New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff
A Summer Like Week!
Who knew the opening day of the New Hampshire deer hunting season on November 11th would set a record high temperature of 75 degrees for the day. I think this was the forth or fifth day in a row of record high temperatures in New Hampshire. I did get out and had to keep sloughing cloths as the day warmed up. Though I did not see or get a deer, it felt good to be back out deer hunting here.
One of the other fellows who was hunting spotted a dead mouse on a log with it's head missing. I immediately said "An owl probably did that." He then produced a picture on his phone of a saw whet owl setting on a branch above the mouse. Oh the things you see while deer hunting. I've only ever seen a couple of saw whet owls in my life. Mostly only hear their call at night. I have mimicked their call and have called a few in at night. Some up pretty close. Such a cool owl.
We are having a little rain this morning. Much needed rain. This part of New Hampshire is still in a severe drought condition. Lets hope for more rain before the ground freezes up. So far nearly all the hurricanes have missed us as far as delivering some of the much needed rain. Despite a record number of hurricanes hitting the US this year. We have had enough rain to at least get some of our brooks running again. This summer was a very bad one for our native Brook trout. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department studies have been showing with tagged trout Brook trout actually move about a lot over the year. They migrate some distance within a watershed to find conditions to survive these hot and dry summers that are the result of climate change.
The local fields are still all nice and green. I am seeing Canada geese feeding in them locally. We actually have two separate groups of geese in New Hampshire. We have always had a couple thousand Canada geese that winter here on Great Bay on our coast. These geese migrate here from Northern Canada.
Beginning in the early 90's we had what we call "Resident Geese" move into the state from the south. Over the next decade a small stream of geese turned into a flurry of geese that within a decade or so had pretty much occupied the whole state from bottom to top. There are now an estimated 40,000 or more resident geese that live here most of the year. They do migrate some. But only far enough south during tough winters to find food and then come right back. Fish and Game wildlife biologist do an annual mid winter survey for ducks and geese wintering in the state in January. Generally wildlife biologist count a couple thousand ducks and as I remember a thousand or two of geese. inland. Nashua has been the Goose Capital in the state for a couple decades.
Activity at my bird feeders seems to be picking up despite the lack of snow. This could all change so quickly here. Oh yes we could be looking at a foot of snow or more any time now.
Looks like a red squirrel had a feast on this stone wall.
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