Outdoor Adventures With Gary Lee - Vol. 72
My mouse population has slowed to a trickle with only three in my bucket this morning and none in the seed can, which was a first today. Red squirrels and chipmunks have slowed some, so they must have found some wild food and not needing bird seed from my feeder. In the area, I walked around the Inlet Golf Course and saw where Red Squirrels had stored mushrooms up on the branches of trees and even a few golf balls. I don’t know how much nutrition there is in the golf balls. I also flushed a Woodcock not far off the back nine, which brought back memories when we used to hunt them years ago.
The birds going south have stopped in to refuel. The ground has been covered with White-throated Sparrows and a few White-crowned Sparrows for the last few days. The White-throats do nest in this area, but the White-crowns go further north into Canada. Today alone, I put bands on twenty White-throats, three Black Capped Chickadees, two Slate Colored Juncos, one Blue Jay and one Ruby-crowned Kinglet. The Kinglet isn’t much bigger than a hummer, but it has long legs for such a small bird. This one was a female, so it had no ruby crown. The Golden-crowned Kinglet that I caught last week was a male, as it had a touch of red in the golden crown. Another small bird that I caught this week was a Brown Creeper. Some recaptures today were: a Chickadee from 2015, a Junco from 2017 and a Jay from 2018. I measure the wing cord (that is from the wing joint to the tip of the longest wing feather) of these birds to see how much their wings have grown from when first captured and it is always longer.
The Canada Geese sure have been going in all directions, but mostly south and on the move, which might be a sign of things to come. They did have snow flurries on White Face Mountain, some even sticking up top. One trip over into New Hampshire a few years back, we wanted to go up Mt. Washington which is over 6,000 feet about this time of the year. We were leaf peeping in Vermont and New Hampshire and photographing covered bridges. We had to wait at the bottom for quite a while as the top was in the clouds. When we went up, it was still in the clouds and a little snow falling. I took a picture of Karen and you can barely see her at twenty feet in the clouds. We didn’t stay there very long, as there was nothing to see... maybe next trip.
Those Geese flew all day and all night during the full moon and the next two nights, using the stars, I guess, as they went south.
The leaves around here were certainly peak last weekend. Even today, there was still lots of color, but it rained leaves most of the day and even more when the wind blew. I know I caught several in my bird net, so I took it down as I was catching more leaves than birds and those spiny beech leaves get stuck.
A new storm which will become Hurricane Delta, the 25th named storm this season, is predicted to hit the Louisiana coast as a category 2 Hurricane on Thursday. This will be the fourth storm to hit there this year.
The fire fighters may get a slight break this week, as some wet weather may hit California and less winds will also help in their fight of the forest fires. So far, 4 million acres have burned, making it twice the size of the previous record in a year and an area larger than the state of Connecticut. 31 people have died, and 8454 homes have burned. The most populous state has suffered five of its six largest wildfires in history this year, as heat waves and dry-lightning sieges coincided with drier conditions that climate scientists blame on global warming.
The Corvid-19 pandemic has now affected 7,505,022 with over 212,000 deaths and 4,875,664 recovered in the United States. Even the unmasked President Trump has caught the virus and is in the hospital recovering. After an unmasked gathering on the Whitehouse lawn for the unveiling of the possible appointee for the Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett, several in attendance have been diagnosed with the virus. Please wear your mask and protect yourself and others.
The moose have been on the move, now looking for mates, and some sightings have been in this area, mostly crossing the highways. Be careful while driving, as they can kill you if you hit one. They will come over the hood of a car and a 600 to 800 pound animal coming through your windshield is not a good thought.
The fringed gentians are out and will be until the snow falls, but that’s another story. See ya.