Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Friday, June 11, 2004

The White Admiral butterflies started flying about four or five days ago. There seem to be more of them than usual this year.

The Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Ox-Eye Daisies (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) are blooming.

Still not much sign of deer in the area. Saw one deer track in the driveway the other day. Thought it might be a fawn track, but when I looked closer I could see that it was just the tip of an adult deer's track. Apparently, the soil was too hard for the whole hoof to register.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004
Viceroy ButterflyToday I saw my first Viceroy butterfly of the season. From a distance, I thought it might be a Monarch, but closer inspection showed otherwise.

Also, saw the first fireflies of the season on Sunday evening. Just a
few that night, but there are a lot more

Heard the clucking of female wild turkey this morning. Looked out and there she was, but there were no nearby chicks. She walked back and forth a couple of times - quite unlike any turkey behavior I've seen before. Then she flew off.

Shortly after, I saw a male turkey on the other side of the house. It was moving purposefully in a direction not too far from where the female had been, stopping now and then to peck at something. He was opening his tail feather just a bit every so often. Then he walked out of sight.
Saturday, June 5, 2004
Pileated WoodpeckerLately, I've been hearing a pileated woodpecker in the vicinity of the house. Haven't caught sight of it yet. Also hearing the hairy woodpecker. Saw that bird when it was pecking at my house. It wasn't drumming, just pecking - so I think maybe it was snacking on some insects.
The Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum edule) started blooming about a week ago and it's
in full bloom now. The flowers on the
Wild Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) started
opening a few days. Also the Red Clover, White Clover,
Yellow Hawkweed, and Orange Hawkweed are in bloom.
Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Went out for an evening walk to listen to the birds. The veeries were taking center stage tonight. Among others, I heard the chestnut-sided warbler, the rose-breasted grosbeak, numerous robins, and black-capped chickadees.

Within the past week, the Monarch butterflies have begun to reach New England. Haven't seen any myself yet, but I'll be watching for them.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Black-and-white WarblerThere are still lots of warblers singing. Today I heard a black-and-white warbler, black-throated blue warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, and what I think was a mourning warbler. The ovenbirds aren't singing as much now as they were
a week ago.

In the woods, the Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) and Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) are in bloom. Also, there are still a few blossoms on the Wild Columbines (Aquilegia canadensis).
Thursday, May 27, 2004

Hadn't seen any deer or deer tracks in the immediate area for quite a while. But in the last couple of days, I've been seeing the tracks of a single deer - tracks of my "local" doe, I think. She may be giving birth before too long.

Also spotted some coyote scat, so I know they're still in the area - or passing through. Saw another ruffed grouse today, too. There seem to be a lot of them this year.

No recent sign of the wild turkeys except some droppings I saw today. I think the females may be sitting on their eggs. The eggs hatch about 4 weeks after she begins incubation.

Came across an American woodcock this evening at twilight. It dropped down about 15 feet from me in an open area. I watched it for a while and then it flew away - its wings making a whistling sound. Didn't seem to be part of the courtship flight. Haven't heard the mating "peent, peent, peent..." call for a couple of weeks, so maybe the woodcocks are in the nesting stage also.

This afternoon, I heard a barred owl hooting in the woods. It was the usual "hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo" call, but many times in a row - more than usual.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Indigo BuntingYesterday I saw a male indigo bunting singing at the top of a tree. And today it was singing in the same spot. This tree is very close to the area where I saw a male bunting last Saturday.