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Lewes, Delaware
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March 28, 1997     Cape Gazette
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March 28, 1997

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The annual spring hawk migration is in full swing at Cape Henlopen Park Three kestrels, commonly known as sparrow hawks, flew by in rapid fashion. They flew by so close to the observation platform that their distinctive brown, white and black markings were obvious even without binoculars. "All three females," said Liz Dumont who used binoculars and spoke without taking them from her eyes. "A lot of them today are females and they seem to be com- ing by in threes." It was only noon and the tally sheet being kept by Dumont and her husband. Lew, and Cape Hen- lopen State Park volunteer Jan- nifer Multhopp showed the fol- lowing birds had flown past since 8 am.: 37 kestrels, four northern harriers (marsh hawks), two mer- lins (pigeon hawks), two pere- grines (duck hawks), twO sharp- shins, and one osprey (fish hawk). Last Saturday, March 22, was the first day of the annual spring hawk watch at Cape Henlopen State Park. The watch has been developing slowly over the past few years. Last year - 1996 - the first well-organized effort began to chronicle tbe birds of prey that pass Cape Henlopen each spring as they migrate from the south to their nortbern nesting grounds. Volunteers interested in helping record the spring migration perch on the observation platform in the pavilion area, just north of the park's bath house parking lot. The observation platform stands atop an abandoned World War Two bunker, just behind the dunes, that faces the Atlantic. It serves perfectly for the work of the birders. This year the intensity of the en- deavor stiffened considerably. According to the trio counting migrators on Saturday, the Del- marva Ornithological Society (DOS) approved a $3,000 grant which will ensure that the obser- vation platform is manned every day from now until the end of: May when the migration typically ends. Those funds will be used to pay a professional obesrver to count birds in addition to volun- teers as well as when volunteers aren't available. And this year their efforts will be more immediately visible to the public. Thans to donations BAREF00TIN' Dennis Forney from Zeneca (a pharmaceutical company), DOS, Sussex Bird Club, and Delaware's Division of Parks and Recreation. a well-built sign board now stands at the ob- servation platform. In large clear letters it announces to all visito an up-to-date cumulative tally of what birds and how many have been counted in the current sea- son. There's little doubt that the final 1997 tally will be startling - in the thousands. That's no risky predic- tion given that on one day in early April of 1996 a trained observer counted more than 900 birds of prey working their way north. The Cape Henlopen observation platform serves so well because the point of the Cape funnels all of the north-flying migrators before they make their flight across the mouth of Delaware Bay. The observation platform is open to all. Multhopp and the Du- monts looked like military scouts as they scanned the skies Saturday with binoculars and a spotting scope. "And on days less windy, we mount an artificial owl on a taft pole and stand it up nearby," said Liz Dumont. 'hat the hawks and it gets pretty excit- ing." Multhopp said that every Sun- day morning from now through the end of May a volunteer from Cape Henlopen's nature center will be at the observation platform from 9 am. tO noon to talk to visi- tors about the passing birds and how to identify them. The hawk watch at Cape Hen- lopen is another one of the great natural phenomena that add to the richness of life in Delaware. Shown on the observation platform are O-r) Li Demont. Jennifer MuIthopp and Lew Dumont. NEW LISTING 23 Broached Drive, mwe - Large Cape] Cod on == =am leqle lot 4- Bedrooms, 2 Ikbs, Cmnd I Hint & A/C, Srlek Fhepla md  2+ m" garase l whtadlo. Cvmi. mdy I maiatemaee flee. Groat for refiree with 2 bedrooms m ]  n ph ph=ty of ro f=  en t[ ....... I NEW LISTING 333 Hickman- Rehob 4/3 - $259,500 v Doug Davis Associate Broker RF_JMAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach 226-DOUG (Direct) - 1-888-226-DOUG (Toll Free) Fx226-0970 ~ www, dougdaviom