Guess who’s back

You may recall a story posted here about the major buzzard problem that had all but shut down ramp use and the large parking lot to a trickle. The buzzards were biting/eating/chewing the rubber on vehicles. Wiper blades, rubber door seals, rubber window seals-you name it. If the item was rubber the vehicle component was fair game as far as the buzzards were concerned.

The new Safety Harbor trash bins. SFN photo

Then, TVA installed some nice refuse bins that were buzzard-proof, So, without the free meals of cleaned fish remains the flock departed for a destination with a better menu. Maybe they lined U.S. Highway 72 and scrapped over squirrels, dogs, rabbits, turtles and snakes that lost their bid to cross over four lanes of ttraffic.

No fisherman or boater cared where the buzzards went. They were gone! No more need to put plastic bags on wiper blades and radio antennas. No more aluminum pie pans attached to “scary” locations on vehicles. No more “I’m watchin’ you” plastic owls on roofs and hoods to deter the buzzards from peeling rubber and scratching the paint. The curse of the buzzard was gone at last.

Well, was gone until my wife and I pulled into the Safety Harbor parking lot this morning (June 1, 2017) to launch our boat.

We could not believe how many buzzards were in and around the ramp parking lot! Scores of the buzzards, There were at least 50 perched on the crane tower on the east end of the parking lot. The scene was right out of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. We immediately did a U-turn and left.

What has happened? The new trash containers are still there and the buzzards still cannot get inside of the metal boxes.

Are some fishermen now ignoring the TVA directive to refrain from cleaning fish in the ramp/parking lot and/or not putting the fish remains in the disposal units? I don’t know.

Safety Harbor at the east end of Wilson Lake is now back like it was. I suppose the public will again stop using the buzzard infested ramp and parking area. I know we will. And having to do so is really ridiculous. People opting out of Safety Harbor are forced to launch boats farther down the lake and make a long run to fish the water right beside Safety Harbor.

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