Saturday, October 25, 2014

A New Broom

The owl tree

A brisk wind yesterday swept away most of the rain, and picked the much maligned towels up off the ground and dried them enough to bring inside

It also dusted us with a nice array of birds.

First on the menu were hundreds, if not thousands, of Red-winged Blackbirds. I tried off and on all day to scope out the flock with the binoculars, hoping for a Rusty Blackbird, or even a Grackle or some Cowbirds.

Alas, either the windows were covered with condensation, as the heat was hopping, or they flew off, or some other thing. They were certainly in constant, swirling, motion.

Then there was a large feeding flock parsing back and forth between the woody area up behind the hop house and the feeders here at the people house. The Tufted Titmice have returned in strength, we have more White-breasted Nuthatches than I have ever seen, lots of Chickadees, woodpeckers, both Hairy and Downy, a handful of northern sparrows and the usual Song Sparrows, a few Robins, Cardinals, Blue Jays and all sorts of other odds and ends.

And Carolina Wrens....can't forget them. There needs be a hole big enough for them to ingress and egress this winter left in the buttoning up of the back porch. They come in through the crack around the new door all the time, and sometimes sing at me through the screen door.....

It was, however, one of those days when the light was so poor a Flamingo could have flapped by and you would only recognize it by its outline. 

I did see an owl the other morning though.....


The guys have been seeing one hunting over in the barnyard or up on the three-bay shed all year. It has never been there when I went out no matter how early or late.

I will call it a Great Horned Owl. It was a big, big bird, flapping silently over toward the big cherry up in the Sixty-Acre Lot where they have roosted and spat pellets for decades.

And much to my delight, I discovered that I can see that stately cherry from the stair landing where I pause several times each day just to look. We have many trees, but a few of them stand out....the hickory tree that stands just south of the Hickory Tree Field. The big poplar that spans the creek in the center of the heifer pasture just below the old pond. The
cherry in the hedgerow between us and the housing development to the east, the downed, but not dead ancient maple near the heifer woods, where the raccoons used to hide out....

And the big cherry where the owls have always roosted. I guess it is visible because so many of the leaves are down, but there is no missing its shape, standing tall on the hillside up there on the southern horizon.

It is good to see.


Cathy said...

Can't imagine having wrens as backdoor company.
Do any of those blackbirds sing their Oka -ree during migration?

Rev. Paul said...

We have quite a few tiny little birds hopping around in the northern birch trees, but rarely hear anything but ravens & magpies.

Terry and Linda said...

We name parts of farm also. It helps with the visual when talking about it to someone.

The crows and ravens are thick now, but we do have owls the trees at the other house. I love hearing the owls.


Dani said...

Sounds so beautiful! We have lots of warblers right now and blue gray gnatcatchers. It's always a delight when I hear their special wheeze after they've been gone all spring and summer.

June said...

I am seeing only blue jays and chickadees and that hawk that I mentioned before. I hear him (her?) far more often than I see him. Always amuses me to think of such a wee whistly voice on such a creature.
ONCE I saw an owl on the ground while it held its prey still. Our headlights lit it up and then passed on, but . . . what a sight!

threecollie said...

Cathy, they thrill me every single time I hear or see them. Still feeding your peanuts and using Jonna's feeder and still thinking of you both every single time.

Rev. Paul, your state is the go-to spot for the big time rarities that get blown your way from Asia. I subscribe to rare bird alerts and your islands and even some of your towns are always on them.

Linda, all our fields have names, parts of fields have does help!

Dani, there are still warblers here....but the light is so poor that it is nearly impossible to id them. Alas.

June, I'll bet, judging by the way you describe the call, that your hawk is a Red-tailed Hawk. You could give a listen on Cornell's bird site or YouTube to see if you wanted to. And boy, do I hear you on the way owl sightings engrave themselves on your brain! I can remember some that I saw when I was in my early twenties, as you said, from a passing car, and they still stand out in my mind.