What size is a patch? A yard, a section, a town, a county? I don't know if I am doing this right. Should it be in diary form?
March 19: At the Lake: Add a red breasted Nuthatch which I heard but couldn't see.
March 18: At the Barn: Flushed a Wilson's Snipe from the steam while checking the horses.
This is my day to bird this month. The morning was in the low 30s and the high was in the low 60s with 20 mph NW wind-cold. April and May are really good months- I can't wait.
At the house: Carolina wren
which flew in 3 weeks ago is singing every morning when I feed the dogs. The collection of house (English) sparrows
are in the holly and we have a good collection of assorted blackbirds, common and great tailed grackles, cowbirds, and starlings
in the trees. The northern Mockingbird
has taken his post atop my chimney announcing his territory to all others. A pair of Mourning Doves
are in the pines and several northern cardinals
are singing. Blue Jays
add to the chatter of the sparrows and fight with the grackles.
Walking down the stairs, I was looking out the window and an American Kestrel
flies into the neighbor's tree.
We have Kestrels but not usually in town.
Oxley Nature Center, Mohawk Park: This is my favorite place and I made a trip before I take a scout troop next week. They have quite a variety of habitates. I was able to see: Eastern Bluebirds, white throated sparrows, cardinals, robins, Carolina chickadees, American Crows, Juncos, Titmouse, marsh wrens, red tail hawk, downy and hairy woodpeckers, about 30 Coots and more than 50 ducks on the lake.
The ducks were almost beyond my range but I was able to see the orange bills of a merganzer
. I just couldn't tell whether it was a common or a red headed. I want a scope!
AT the Barn: The usual residents from yesterday plus juncos, a downy woodpecker, a juvinal red tail hawk in almost all white and a pidgeon
which is a real rare find in the middle of the pasture by himself. A great blue heron
flew over my car as I drove out and another one was in flight as I drove home. While I was riding I saw another killdeer
doing the broken wing dance but I couldn't see the nest anywhere. They are really hidden. I just backed and went around. The killdeers and the bluebirds are very busy with eggs on the nest now. I also hear that the Great Horned owl chicks are peeking out over the top of the nest at the air museum. I'll take the scouts to see it if we can find it.
: The weather had been a bit cold and very rainy but the afternoon turned sunny and warm. On the pond our two resident Mallards. Singing in the top of the pecan tree is the loudest great tailed Grackle with about 30 of his close friends and some cousins-starlings, blackbirds and cowbirds.
In the front pasture are the eastern bluebirds
that are busy with their first nests.
The grass is just starting to green and in two more weeks we probably won't need hay. In the grasses are more blackbirds, starlings, cowbirds and grackles (both great tailed and common). In the barn are the English Sparrows. Singing on the fence is an eastern meadowlark
and as I turned to canter up the hill the setting sun lit up several more meadowlarks. Riding through the gate and into another pasture a Northern Mockingbird
and an eastern kingbird greet us. As I was trotting on the top of the hill, we startled a killdeer
into doing the broken wing dance, so I immediately halted (well not so immediately-stop is hard for my pony) and looked around to find the nest. I couldn't find it until I looked straight down. It was right underneath us. Just a side step and all was well. It is a wonder the ground nesting birds ever succeed in raising their young.