Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, April 13, 2003
The woodchucks have come out of their dens. One of my neighbors has been seeing them over the last couple of days. There's a woodchuck denning near my house, but I haven't seen that one yet. Maybe it's waiting for some tasty treats to start growing in my garden. :-)

The coyotes were howling and yapping late last night - not too far from the house. They stopped, then started up again about a half hour later. Couldn't tell what they were up to.
Saturday, April 12, 2003
American CrowAm no longer seeing or hearing the flock of crows that had been flying around near the house for several weeks.

Now I only hear single crows calling - in the mornings and occasionally during the day. I'll sometimes see one crow flying or sitting in a tree, but I haven't seen any flocks of crows lately.

Am still hearing the "peent, peent, peent" call of the woodcock in the early evenings.
When the snow melts a little more, I'll be able to venture near the area where it's calling from. I hope to see its courtship display.
Friday, April 11, 2003
Have continued to notice the drumming of woodpeckers over the past week or so - but it has been less frequent.

This morning I saw a downy woodpecker drumming on a black cherry tree. Then I saw it reach into a cavity in the tree and pull out a small feather - which dropped to the ground.

The cavity was large enough for the woodpecker's whole body to fit in. I wondered if it might even be a nest site. After poking into the cavity a few times, the downy went to another side of the tree, drummed a bit, and then went back to foraging.
Thursday, April 10, 2003

Pine WarblerThe pine warbler (in the photo on the right) and the yellow-rumped warbler are among the early warbler migrants. They have both been sighted in New England during the past week.

And some more exciting news! This evening at dusk, I heard the nasal "peent, peent, peent" call of the

American woodcock. The sound was coming from the same area where I
saw the woodcock last year.
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
The courtship season has begun for the wild turkey. Heard the gobbling of a male turkey this morning. When the season gets into full swing, the mating calls will sometimes be heard throughout the day - rather than only in the morning.

Today I saw some unusual turkey tracks in the snow. The tracks showed that the turkey had walked around several times in the same circle - the circle being about 6 feet in diameter.

There were also marks in the snow from the turkey's feathers - probably resulting from the movement of its feathers during the courtship display.

I've read that the male turkey will sometimes circle the female for a while before mating. So maybe this is the story that the tracks are telling.
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Snowy MorningHad more snow last night. It made for a pretty view this morning.

The brown creeper has been making a fairly regular appearance lately - browsing on trees near the house. I keep trying to get a photo, but no luck so far.
Monday, April 7, 2003
Spotted some wild turkeys near the house again today. They weren't having much luck finding food since the ground is covered with snow. However, I did see them pecking at some weed seeds that were still on the stalk.

We're expecting a few more inches of snow tonight, but it's supposed to get much warmer later in the week. So, hopefully, the snow will melt off soon and the animals will be able to find food more easily.
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