New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

NH the sleeping giant awakens. Life rains from the sky this week!

Thursday 03/26/2009

Life is raining down on us moment by moment this week, pouring into every widening bare patch of earth and gleaming surface of water. Precious life once again returns to NH with so few of us fully appreciating it.

Last night I gave my 'Global Warming impacts on fish and wildlife' talk to a combination of the Moose Mountain Regional Greenway and the Acton Wakefield Watershed Alliance at the Wakefield Congregational Church. I drove by Union Meadow on 153 (actually three times as I was lost for a while). As I gazed out over the still mostly frozen marsh life was very evident as ducks and geese nervously casted about from one small opening in the ice to another. Here I imagine just a few days ago the view would have been lifeless as there was no open water for the ducks and geese to anxiously check. But now nearly every open stretch of water, whether it is a stream or even an open spot of bare earth and a puddle in the middle of a field seems to have a pair of mallards testing the waters. Ducks and geese literally swarm this very edge of spring as it advances south to north across the state. It is an amazing ritual to watch each year about this time. And it is not just the local ducks and geese either that are amassing along this edge of spring, but ducks that will nest to the north. Ring necked ducks will only appear in numbers over the next week or two as they head further north to nest. But for now all the action is taking place right in front to our eyes in NH. A glorious time of year. The rush to fill NH and to the north with life is much different than the fall migration. Then life slowly drains from the state over a period of many weeks. Completely opposite of what is occurring now.

What a fine group in Sanbornville last night. Actually a group I almost didn't get to meet. You see I now know there are TWO Congrgational churches in Wakefield and the are BOTH on route 153. I sat at the first for 15 minutes or so and wondered why no one was showing. Luckily there were a few folks in the back of the church who said the talk is not here so it must be the other church a few miles up the road. I arrived just in time only by the grace of GOD.

But I did see a whole herd of deer in a big field most clear of snow and more ducks along the way including some hooded mergansers.

And the pair of local ravens are busily building their nest. My long time friend Rick has had a pair of ravens nesting right near his back yard along the Suncook River for a decade now. These ravens stay very close to his house, a mile south of me on this road, and rarely do I even hear them here. But this year starting about two weeks ago they built a nest not far from last years nest. Then completely dismantled and have built another nest some where closer to the river. Rick was checking the pile of debris under the tall white pine from their first nest building. It included lots of horse hair it seems. This is the norm for them to build and destroy a nest before the one they use to raise their young.

And it is not just duck and geese on this all out move to beat any other critter to the very best nesting site they can claim. Red winged black birds were through in great numbers over the last week or more. Sparrows too, like fox sparrows are moving through as are flocks of robins. How the woods are coming al;ive with call and song of these birds. The winter robins that I saw all winter this year are silent birds. They move about tree to tree and limb to limb in a silent way. Not so any robin now. A walk to my paper box each morning has them calling about from tree to tree around my yard. Yes life has returned to Epsom, to my very yard and all that I can see from here. Glorious life has returned after a long cold winter. I'm feeling more robin-like by the day. Life is contagious isn't it. It's just too bad more don't stop to look and listen to all that is about.

But wait there's more......frogs salamanders and toads will soon by migrating in mass to their spring pools as well. Suddenly I'll be a frog too it seems. Life IS good!

Previous Note

The giant awakens! Spring has arrived!!

read the note

Next Note

It's Raining frogs and toads and salamanders.

read the note

If you like this compilation of NH Fish and Game reports, history, and knowledge, please consider donating to keep the website updated and active. Thank You.