Please treat the images as copyrighted and ask permission to use. Thank you. DEClapp
Winter is ending here; it doesn’t seem too happy about it, but it is ending. We have had a mix of cold and warm, wet and dry, rain and snow, and wind. Sunset is an hour later than a few weeks ago and the sun is much higher in the sky. It isn’t yet a really warm sun but it’s getting there. However, with the virus around and precautions necessary I haven’t been too far from home. And home in the winter means mostly birds. The Right Whales are appearing in the bay and we had a fisher wander through the yard last week. So nature is on the move. But as I say, it is mostly birds for the camera. Oh, part of that is the sun and it’s tendency to make you think that spring is actually here. Some days are simply gorgeous when viewed from the inside looking out. But those days turn on you when you go outside in spring time clothing.
What this all implies is that I will do more posts and continue with current local stuff.
There has been an unusual visitor to the northeast recently; a Steller’s Sea Eagle. The is a bird of Kamchatka and Japan and is rarely seen in the US, even very rare in Alaska. It seems that one has wandered across the Bering Sea through Canada and down into Texas and then north again eventually reaching the Canadian Maritimes and then dropping south into Massachusetts where it hung out on the Taunton River for a week or so. It then headed north and has been around Booth Bay and Bath Maine for the last month or so. This is a birder’s big deal. Sadly at this point I/we have not seen it and have little to report except that coastal Maine is lovely in the winter. There are a few Golden Eagles and lots of Bald Eagles up there and we are told there is a Steller’s Sea Eagle as well. Maybe, some day soon, this blog will have images and personal proof. Until then, we hope it stays and will post a couple more reports from Cape Cod and coastal Massachusetts.
We have had changes in landscape and climate during the past 200 years. There is little doubt of that. Many plants and animals have been introduced for hunting, fishing, and agricultural commerce. At the other end of that are the plants and animals that have been eliminated or reduced in numbers due to habitat changes. We now have earth worms and honey bees. We don’t have Passenger Pigeons or Carolina Parakeets. We have an array of European weeds that have escaped agriculture and now blanket our roadsides and woodlands. We have lost elms and chestnuts and gained alders and various fruit cultivars.
One of the bird groups that has had a great population drop is the game bird populations. For a while Turkeys were rare and non-existent. Shore birds were hunted and ducks taken year round. Pheasants and quail were repopulated mostly by hunting clubs and harvested by hunting club members. The same for ducks and geese. The other day Fran and I were looking at a flurry of birds feeding on seed when three Northern Bobwhite Quail emerged from the shrubbery.