Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Meeting - Pat Sutton on "Birding Cape May"

Tuesday March 10th - 7:00 pm
Speaker: Pat Sutton
Topic: Birding Cape May
Location: Old Alloway School
Dues/Fees: Members $2/Non-members $5
Register and get directions:
Marilyn Patterson Phone: 856-935-2384

Hi Guys, This is an early reminder of our next Salem County Nature Club Meeting on Tuesday March 10th. We are very lucky to have Pat and possibly Clay Sutton present their program "Birding Cape May". Pat and Clay are naturalists who have spent a large portion of their lives researching and documenting the wildlife in Southern New Jersey. They have recently produced a book entitled, "Birding Cape May", it is considered the bible of bird migration in New Jersey.

Cape May is famous for the quantity and variety of birds that pass through it each year. Salem County shares much of that diversity as the birds of the Eastern Fly-way also pass through here on their way south. Young birds often turn back from Cape May after seeing the size of the body of water they must cross to continue south. They follow the river north until the crossing is easier. That brings them right into Salem County. What I am saying is that what happens in Cape May happens here on a smaller scale. The people who understand that better than anyone are the Suttons.

I met Pat some years ago, when Jim Dowdell (another renowned naturalist), asked if he could bring some people up to my house to go butterflying. I said fine and then he said one of the people was Pat Sutton. I almost died. I knew how famous Pat was. I also knew that while I love my home it wasn't very fancy. I was afraid that it wouldn't meet Pat's standards. Boy was I wrong. She turned out to be as down to earth as a person could be. We have become good friends who share a love of all things natural. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Pat has written books on Butterflies, Owls and now "Birding Cape May" co-authored with her husband Clay.

Clay has authored and co-authored many books on birds in Southern New Jersey. Locally he has done many wildlife and plant surveys for Natural Lands Trust and New Jersey Audubon. I believe he knows more about the wildlife in Salem County than any other single person. Like his wife Pat he has enthusiastically championed conservation. His knowledge of snakes, plants, lizards, insects, butterflies and birds is encyclopedic.

We are so lucky to have such great speakers come to our little club. I hope you will invite all of your friends to attend. I am hoping for a really large turnout. Non-members will be charged $5.00 (or they can join that night) while members pay $2.00. I have asked the Suttons to bring some of their various books for sale. They have offered to sign them and any others you may already own. So bring your Sutton books and all of your friends and join us for an amazing evening.

Thanks, Marilyn Patterson, President Salem County Nature Club