January 27, 2003
a hairy woodpecker drumming again
today. On a different tree than last Thursday, but in the same area.
And there was a brown creeper on
a small maple tree near the house. These birds have a distinctive
way of moving that caught my eye. Got out the binoculars to get a
better look - and to make sure it really was a brown creeper. They're
fun to watch.
January 28, 2003
the leaves have fallen in the autumn, the mountains to the east of
the house can be seen through the trees. The dark-colored oak tree
in the foreground seems to be a favorite spot for the brown creeper.
the creeper on this tree again
this morning. At first it was moving up
the trunk, then it just sat for a long time at the top of the broken
branch. I waited about 10 minutes and it just moved its head back
and forth a little - nothing else. I came back a half hour later and
it was nowhere to be seen.
January 29, 2003
morning there was a single deer
wading through the snow to the north of the house. I'm amazed that
they're able to get through snow that's so deep and wonder what is
motivating them to come out of the more protected areas.
The purple finch that appeared at
my feeder last Saturday has become a regular visitor. It comes alone
each day and no other purple finches seem to be in the area.
January 30, 2003
will be quite a while before the goldfinches
in this area look like the photo on the right.
However, there's one goldfinch coming to my feeder that's beginning
to show signs of molting on its chest and around the head. It seems
pretty early for that.
Maybe this particular bird has had more
coloring than usual all winter -
and I just didn't notice? The yellow color is
appearing in splotches - like it does during a molt.
Hmm... I'll have to keep an eye on this one.
January 31, 2003
the winter, I don't often get down to the river to check out the ducks
and other water birds. But here's an
article from someone who does!
This article tells about some of the common and uncommon species he
has seen recently in southern Vermont and other areas. He also describes
watching the unusual behavior of mallards diving for food - instead
The last paragraph explains the reason why I'm not down at the river
watching the ducks. <chuckle>
February 1, 2003
found these tracks in the snow the other day. Think they might be
mouse tracks. It's obviously some very
small mammal and the only others that come to mind are moles, voles,
and shrews. I don't think moles or voles
spend much time on the surface of the snow. Not sure about shrews.
my three tracking guides, none give
information for me to make a certain identification. One has a photo
showing mouse tracks that have a pattern like chipmunk tracks.
In this photo, marks can be seen from the animal's tail dragging on
the ground. In spite of not having the pattern of chipmunk tracks,
I'm guessing that these are the tracks of a mouse that is bounding.
Maybe a deer mouse or white-footed mouse, because they have longer
tails than some others.
I have a sneaking feeling that I'm wrong, though. If I find out, I'll
come back to this page and let you know.
February 2, 2003
looks like the goldfinches
really are starting to molt. On Thursday, I saw only one that was
noticeably changing color. And I wasn't very sure that I believed
it was molting - since it seemed early.
Now many of the males are showing more yellow. Today I'm noticing
more color on each side of the body near the wing, in addition to
the molting that's beginning on the chest and head.
Top of page