It’s been tough to be a bird over the past few days, as Rick and Linda Kedenburg of Peconic well know. Just before sunset yesterday, the two North Fork Audubon Society leaders got a call that the lone swan that’s been wandering around Goldsmith Inlet and Autumn Pond all fall and winter was trapped in the ice of the Long Island Sound not far from the entrance to the inlet.
Rick and Linda rushed down to the inlet to find the young bird frozen to the ice just above the high water line. Rick, who holds a DEC wildlife rehabilitator license, worked with a trowel to free the swan from the ice, while Linda held its neck to try to keep it calm.
“It was too feeble to move any further. At this point we knew it would not survive the night and would die from either predation or exposure as it was covered with ice balls in its feathers,” he said. The couple brought the swan home and put it in their cool basement in a basket filled with dried rags, next to a tub filled with greens and some niblet corn. Later in the night, they found the swan snuggled next to their plastic life-size great blue heron.
“If it does not survive, at least it can be in a safe place tonight,” said Rick. “I know it’s just a Mute Swan — an introduced species — but ‘all god’s creatures got a right to live.'”
As of 10 p.m., the swan was still alive.
• Tonight is opening night for the Hampton Theatre Company‘s production of “Heroes,” Tom Stoppard’s translation of the Gérald Sibleyras play about three World War I veterans who reminisce about their past and fantasize about escaping from a veterans home. This will be veteran HTC actor Andrew Botsford’s first go directing a cast of three fellow HTC actors: Tom Gustin, George A. Loizides and Cyrus Newitt. Shows will be Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through Jan. 26.
• The Sound Avenue Grange Hall in Northville, which is owned by the First Parish Church across Sound Avenue, has had a tough life. After more than 180 years of “hard and continuous use” by community and religious groups, the building needs some serious TLC soon. The hall’s boiler gave out in early December, it needs millwork to repair the historic multi-paned windows and better storm windows, a new foyer floor, bathroom and a remodeled kitchen. The church is collecting donations to the Sound Avenue Grange Hall Restoration Fund c/o First Parish Church, UCC, P.O. Box 898, Jamesport, NY 11947.
• The South Fork Natural History Museum is planning a waterfowl count from Amagansett to Shinneck on January 18, led by Frank Quevedo, executive director of the museum. Organizers of the count are concerned that habitat loss, food scarcity and the introduction of non-native species of water birds is diminishing the wintering population of waterfowl. The New York State Ornithological Association is sponsoring the count. The museum is asking would-be bird counters to call 631.537.9735 for reservations and information about the meeting places.