump?

Just for fun!Like people all trees are different. Old trees especially tell stories about the past, big storms, droughts and fires. Slowly walk through the surrounding forest and look for faces or interesting shapes in trees. Pick one face to show to a friend or someone in your family. Then together decide if any faces you can see look happy, sad or any other emotion.