Sunday, January 09, 2011

Aerie Report, January 9, 2011

While watching the football games yesterday the Aerie was under attack. Slowly but insidiously, the snow was falling and by this morning we had another three inches on the ground. While Terry went off to church, I got closer to nature and got my winter workout shoveling the driveway. This time it only took 1-1/2 hours of non-stop shoveling to get the job done. All the movement rendered the 14-16 degree temperatures a moot point. I was sweating by the time I finished.

The entire time I worked the sky became more and more overcast. Not long after I finished, a few flakes began to fall from the clouds that have pushed down from the northwest. Darn lake effect snow!


We got a new visitor to the bird feeders this morning. The Redpolls that have been reported elsewhere have finally found our sunflower seeds. A dozen of them were at the stick feeders on the west side of the house when I came in from shoveling the driveway. They have since disappeared again but there's hope that they will be back.

I also saw three moderately sized skeins of geese flying in a southerly direction while I was shoveling. From their loose V formation and vocalizations I guess they they were snow geese heading south to find more open water.

The regular visitors to the feeders continue to come in as soon as the gray squirrels let them. That would include the huge number of chickadees, tufted titmice, red and white breasted nuthatches, mourning doves, downy and hairy woodpeckers, blue jays, and the occasional cardinal. We've had a sharp shinned hawk come by once in a while to check out the avian menu, but I haven't seen him pull off a kill...yet. Crows and ravens can be spotted playing in the wind along the ridge along with the infrequent hawk. A couple of evenings ago I heard the first hoot of what I believe to have been a barred owl on the back end of the property.

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