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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
April 18, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 18, 1997

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Hawk watchers observe 401 kestrels on April 7; skunk cabbage does stink Cool, clear and salt-laden sea air on Tuesday allowed visitors to the hawk-watching platform at Cape Henlopen State Park to count no fewer than four water towers along New Jersey's distant shore. Pilot launches headed southeast toward incoming con- tainer ships and tugs pulling barges crossed a gently rolling ocean and a small boat appearing no larger than a kayak bobhed just inside the small waves breaking across Hen and Chicken Shoals. No problem counting water towers and vessels. Hawks weren't as easy though. Jennifer Multhopp, a staff natu- ralist at Cape Henlopen, said few of the migrating predators were flying in the 10 knot or so sea breeze. "They rarely do," she said. "I'm just thankful MULTHOPP Monday's over. I stood up here for six hours in the wind and it was as cold as I've ever been." A week before, on Monday, April 7, the hawk-watching script read differently. On that day, Jennifer and a vol- unteer who spent some of the day with her, had little time to reflect on the weather or passing vessels. 'Whe conditions were ideal. There was light westerly wind, 70 de- grees, and great visibility. And the birds were flying right about eye-level." Eye level at the hawk watching station is about 25 feet above the ground atop a duneside bunker used formerly for coastal defense in World War H at the Fort Miles installation. The hawk watch tally board at the observation platform showed that 401 kestrels (sparrow hawks) flew past on their way north on Monday. Among that steady flow, Multhopp also counted 46 merlins (pigeon hawks) and 22 northern harriers (marsh hawks). "Over the next few weeks we ex- pect to be seeing more merlins, Dennis Forney The tally board as of Mon- day, April 14. BAREF00TIN' I peregrines (duck hawks) and hopefully some of the buteos. They're the broad-winged hawks, like redtails.) "One of the great things about being up here is seeing the other birds coming by in addition to the hawks," said Multhopp. "We've seen great egrets, flocks of glossy ibis, some northern gannets - they're beautiful - and we're look- ing for our f'wst pelican any day. Of course there have been thou- sands of double-breasted cor- morants flying up the shore." The hawk observation platform is just north of the state park (Lewes end) main bath house parking lot and is staffed daily until the end of May so an HAWK SIGN annual set of data can be developed regarding the migration. Professional naturalists are on hand each Sunday morning from 9 a.m. until noon to answer ques- tions and assist people with identi- fication techniques. I WROTE RECENTLY about the old Broadkill School on Route 16 that has become an eyesore in recent years. Owned by the state, the old school and property have played host in recent years to a va- riety of organizations including the Milton Jaycees, election folks, and a motorcycle club. How it's abandoned and going downhill rapidly. I was informed that the property was sold to the state by the Albert Lank family. Sources say the family wishes the sale had included a reversionary clause stipulating that the property would have gone back to the family if it were needed no longer for school or otherwise useful purpose. EVELYN MAURMEYER of Coastal and Estuarine Research faxed a note recently commenting on early spring musings in this column about the emergence of skunk cabbage in local freshwater swamp areas. Seeing some of the early leaves unfolding with brown and white striped coloring, I spec- ulated on whether the name Continued on page 8 CAPE GAZ] ,HTE, Friday, April'18. April 24,199T-7 NEW LISTING 1 NEW LISTING 2 I 114 Coleman Ave. 5 unit apartment building in the heart of Lewes. Fully rented year round. $350,000. 2/1- $119,500 8 Somerset Rehoboth Beach Yacht & Country Club. Freshly painted inside and out. New carpet. Large living room (20x24), with cathedral ceiling and fireplace. Tluee bedrooms induding a large master bedroom with whirlpool tub. Eat-in kitchen, screened porch and a two car garage. Ready for you and r at $184,500. 6 Bay Road - Rehoboth 2/1 - $xtm,soo 20S Loganberry 3/2 - $129,500 J 123 Breezewood Drive 4/2 - $149,900 I 205 Federal St - Milton 5/2 - $159,500 13 Bayside Ck - Dewey S/2 - $1S3,000 8 King St - Camelot S/1 - $1S,000 Pierre's Pantry Business - $95,000 Twig's - Rehoboth Busine - $125,000 CALL DOUG It] tmAl.lmt- Doug Davis AssociaBmk RE/MAX Realty Group - Rphoboth Beach 226-DOUG (Direct) 1-888-226-DOUG (Toll Free) Fax 226-0970 ~ The Happy Salmon Business - $12S,000