Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff
Wednesday 05/02/2007 Salamanders, frogs, snakes, ducks, turtles, a mink, turkeys, deer and an antler drop; Oh my!
Wildlife is every where now it seems. It can be heard as the raucous roar of hundreds of spring peepers, or the distant snore of a single pickerel frog with just about every pond and puddle with a duck in it and turkeys and deer in the fields. My head is constantly swiveling like a radar dish and a ship gathering all the spring life. Good thing it is well attached.
Last Thursday I headed down to Londonderry to do a mid day waterfowl breeding plot survey. This one happens do be a one kilometer square patch of land immediately south of the Manchester Airport not a mile from where I grew up in the 60's. It's at the east end of Pettengill Road part of which is an area we called Pete Kings Sand Pit. Beavers have flooded even more than last year. A corner of Manchester is in part of this tract with a dense housing development. Although ducks were actually more scares than usual the beaver ponds were dotted with painted turtles sunning themselves. I also could see a rather large water snake sunning itself in the top of a flooded shrub 3 or 4 feet above the water. I made my way towards it but it was gone when I got near enough for a photo, but did get a picture of a smaller water snake in another nearby shrub. I closely examined a huge aspen nearly cut off by a beaver. A very small beaver as the wood chips were more like sawdust. I move along the edge of this flooded alder and red maple stand peering into it's thickness for the sight of a duck. Last year I spotted several. Skunk cabbage was springing from the ground with brilliant green dots scattered along the wetland edge. While I stopped to peer into the swamp a wall of birds began to move my way shattering and cussing. I knew something was headed my way as the red winged blackbirds and grackles were merciless. Sure enough as they approached so did a small mink as it darted about in and out of the water in search of any thing living.
Tuesday morning I headed out a little before 5:00 am to do a sunrise turkey/grouse listening survey. This one takes me right through the center of Bear Brook State Park. I did hear some turkeys gobbling and a grouse drumming before sunrise. My last stop of the morning was at Hall Mountain Marsh to check the dam. What a tranquil setting it was so early in the morning. I got this all done and made it to Fish and Game Headquarters for an early morning meeting. I finished the day yesterday back in Bear Brook State Park I led a nature walk along Hayes Marsh for the Allenstown Conservation Commission. Oh how the peepers were roaring, almost deafening. In fact we had a real hard time tuning into a woodcock singing which was also on the tour list. But we stood for 20 minutes at the marshes edge to drink in the sights and sounds just as it was getting dark. I couldn't imagine being any where else at that moment.
2007-04-25 Three days full of surprises and adventures with spring in full swing.
2007-05-08 Leaves are popping, birds and frogs are singing, life is so grand this time of year. I'm trying to take it all in from sunrise to well past sunset. And I got my first turkey this year.
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