Bird experts to describe locals' epic migrations

Shawn Carey and Jim Grady will present their show Epic Journeys: Tracking the Migrations of Shorebirds at the Paskamansett Bird Club’s monthly meetingat 7:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the community hall of Friends Meeting, 739 Horseneck Road,  South Dartmouth. They will explore the amazing round-trips between the Northern and Southern hemispheres made each year by millions of our local birds. “Epic Journeys” looks at three shorebird species — Red Knot, Piping Plover and Semipalmated Sandpiper — and the challenges these species face during each of their monumental annual treks. Interviews and footage were shot on Plymouth Beach and South Beach in Massachusetts, the Bay of Fundy in Canada, and the Cape May/Delaware Bay area in New Jersey. In spring, Red Knots travel from south to north, stopping and concentrating by the thousands in the Delaware Bay area where they fuel up on Horseshoe Crab eggs in order to complete their long final flight to the Arctic. The film examines how the decline in Horseshoe Crab populations have impacted the survival of this species. The cute  Piping Plover breeds on beaches in coastal communities in Massachusetts (including several in Westport and Dartmouth) and is surviving despite heavy skunk and fox predation and invasions by beach buggies. “Epic Journeys” shows how improved beach management programs in Massachusetts since 1992 have enabled the plover’s numbers to increase over the past 20 years. Finally, “Epic Jouneys” features Semipalmated Sandpipers that gather in dramatic numbers in New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy before flying 3,000 miles south to South America. Migration Productions’ video asks: What is being done to help protect these shorebirds and their habitat? How can the public help with their conservation? And where can one go to best see each of these species en route to their destinations? Shawn Carey and his friend Jim Grady started Migration Productions as a way to show their slide presentations to a live audience. Migration Productions has been presenting programs to natural history and birding organizations and camera clubs since 1994. Shawn's photos have been published in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Mass Audubon’s Sanctuary magazine, Science magazine, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary magazine and many others over the last 15 years. In 1997 he started teaching bird photography workshops (Fundamentals of Bird Photography) for Massachusetts Audubon, and six years ago he began a summer three-day field school workshop for Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay. For additional information, see The presentation will be followed by refreshments and the opportunity to speak with the presenters and club members. The meeting is accessible and open to the public at no charge.  


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.