Dive Bombers and Other Birds

Tudor Richards, USNR

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Leave leave in
may 1943
started just too late to witness the bird migrations at home, but it was very pleasant anyway. In the afternoon of May 20 I made a sort of warbler census, walking to the railroad bridge near the mouth of the Squannacook crossing the Nashua there and returning via the Red Bridge, all the time keeping a count of the number of warbler songs heard. The results were very interesting. Altogether 132 individuals 132
and 13 species were heard, chestnut-sided warblers and ovenbirds leading all others with 29 and 27 singers respectively. Next came 15 Canada warblers, an unprecedented number, yet very probably the majority of these were not migrants, as the single blackpoll undoubtedly was. Northern yellowthroats, redstarts, blackburnian, black and white, black-throated green, pine, yellow, Nashville, and prairie warblers followed the Canada in that order, ranging from 13 individuals heard to one. A few days later I heard and then saw my first Groton golden-winged warbler, in the big blowdown by the river road, but was a little disappointed to find out later that it had already been discovered by G.S. observers. Also for our mutual benefit a rough-winged swallow nested other birds in the drain pipe near the G.S. float. A grasshopper sparrow near the site of the poor farm on May 30 and a brown creeper singing up Dead River on June 11 were the other noteworthy records for that leave.

Shippen Goodhue’s wedding wedding at which an extraordinary number of old friends turned up; a rather unenjoyable waltzing party; a very pleasant couple of days at Barnstable with Chrisie Lowell and her mother; a short trip to squam Squam (by bicycle to Nashua and from Ashland, train between) and some golf with Pa occupied much of the rest of the vacation. As usual an ascent of Morgan had to be made to keep up the tradition.

Back at Daytona I found myself a full-fledged assistant instructor assistant instructor, at first teaming up with Lt. Bill Bentley and Squadron 33, and from then on things were pretty busy. Social life dwindled almost to nothing. Before leave Gamble and I had frequently gone out together to the Bath and Tennis Club with our respective girls. Paul, a married man himself, had a “girl,” “Flo,” with two daughters in their teens, her husband being dead, divorced, or merely away, I forget which. My girl, whom I had first picked out for Squadron 10’s first party, was Ensign Marilyn Zook, a tall, blonde and really very pretty nurse, stationed at N.A.S., but living in a beach apartment with another nurse. Now, Gamble had left for an active squadron, hating the idea of instructing, and Marilyn had been sent down to N.A.S. Vero Beach. Needless to say I did not take up with “Flo,” though the original four of us had had very pleasant times together, both at the “Club” and on the beach.