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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Winter Finch Irruption


 I have been watching for Evening Grosbeaks
. They used to be almost pesky BITD, with hordes descending on the feeders and emptying them in an instant.



Then they vanished. Years would go by and we would not see a single one. Before yesterday it had been two years since we saw any and a long drought of them before that.

This year a big irruption, that is many birds flying south to find food because the cone and bud crops were poor in the far, far North, was predicted.



They did not lie. I have never seen or heard so many Red-breasted Nuthatches (not finches but similarly irruptive) as I have this year. The woods are full of them.



And the Pine Siskins are back. In some places they are back in tremendous numbers, as in thousands reported at Cape May. The most I have seen was a flock of maybe 90 in Maine. That was  amazing enough for me, and now they are coming to the feeders pretty regularly.



Purple Finches actually nest in our spruce trees and bring the fledglings to the feeders before they disperse, but now there are a lot of non-local visitors as well. 

Nevertheless, it was hard to see dozens of photos of EVGR on Facebook and not have them here. I really wanted some. Then yesterday the boss spoke to me as I was tying my shoes, "What are these?"



I had heard noisy finch calls from the feeder right in front of the kitchen windows, but I thought they were Pine Siskins. Nope. At least 25 EVGR, probably over 30, were racing in and out to gobble seeds. There are still a few around today.

I has a happy. 



More Maine

 








Halloween is Here

 



And Harry is attempting to turn Lupin back into a professor. Hope you have a great day and a safe evening!




Wednesday, October 21, 2020

That Website we love to Hate

 


You know the one I mean, where everyone socializes and reads the news and plays the games...

Yeah, as you are naturally aware they changed the look of the site not long ago. In a word it stinks, and no, that is not the word I would use if I were less polite.

So someone invented a nifty browser plug-in that kept the old look. It was great and I used it gleefully.

And yet the site that shall not be named spent time and effort to make that plug in fail. Yeah, forced people who hate what they did to use the new look whether they want to or not.

Personally I think they actually want to drive people away rather than let them discuss certain news events and stories comfortably. Especially those horrible Boomers.....kids have moved along to other things already. But those Boomers are bitter clingers....

Think about it.....The site owners have enough money. They don't need more. But they do need to push their agenda any way they can. And, yes, I can get you a tinfoil hat just like mine if you need one....just ask.

Meanwhile the folks who wrote the plug-in are working on making it work again.

And despite being a political beast I have been spending a LOT more time outdoors getting the gardens ready for winter and watching for Evening Grosbeaks. Irruption year ya know. I highly recommend the great outdoors as a source of mitigation of modern life.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

October Big Day

 

A Maine Great Egret

So today is the fall version of Big Day for birders. The idea is to go out and see how many birds you can count in a day. I don't usually do too well on these sort of things, as they always seem to fall when we are busy with real life.


Cute little Black Guillemot

And after having such a Big Weekend last week it is probably going to be a bit anticlimactic. We were taken to Maine by kids and grandkids, had a great time, and of course there was birding. 46 lovely Maine species, including two lifers, Common Eider and Black Guillemot. There were also lighthouses, landmarks, Moose Questing, good food and a lot of fun....so thanks for everything plus the turkeys.....


Maine Double-crested Cormorant

Anyhow, I will get out as much as I can today, hopefully starting soon, and see what can be found around our acreage. The place is shaggy and unkempt, which is just how the birds like it. About the only ones that like manicured lawns are the robins and starlings. Sparrows are passing through just now and we usually see some nice ones.



The highlight of the past week after returning home btw was a Ruddy Duck up on the pond by the home of a certain popular race car driver we know. Big deal for me, as I have been looking for one in county for several years.

NY Song Sparrow

Even if today is not a Big one for you, I hope you have a great one! Meanwhile, I am listening for the first cardinal to start chirping on the front lawn feeder. He is usually first bird these days...



Thursday, October 15, 2020

A Solid Five

 

Amish colt on the side of the road

On the lawn chair scale....

That storm last week I mean. We have this heavy metal lawn chair that some neighbors gave us. You can't really sit in it but it serves grandly to hold the laundry basket while I hang out or take down clothes.

In a "normal" wind event it is tipped over backwards into the flower bed next to the house often scattering clothespins willy nilly. But it doesn't go far...

Yesterday I went out to hang some laundry and could not find it. Just gone. Finally I saw it, upside down in another flower bed several yards away, in the opposite direction. It took quite a gale to pick that chair up and fling it that far. One of my  kitty andirons also took flight and broke alas. They are heavy cast iron and have never even fallen off the log upon which they reside. What a super storm that was...

There have been other storms with sadder consequences. We lost two beloved aunts over the past couple of weeks, tearing the fabric of the family in so many ways. My heart is hurting for my cousins and my dear uncle who have to go on without them. Sad times....


Monday, October 12, 2020

Beach Bandit

 


Sauntering up to the pic-a-nic



Hmm.....coast looks clear....well, except for that fat little clown with the camera....but she doesn't look too dangerous to me.....



Wow, nice selection for a vegungull like me. Gertrude was not too happy the last time I came home from shopping with a beakful of herring....feathers flew if you know what I mean. Happy wife, harmonious nest and all.



Ah, yes, perfect.....




Gertrude, honey, look what I found....