Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stay on the Roads!

The Black Rail has at Charlie's Pond has certainly been attracting interest; not unexpected given that it is one of North America's most iconic symbols of secretive, hard to see birds. There are places to go in North America where one has good shots at hearing, if not seeing them, but Ohio is most definitely not on that list.

Therefore it isn't surprising that so many people would make the pilgrimage down to Pickaway County when word of the Circleville-area rails got out. And nearly everyone has done the right thing and stayed on the roads and off private property.

But apparently not everyone, and on the outside chance that anyone reading this blog might know of someone who might feel the need to try more aggressive tactics to pursue the rails, such as wading into the marshes, I am posting this. It's important to note that in this situation, all of the land on both sides of Radcliff Road, and the other area roads for that matter, are private property and no one should enter any of these lands. The birds can be seen/heard well enough from the roads. Also, there is an old adage for wilderness travelers: "Leave no Trace". We should try that here as well, by parking in areas where ruts won't be made by car tires, and also where birders won't block or otherwise interfere with other drivers.

The landowner on the south side of Radcliff, who has put a big chunk of his property into the Conservation Reserve Program, deserves an award in my opinion. His actions have been entirely voluntary and have made a big positive difference in regards to wildlife conservation. The last thing we as birders would want to do is risk alienating someone who has made such a positive impact.

Thanks to everyone for playing by the rules and enjoying the rails from the roadways.

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