April 20, 2003
coltsfoot is blooming. This wildflower opens with the sunlight and
closes up in the late afternoon when the sun is no longer shining
directly on it.
Coltsfoot is often found growing in damp areas. This plant is unusual
in that the leaves don't appear until after the flower has gone
April 19, 2003
preliminary results are in for the Great Backyard Bird Count and
can be viewed here.
Just select a bird, a year, a region, and click "View the Map."
page, you can view the results by state.
gives a little background on the Great Backyard Bird Count.
April 18, 2003
the past few days, the Louisiana
waterthrush (at right) and palm warbler
have been seen in the New England area.
The Louisiana waterthrush winters in the tropics. The palm warbler
winters in the southeastern
States and the Caribbean.
April 17, 2003
will be arriving very soon in New England. They were spotted in New
Jersey and Maryland yesterday.
The monarch butterflies
have been seen as far north as North Carolina. But it will be a while
before they reach New England.
As the monarchs migrate northward, they look for the milkweed
plant, which provides nectar for the adult monarch and is a host plant
for the monarch caterpillar. The milkweed is currently blooming as
far north as Virginia.
April 16, 2003
some small, fresh wood chips today below this dying maple tree. I
think there was a downy woodpecker
nesting in this tree last summer, but I was never sure.
Both downy and hairy woodpeckers
are thought to excavate a new nest site each year. It is said that
downies often make a second nest cavity in the same tree that was
used the previous year.
There's also another cavity in
tree but higher and on the other side. This
second hole is quite a bit larger. I wonder if it's a hairy woodpecker's
nesting cavity. Looks pretty big, though. Hmmm...
The new wood chips I saw today were scattered all around the base
of the tree, so it's not clear whether they're coming from one or
the other of these two holes - or neither.
April 15, 2003
woodcock was calling "peent,
peent, peent" again this evening just before dusk. Went out to
try to locate it and found the field that it was calling from.
The "peenting" continued for a while. Then I heard a softer
two-note call from the nearby woods. Immediately, I heard the whistling
sound that the woodcock's wings make during its courtship flight.
Unfortunately, I couldn't see the woodcock's flight. The moon had
been out earlier, but now was behind the clouds. I stayed for another
half hour, still hearing the "peenting" calls and the whistling
sounds of the woodcock's wings. But I couldn't spot the woodcock itself.
It was fun listening, though!
April 14, 2003
I was heading out to the woods today, I startled a red-tailed
hawk from its perch. And saw it soar away, its red tail flashing
in the sunlight.
My destination today was this little brook, which often dries up during
the middle of the summer. But in the spring it's swollen with melting
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