Saturday, December 04, 2010

Nearing Christmas

The first accumulation of snow is expected this weekend. We've had dustings and rain so far. I have started feeding in the backyard. Sunflower seeds. I have decided to give up the fight against the squirrels and let 'em feast. Seed is cheap. We've had robins, chickadees, crows, bluejays, white breasted nuthatch, and titmouse in the neighborhood. My holly has berries and the cardinals and winter wrens have been coming in it to feed, perhaps, or hide. The holly is in front of my kitchen window and over the years I have had some great views of birds and a few nests. I hope nobody minds Christmas lights. (I bought a package of the solar powered lights. I like the concept but maybe it's just more "lights.") And as much as I like my holly, across the street is a Golden Pyracantha that is gorgeous! We had some of our heaviest snows in recent years last January and we might be just as lucky again this year. We also set, I think, a record last winter for most consecutive days below 32 degrees. Not a lot of fun but survivable.

The crows have been going crazy the last couple of days. It's like "The Birds." I go out in the morning and they seem to be everywhere and very noisy. As if they know something I don't? Probably. 

About two-three weeks ago the starlings were at their maximum. As I was driving I could see these huge flocks of Starlings doing a twisting and diving maneuver that flashed these huge commas and apostrophes in the sky. I think several other drivers were also distracted. I had never seen such a sight.

The winter bird counts are just around the corner. For the Herndon Chapter, the winter count is December 18, Saturday, and I think this is the five county count. Sunday, December 19, is the Roan Mountain winter count. Details at The winter water fowl are in and ready to sit still for counting.

This is the time of year when the counts are slim. But surprising. Last year it snowed to beat the band and we had a bald eagle at Watauga Lake. For what should have been a minimalist count we did pretty good. It helps to have a crew of five, too.


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