text by Brian Willson, photo by Kristen Lindquist

In an email I received earlier this month The Maine’s resident birder, Brian Willson, recounted his then-recent trip to Monhegan Island. In it he included a story about Tom Martin, the island’s “grandfather of birding.” ┬áIt begs to be shared.

The Monhegan trip was great. I didn’t write much in my blog while out there — just posted a daily photo and a list of species — because there’s better ways to spend time. I ended up with 80 spp. total, but I’m sure there were some out there who had more than 100. Also got to chat with Tom Martin, the grandfather of Monhegan birding, who recently turned 90. Which reminds me of a story he tells:

A while back, Tom — who is from NYC — was sitting on a park bench in Manhattan when he happened to notice a yellow-bellied sapsucker fly over onto the trunk of a nearby tree. This was kind of a noteworthy sighting, so he turned to the lady sitting next to him, pointed to the tree, and said, “Sapsucker.” Her reply: “Get away from me, you pervert.” (I laugh every time.)

Brian Wilson and Tom Martin on Monhegan