Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, March 9, 2003
Gray SquirrelHave been seeing a lot of gray squirrels recently. And it seems like their tracks are everywhere. And not just around my birdfeeder!

There are plenty of red squirrels around, too. They've been more vocal lately. When I was walking in
the woods yesterday, one of them
gave me a real scolding. And kept it up
until I was quite a distance away.
Saturday, March 8, 2003
Heard the call of a fisher late last night. The sound it makes is a short, loud, yelp-like cry. This morning I saw its tracks just outside the house. Later, I went snowshoeing in the woods and saw more fisher tracks.

There were also coyote tracks in the woods - and of course lots of deer tracks and squirrel tracks. I'm particularly glad to see the tracks of the coyotes, because they haven't been around much for the past few years.
Friday, March 7, 2003
Highbush CranberryLast September, I was wondering if the birds would ever eat the fruit from this highbush cranberry - which you can see in this photo I took at the end of November.

The birds would regularly eat the fruit from another nearby bush - which has since been cut down - and it would all be gone by winter. But they wouldn't touch this particular bush.

Well, today the fruit is all gone.
The robins I saw on Tuesday were flying from the direction of that bush. At the time, it looked like there were fewer berries on it than usual. So I strongly suspect that the robins are the ones who picked it clean. Glad to see someone liked the berries!
Thursday, March 6, 2003
The woodpeckers are still drumming in the mornings. And I'm still not sure if they're hairy woodpeckers or downies.

When I heard the drumming this morning, I saw a downy woodpecker on a tree close to the house. But the downy wasn't doing any drumming! And the sound was coming from further away.

There was a small flock of purple finches - both male and female - at the feeder today. And I got a close enough look this time to be sure that the bird I saw last Friday was a female purple finch.
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Robins in TreesWhen I was out walking yesterday, a flock of about 15 robins flew across in front of me. Some of them settled in the trees in this photo. I think they had been feeding on some berries or on the sumac fruit.
If you enlarge the photo, you'll see
that those little specks on the branches
are robins.
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Well, the deer did finally come out of the woods late yesterday afternoon. And I saw one of them again today. They're having a tough time getting around.

There's a crust on top of the snow, but it's not thick enough to carry their weight all of the time. So sometimes the deer stay on top and sometimes they sink through. Or one leg sinks through while the other legs stay on top. I guess we all know how that can be!
Monday, March 3, 2003
Whitetail Doe in WinterHave been seeing the whitetail deer almost every day recently - until today. The temperature has been hovering around 10 degrees all day and it's been pretty windy. Maybe that's why they're not coming out of the deep woods.
I took this photo a few days ago. It's
one of my familiar does - I can recognize her
by the notch on her right ear.
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