Up Close and Personal With Local Sealife
Hilary Udow

Conditions were perfect — finally — last Thursday evening for the Marine Discovery Tour leaving Oak Bluffs harbor. It was sunny, there was a gentle breeze, and plenty of families were lining up to board the fishing boat Skipper.

This Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary program was supposed to begin running twice a week on June 27. However, the outing on July 30 was the Skipper’s first of the season. Felix Neck educator Justen Walker put it down to “a combination of the weather and the economy.”

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Felix Neck Citizen Science Aided by Grant for Intern

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary will conduct new research with the help of citizen scientists, thanks to an environmental science research grant awarded by the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Student Conservation Association.

The grant provides funding for a conservation intern to work on wildlife research projects, including horseshoe crab monitoring, dragonfly and damselfly inventories, and breeding bird and salamander surveys.

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Felix Neck Festival Celebrates Place
Remy Tumin

As the moon rose over Sengekontacket Pond on Sunday night, Felix Neck education coordinator Cristina Pereira led a small group of adults through the trails of the sanctuary. The next day, Ms. Pereira guided a group of high school students for their morning lesson about otter scat remains.

But no matter who Ms. Pereira or other educators at Felix Neck are working with, the goal remains the same: to encourage Islanders to engage with their natural habitat.

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Felix Neck Birdathon
Robert A. Culbert

Saturday, May 14 dawned a little differently. It was the morning of Felix Neck’s Birdathon and there was not a strong wind roaring out of the northeast. The woodlands were pretty quiet as the day started out overcast, but the sun shone through about 9 a.m. and seemingly brought the woodlands to life. The complete list of birds observed on that Saturday appears at the end of this column; here are a few highlights.

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Light Fever
Suzan Bellincampi

We are all fired up at Felix Neck!

And why shouldn’t we be? Summer staff is here, camp is going strong and we are getting ready for the big parade next week. But it isn’t just the kids and counselors who are animated.

Our fields are full of light and love in the form of bright beetles. I know exactly what Bishop Reginald Heber was experiencing when he observed, “Before, beside us, and above, the firefly lights his lamp of love.”

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Volunteer, Then Barbecue At Felix Neck Sanctuary

Mass Audubon’s volunteer day is next Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to noon.

To help out, head over to the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and after the work enjoy a thank you barbecue lunch.

Projects will span age ranges and abilities and go toward fulfilling any community service projects that need checking off. Help spruce up the butterfly garden, clear paths, rejuvenate soil, build a picnic table, or battle some invasive Bittersweet.

Bring work gloves and whatever tools you think you might need.

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