Friday, March 12, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Just a quickie this morning, but I had to report what I heard last night.

It was about 7:15, and I was heading home along the ol' dog walking route. We (the pooch and I) had come to a halt so he could tinkle, when lo! overhead I heard the unmistakable harsh "honk" of a Canada goose! And where there's one, there's bound to be more, but it was 7:15 PM after all, which means the only things I was seeing when looking up were the stars and street lights.

Looking back across my phenology chart, I see that I usually don't encounter my first geese until the end of March. In 2004 I had geese on 3/11, too, though. Still, it seems a bit early.

This morning, Newcomb was full of red-wing blackbirds, cow birds (I just love their bubbly song), starlings, grackles...collectively referred to simply as blackbirds. They are skittish, though, so the best I can offer photographically is their hasty depatures.

And, last but not least, I heard a flicker this morning, too.


  1. I can still hear in my memory those red winged black birds as I walked along Sprout Creek in Dutchess County well over 50 years ago. Even though I now hear them 12 months a year (Sarasota, Fl and Saratoga, NY) the magic is still there. Thanks for the memory jogger.

    I hope that the outrage caused by the proposed gutting of environmental services, including Newcomb, has a positive effect and leads to the continuation of these vital services. No easy answers to all our problems fiscal and otherwise but shame on the politicians for always picking on the environment first.

    Unfortunately since I "only " pay property taxes in NY,I have no vote but my heart's vote is with you and your peers. Keep up the good work especially with getting the young into the woods.

  2. Barefootheart - for a goose I imagine you are only a half a day's flap north of us, so you can probably expect them really soon!

    Paul - I remember the deafening roar of the RWBBs in the wetland down the street where I grew up in central NY. And the clouds of birds that would swirl across the sky when they rose en masse. The fields all around that little wetland have been developed now, and when I go home to visit in the spring, the RWBB calls are a pale echo of what they used to be. It's very sad. Still...we do still hear them, so I guess that even though numbers are not what they were, there are still quite a few out there. And thank you for your good wishes. We are not holding our collective breath, but it is nice to know that folks out there value our services. Meanwhile, if you know of anyone looking to hire a naturalist....

  3. We began hearing and seeing geese overhead a couple of weeks ago. Most began their daily journey to our south and were high overhead while passing over the Ozark Mountains.