Wildlife of Udalls Cove

Photos by Ray Mochizuki at Virginia Point:   Left: Osprey with Bunker (Menhaden); Center:  Great Egret;  Right: Osprey in flight

Photos by Phillippe Barbou:  Left: Osprey delivering fish to the nest;  Center: Osprey in flight with Bunker;  Right: Peregrine Falcon in flight

Pjhotos by Steve Rossi:   Left: Red Fox in Udalls Cove Park;  Center:  Hooded Merganser on Aurora Pond;  Right:  Redtailed Hawk above Aurora Pond

Photos by Steve Rossi:  Left, Osprey capturing Koi in Aurora Pond (one of two Koi dropped into the pond by someone who didn't understand they don't belong there ... the other one was caught by a heron - see photos below).  Center: Wood Duck on Aurora Pond;  Right: Mallard Duck on Aurora Pond.

Photos by Bruce Smith:   Great Blue Heron on Aurora Pond capturing the other Koi that was thoughtlessly placed in the pond.

Photos by Peter Reinharz: Left: Kingfisher above Aurora Pond swallowing a Killifish;  Center: Great Blue Heron in flight at Virginia Point;

Right: Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron at Udalls Cove shoreline..

Photos by Peter Reinharz at Udalls Cove:  Left: Green Winged Teal;  Center: Cardinal;  Right: Great Horned Owl

Eagle Scout Projects

Left: The "39 Steps" built by Eagle Scout John Palmadessa in 2019, connecting Depew and Orient Avenus near the Douglaston end of the North Ravine Trail (the handrail was added by UCPC in early 2020).  Center: In 2017 Eagle Scout Amesh Sarecha built this walkway over a perpetually muddy stretch of trail in the Aurora Pond section of the park.  Right: Eagle Scout Candidate Jack Paganucci bult this wooden walkway on the North Ravine trail in 2018. 

Left: Eagle Scout Clifford Lew built this bridge on the Old Oak Pond Trail in 2016. 

Center: In 2013 Eagle Scout David Guapisaca built this bridge in the Virginia Point section of the park. 

Right: This bridge on the Little Neck side of the North Ravine Trail was built by Eagle Scout Joseph DeRege in 2014 (the railing was later added by UCPC).

The North Ravine Trail was built in three phases by three Eagle Scouts and their work crews, starting at the Douglaston side and ending at the Little Neck side.  Left: Kevin Shea built the first section in 2013.  Center: The same year, Michael Feijoo and his crew built the middle section. Right: Brendan Watson built the third and final section in 2014.  (Joseph DeRege's bridge across Gabler's Creek, pictured above, completed the North Ravine Trail.)

Eagle Scouts have installed attractive split rail fences along various park/street boundaries.  Left: Andrew Tsao installed this railing at the south side of the Virginia Point section of the park in 2015.  Center: In 2009 Jesse Beckerman installed this one at the west side of the Aurora Pond section.  Right: William Choi installed this at the Virginia Point section in 2009.

Eagle Scouts have built and improved trails throughout our park areas.  Left: Kevin Chen built a new part of the South Ravine Trail (north of the Firehouse) in 2013.  Center: Mike Campese built a new part of the Old Oak Pond Trail in 2016.  Right: In 2009 Alex Yee built a new part of the Virginia Point trail.

Left: In 2013. Eagle Scout Max Lacoma and his crew built this bridge near the north entrance to the Virginia Point Trail. 

Center: Eagle Scout Alex Zeller built this railing at the northern entry to the Virginia Point Trail in 2013. 

Right: Eagle Scout Ian Tsao created and installed this beautiful display board near the entry to the Great Neck Estates Trail. 

Views of Udalls Cove and the Park

Udalls Cove, looking south towards Virginia Point.  Photo by Bruce Smith

Left and Right: Gabler's Creek in Winter; photos by Pat St. John.  Center: Aurora Pond in Winter; photo by Walter Mugdan

Udalls Cove looking north towards Little Neck Bay and Long Island Sound.  Photo by Kevin Wolfe.

From Left:  Udalls Cove from the Osprey Landing section of the park; Egret in Udalls Cove; Aurora Pond; and

a massive Oak tree along the North Ravine Trail.  Photos by Walter Mugdan

Left: Shadblow Trees at Virginia Point.   Right: Aurora Pond.    Photos by Walter Mugdan

Wildflowers; Left: Overlooking Little Neck Bay; two Center Photos: near Doug Bay Trail; Right: at Aurora Pond.  Photos by Walter Mugdan

UCPC History

Our Founder, Aurora Gareiss. 

Photo at left, by Jon Meyer, was taken at her home named "Bit `O Bay," on the shore of Udalls Cove. 

 

Photo at right was taken on the occasion of her 83rd birthday. 

Aurora died in 2000,

Left: Aurora Gareiss, our founder and UCPC's first President, with Mayor John Lindsay in 1972; UCPC co-founder Ralph Kamhi (our 3rd President) is at left.  Center: Aurora with Mayor Ed Koch in 1978; Aurora's principal collaborator Virginia Dent (for whom Virginia Point is named) is at right. 

Right: Mayor Michael Bloomberg with State Senator Frank Padavan at left and UCPC's 4th President, Walter Mugdan, at right,

at our 2004 Annual Meeting and Cleanup ajdacent to Aurora Pond.  

Left: Aurora Gareiss at UCPC's 4th Annual Meeting and Cleanup in 1973; Tom Dent is to her right and Art Kelley is to her left. 

Center:  Young volunteers at the 1973 cleanup. 

Left:  Doug MacKay, UCPC's second President, with his daughter Morgan, on Aurora Pond in 1988

(yes, back in those days we still had a real winter with real ice and snow).

The current location of the Virginia Point section of the Park -- fomerly the location of two commercial boatyards.

Left:   "The Landing" in the 1920s, at the north end of Old House Landing Road, now named Little Neck Parkway.  

Center:  Painting bt Ed Trosset of Svensson's Boatyard in 1967.  If you walk along the Virginia Point Trail, you will still see some of the wooden pilings.

Right:  Peterson's Shipyard c. 1911; the house on the hill in the background is in Douglas Manor, which at that time had few large trees.

April 2016: Crime, but -- alas! -- no Punishment

Left: In about 2014, the osprey pair that had been nesting since 2004 on the platform installed by UCPC near the shore of Udalls Cove, moved their nest onto this concrete structure (part of the Belgrave Sewage Treatment Plant discharge pipe system).  Photo taken in 2015 by Elana Mugdan .

Center and Right: On April 27, 2016 three young vandals entered the structure and set fire to the osprey nest.  There were eggs in the nest, which were of course destroyed.  The photos of the fire were taken by a shocked observer at Douglas Manor's Memorial Field. The adults survived, and returned the following year when they rebuilt their nest on the nesting platform.  UCPC posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandals.  Though some leads were received, it was not possible to identify the young criminals.  In 2017 we learned that the Belgrave Sewage Treatment Plant would be replacing the discharge pipeline with an underground pipe.  Eagle Scout candidate Ian Tsao led a successful petition drive requesting that when that work is done, the concrete structure and the section of pipe from the shoreline to the structure, should also be removed. Belgrave agreed; the work is scheduled to begin in 2020 and be completed in 2021.  Once the concrete structure is gone, the ospreys will no longer be tempted to nest there.

Two view of the ospreys nesting on the concrete structure -- which turned out to be a dangerous location for them. 

Photos by Walter Mugdan