To the Editor:
Thanks, Matt Pelikan, for the column on the brant ["Wild Side : Migrating brant spend the winter in Ocean Park," January 19]. I have been watching them and counting them for 15 years, since I retired. They have numbered in the seventies in most years. You seem to suggest that they feed with the Canada geese; the two flocks seem independent of each other to me. I have also seen them in the water and sort of on the beach near Ocean Park.
There seem to be fewer of them this year, more like in the forties. The flock of 150 must be some time in the past. The eelgrass feeding comes as a surprise to me. The eelgrass seems to me to have returned, at least in the Lagoon, in the last several decades. Does there seem to be a chance the brant might take to eating eel grass too?
Could someone mark or band a few members of the flock, or might that scare the flock away? It certainly seems probable that the same flock comes each year. They must separate somewhat in the Arctic though.
Also, I would like to thank you for your kindness to me one time when I was birding in the fall at Gay Head. A rather casual group had assembled and started birding together. I found it most instructive and interesting to go around with a group of really good birders. The group scrambled up a small cliff and I, being somewhat aged and a bit disabled, could not manage the cliff. You noticed and helped me up it. I am still grateful to you.
Thanks again for your column.