Tuesday, February 23, 2016


I don't think these are the same birds that hang around down by the house.
Many of them show clear signs of molting into summer colors. (not this one)

Where's the flock? The boys walked the farm yesterday and gave me a call from the T-field. There was a mixed feeding flock up there and they thought I should give it a look.

The river is ice-jammed here and open to the east

I hiked up....the T-field is on the western edge of the farm, not usually where I walk because the cow pasture used to straddle the road up there. No cows, no barbed wire gates to open now, but still....in my mind it is a harder walk than up to the other hill. It really isn't though.

Anyhow, there certainly were birds up there. Hundreds of them. I would estimate there were probably three-hundred American Goldfinches, the largest flock I have ever seen or heard.

I listened from half-way up the hill. There were chickadees in there too....a few....a couple Hairy Woodpeckers, but almost nothing else. Then, faintly, barely audibly, from the bottom of the hill, down by the lightning corner (where trees don't get to grow very tall before they are struck down) I thought I heard a Song Sparrow.

I had no intention of counting it. Song Sparrows are so ubiquitous here that I surely won't need a February "heard only" when there will be a dozen nesting around the house in a few weeks.

However, just for the heck of it I stopped at the lightning corner on the way down, and there came the call again. This enterprising fellow has staked out an old rosebush for a summer home.

Year bird, ca-ching. It was a nice walk in the wild spring wind, despite the lack of birdy diversity. You get to see some different views of the land, and I got the sparrow.

And then, when I was walking the pup, the first Red-winged Blackbird of the year showed up in the ash tree by the sitting porch. Wow, a toofer!

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