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

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Where are my birds? And it is spring-like today.

Thursday 12/03/2009

Wow. What a day today is shaping up to be. My thermometer has risen nearly ten degrees already this morning and is flirting with 60 degrees. The sun has just come out at a little after nine proceeded by a hard downpour and a flush of wind. Just a few minutes ago a steady stream of fog was pouring into the Suncook River from my view. Warm air over the cold waters does this. It is interesting to watch has the fog pours from the shore down on to the river and flows right along, more like a solid liquid. But in just ten minutes the moisture laden air has been replaced by crystal clear air and the fog has vanished. Oh how the mood of the river that winds its way past my view can an instant. The river has been such a good neighbor to me these last 30 years. Fortunately I am out of her grasp when the floods have come, sitting high here over my domain looking down at her and the meadow and corn field beyond. The limbs of the 100 foot high pine trees bracketing my view on the south hang with cones still. Brown dew drops dripping from the branches it would appear. Dozens lay scattered across my lawn from the high winds of the last week. I have never seen such an abundance of pine cones here as this year. I already noticed where a red squirrel had sat on my deck step to feast on the bounty. Life is good right now if you are a red squirrel. Squirrel numbers will be up for a year or two from now.

Now on to my bird feeders. I have been putting some seeds every few days on the platform out back for a few weeks now. Some activity there. Mostly blue jays, which I personally happen to like. Big bold beautifully feathered blue and white with distinctive black markings. I guess there are those who do not share my respect and like them, my mother sees them as nest and bird seed robbers. But even my local crows have been absent for a while.

About a week ago I filled and re-hung my feeders in the lilac to the front of my house. Now I can tell you most years birds are waiting for me to get out of the way while hanging them for the first time each fall. Not so this year. Nary a bird could be seen nor heard. In fact is was several days before I spotted a couple of tufted titmice dinning there.

So where are the birds? I ask myself. I'm afraid the relentless cold rain of June into July simply killed off many nesting attempts and killed young of year that had already hatched. So I think bird numbers in general are way down. I'm certainly not seeing many birds in other locations either. And from my tree stand this fall I didn't have the usual nuthatch or chick-a-dees flirting about around me. The woods were very quiet this fall. Ghost-town like quiet. Though I have seen numbers of ducks and geese about.

While penning this my thermometer has shot up into the 60's. Time to get outside to enjoy this wonderful day. Life is so good. Winter is at hand, probably just hours away. So I'll take this April moment to enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Previous Note

Awesome possum, slinky mink, prickly porky and more in store this week.

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Next Note

Winter has arrived on the Suncook River in Epsom

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