Saturday, March 19, 2022

Flock of 100 snow geese fly over Ferd’s Bog, full house at feeders

Winter held on [as of March 14] with a little more snow and cold weather giving the snowmobilers and skiers another weekend to do their thing. The cross-country skiing was the best it has been all winter with enough powder on top of the crust you could just about ski anywhere and still have control. The couple of warmer days before the snowstorm encouraged a few birds to move north.

As I went out to move the new fallen snow on Saturday [March 12], I heard a Robin and had two Grackles at the feeder. A few others that I contacted had Redwing Blackbirds and then on Sunday [March 13] I had a Song Sparrow feeding among over one hundred mixed flock of Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskins and one lonely Common Redpoll.

That same day over at Ferd’s Bog I had a flock of 100 Snow Geese flying west into the wind go low overhead. I picked up another male Red Crossbill on Parkhurst Road [in Inlet] on Sunday [March 13] so I don’t think that pair will have any young with no one to feed the female on the nest. There may be only three cars that travel that road a day, and I’ve picked up five dead Crossbills there in two weeks. I also saw a Raven flying down the road with a Crossbill in its beak, so I don’t find them all.

You won’t get to read this before the Full Worm Moon which Southern Native Americans named “Ojibwe” [in reference to] the time worms come up through the unfrozen ground which is on Friday night [March 11]. Other names for this month’s full moon are Sugar Moon which marks the time the sugar maple sap starts to flow. Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo) refers to the strong winds that blow this time of the year. Another is the Sore Eyes Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine) which highlights the blinding rays of the sunlight that reflect off the melting snow of late winter. It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet. It should be a beauty if we get to see it in the eastern sky a little after dusk.

In the morning sky you can surely see Venus, the brightest light in the eastern sky in the morning before sunrise. Two other bright lights just below there are Mars and Saturn. Just before sunrise you might get a peek at Jupiter just above the horizon. Each clear morning, I get to see Venus right out my bedroom window. I’ll have to go over to the Seventh Lake Bridge to catch these others as all the trees in my woods keep me from seeing them.

Another big happening this week [was] the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Forge [March 18] which is always a hoot. Parade Grand Marshalls are the Deis family. Line up [was at Keyes] Pancake House at 4:45 pm and the parade [began] at 5 pm. [The parade features] some floats, dog walkers, snowplow operators, maybe a bag piper, and a leprechaun of course. It’s all in good fun after a two-year lay off for Covid.

Birds under feeders. Photo by Gary Lee.

My bird net was frozen like a rope, so I thawed it out in the cellar and put it up for only the second time this winter today [Monday, March 14]. There were over one hundred birds working all the feeders and I caught a few of them. The first bird I caught and banded was that Song Sparrow I mention earlier. Then I got some American Goldfinch, Purple Finch and Black Capped Chickadees. I did catch two female Downey Woodpeckers who were in a chase and then one new Blue Jay.

I did get some returns, one Chickadee that had a worn band and I thought it might have been the old one (11 years, 9 months) that I recaptured last March, but it was only banded three years ago in September of 2019. The old one is the oldest Black Capped Chickadee in the United States ever recorded and it may still be around as I caught it on March 23 last year. The male Goldfinch are starting to get some black feathers on the top of their heads and the wings bars are turning a bright yellow.

I got all the clocks turned ahead which seems a bit early, but it sure extends the daylight time until after 6 pm. My birds normally went to bed at about 4 pm, and I wouldn’t see them until daylight the next morning, but last night some were still taking seeds just before 6 pm.

The DEC outdoor burning ban [started] on March 16 and runs to May 18. It does prevent many spring wildfires in the state since it started a few years ago.

The Inlet Mighty Loons [youth] hockey team went to the (Utica) Dome to play a scrimmage, but that’s another story. See ya.

Photo at top: Snowshoe hike across Ferd’s Bog. Photo by Gary Lee.

 

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Gary lives with his wife, Karen, at Eight Acre Wood in Inlet where he was the Forest Ranger for 35 years, working in the Moose River Wild Forest Recreation Area and West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. Now retired, Gary works summers for the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, observing, catching and banding loons. The author of a column Daybreak to Twilight in local papers from 1986 to 2019, he now writes his Outdoor Adventures a weekly blog. In 2008, Gary coauthored a book with John M.C. “Mike” Peterson, "Adirondack Birding- 60 Great Places to Find Birds."




3 Responses

  1. Holly Pollinger says:

    Wow. What a great career Gary Lee is having. I pretend to myself that I wish I had done something like that but know that I wouldn’t have been that brave.

  2. Harry Rissetto says:

    Gary

    I love your observations about the birds! Harry

  3. Alan Fisher says:

    The Robins are on their way north, counted 50 in our soggy back yard on Saturday!

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