Saturday, May 25, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Encounters with Wildlife by Land or by Sea

Photo by Terry Goss (via Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

To all who are spending this Memorial Day weekend on the water…and haven’t made it all the way to the ocean beaches but have gone as far as the banks of the Potomac or the Chesapeake Bay – watch out for your chance to get a glimpse of our bottlenose river dolphins. According to the Potomac Conservancy and the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, the timing could be right for you to see D1 and D2 gliding by (they’re the still-nameless dolphins that are the subjects of the #NamePotomacDolpins naming contest) -- or perhaps one of about 1,000 other river dolphins in the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. The naming contest closes on May 30 []. To learn more about the #NamePotomacDolpins contest, I’m sending you back to last Saturday’s column at (OK, it’s a holiday weekend and I’m too lazy to write something fresh!)

Now moving north along the coastline and then out to Long island: you may have heard the news that another marine animal conservation group called Ocearch ( has been tracking the movements of a 10-foot shark they’ve named Cabot. But sightings of Cabot the Shark are not as jolly as the sightings of Dolphins D1 and D2. In fact, they’ve mostly been panic-inducing – especially after Cabot’s tracking device was heard pinging along coastal waters of the Long Island Sound (tracker log is here: Are you hearing ominous notes in your head…sounding something like this: It’s because this is exactly the plot of “Jaws,” if you substitute Fire Island for “Amity Island” and Memorial Day weekend for the Fourth of July. Well, it wasn’t too long before the public was being assured that the danger has passed and it’s safe to go back in the water. Yeah, right…. (See:

All I can say is I’m happy to be inland this weekend.

Wherever Cabot is, at least he can’t crawl out of the water and wander up to your front door. Unlike some other large-jawed marine predators I can name. Like this one, who came right up to the front door of a home in Palm Coast, Florida: 

Aren’t you glad we just have coyotes and foxes? See for the story (Cleveland Park Listserv subscription with Yahoo log-on needed to access.)

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.   

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