2018 July to Dec - Bird & Animal Sightings


#161

Saw eight 9-spot ladybugs on the screen this afternoon while the sun was shining - and six stink bugs. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: A couple of yellow jackets came around also. Last time I heard any crickets was two evenings ago with three crickets making their final attempt of finding a mate. The big dragonflies stopped showing up about three days ago - in the afternoon when the sun came out for a few hours. None since. Damsel flies have been long gone. The turkey buzzards have been soaring at tree top level and swooping down below the trees over the fields and people’s yards. They must be hungry.
Haven’t seen any turkeys in ages. I wonder where they’ve been keeping themselves. Maybe I catch them walking down the middle of the road again - like they did one year… after they climbed up over the snowbanks. :grinning: The deer have been staying out of sight during the day - until today when my wife a large doe running down the other side of the hill heading toward the ravine and into the woods. She said something had spooked it because it stopped just before ducking into the woods and stood there looking back in the direction she came from.

Glad to hear that! :smiley:


#162

The other night as I was sitting on my porch I observed a red fox come out from the woodlot across the street and down a few houses. It practiced good sense by looking both ways before trotting across the street. :grinning:
Today was a busy day for all of the different kinds of birds. I think there was at least 3 of 22 different species all taking turns flying over to the French lilac tree (and on my porch railing) and giving me a piece of their minds. Seems I may have not left enough seed out for them before the rains started the other day. :roll_eyes: Even the grey squirrels ran up onto the porch, climbed up and sat on the railing staring at me - with one paw held against their stomach as if to say, “I’m hungry. Where’s the peanuts?” :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Couldn’t enjoy my morning coffee without being harassed and stared at. :neutral_face:


#163

I have been feeding the birds some. with the weather turning colder I will need to change water containers for the birds and bring it in daily. Otherwise just a little skating rink for them :ice_skate: :bird:


#164

Oh come on… splurge a little and buy them a heater for their bird bath. It will keep them from freezing and if they belong to the Polar Bear Club they can take the plunge! :rofl:


#165

Yeah I’m not even sure a heater would work at -40 C … may still have a skating rink :ice_skate::bird:

I can take those photographs where I throw the water up in the air and it freezes and comes down ice crystals!


#166

I love those photos and videos! It’s like pouring hot soup into a bowl in Antarctica and it’s frozen by the time it hits the bowl. :laughing:

I don’t remember how far down (temperature) those bird bath heaters work. I believe there are some that swirl the water as well so it’s not just sitting there. Maybe later this afternoon I’ll check that out… maybe. I have a lot to get down around here before the little ones start to come around. :wink:


#168

This type on amazon only goes to -23 C max
Farm Innovators GBD-75 3-in-1 Heated Birdbath, 75-Watt


#169

Ooh… that’s iffy for me as well for some nights. One of these nights I’ll have to check some other heaters. I’ve been real busy the past few days - even missed nodding last night with the exception of about 10 tiles each on H. Maria and the CA Wildfires. Will have to make up for it tonight. :wink:

Edit (10 hours later): Thought I should add that this afternoon when the rain stopped for a couple of hours - and with the mild temperature and no wind - we saw many 9-spotted ladybugs, a large dragonfly (yes, a dragonfly on the 2nd of November), and stink bugs! When my 6- and 5-yr old granddaughters got home from school they were both out back catching ladybugs - to keep as “pets.” :laughing: They were using butterfly nets to capture them and then put them into a covered pail. I had all I could do to explain to them that the ladybugs were looking to find someplace where it wouldn’t get too cold so they could sleep through the winter. Then they would wake up in the spring and go out to lay their eggs and eat “the bad bugs.” It wasn’t until I told them that this type of ladybug is almost gone that they agreed they would let them go in the morning. And then I got bombarded with a 101 questions as to why there are fewer and fewer of these ladybugs. No problem… I had already researched that and had all the answers. :laughing:

Edit: I forgot to mention we saw quite a few mosquitoes in those hours without rain. Since it was calm, it was great flying for them. We zapped at least 8 or 9 in the breezeway. We thought they were done for the year over a week ago when it went down below freezing for a few nights. Guess not. :unamused:


#170

Wow dragonflies, mosquitoes … stink bugs… we haven’t seen any insects for over a month… too cold!!


#171

Want to hear a good one? When my two granddaughters arrived home from school, they spotted a ladybug on the door. As soon as they came inside and put their school things away, they both headed out the back door into the breezeway - with butterfly nets and two little plastic (:grimacing:) pails. Between the two of them they captured about 9-10 ladybugs. All 9-spotted ladybugs. They promised they were only going to keep their “pets” for a day and then would release them. (My wife and I explained how they’re looking for someplace where it won’t get too cold so they can sleep for the winter.) About an hour later the 5-year old comes running into the kitchen and tells us that the ladybugs got away - in the playroom! :open_mouth: After 30 minutes we thought we had them all, but the girls kept on insisting there were more! :confused: After their father got home we didn’t tell him about the ladybugs because he’s always told them not to bring bugs into the house. (We’ve been through this before. :laughing:) Without thinking, the 5-year old yells, “There’s a ladybug on the window!” Sure enough, there’s one crawling along the bottom of the window. I catch that one and put it into a small container my granddaughter brings over. Within 10 seconds the 6-year old hollers from the parlor, “Grandpa! There’s a ladybug on the ceiling! Can you catch it?” My son turns around and gives me that look… whats going on here… the girls brought in ladybugs? Without saying anything I go into the parlor and there’s the ladybug - sitting right at the top of the ceiling fan housing… no moving at all. Don’t tell me this is where it’s going to park for the winter! I tell the girls we’ll have to wait until the ladybug decides to come down before we can catch it. (The parlor has vaulted ceilings and I’d have to get out the big step ladder from the shed in order to reach it - which I wasn’t about to do.) Some time later I keep on hearing a thud, followed by a couple rapid thuds. Going back into the parlor I find the 6-year old tossing a football up at the ceiling trying to knock the ladybug down! :astonished: I told her to stop before she either squashed the ladybug, knocked the ceiling fan loose or worse yet, knocked photos off the shelf and break the glass. I guess the ladybug didn’t like all that thumping because suddenly it just flew down and landed on the coffee table where I pushed it onto a slip of paper and promptly dropped it into the small container the 5-year old was holding. All the while my son was just staring at me - like I was the one who brought them into the house. :innocent: When the girls sat down for dinner, I went outside and released them back into the breezeway, hoping they’d find a good hiding place before the girls realized they were gone. :roll_eyes: At least they were only catching ladybugs and not stink bugs. :laughing:
Before they went upstairs for their baths, the 5-year old asked me if next year I would catch her some snakes to keep as pets. :astonished: :rofl:


#172

“Football trying to knock the ladybug down”

Kids… they are inventive when they want to get a job done!! :smile:


#173

Saw a few meandering moose on my travels… lucky for me they were not on the roads!!! Still some ducks, geese and swans before the snowstorm on Monday… gone now.


#174

I heard some Canada geese down by the river the past couple of nights. Guess they’re staying a while longer. Haven’t seen any ducks for quite some time now. They must be long gone. When the sun does make it out and it warms up to at least 40F/4C, a few ladybugs show up… probably looking for a “better” place to winter than the ones they had. Most of what I’ve seen are the nine-spotted ladybugs - the North American natives. :wink:


#175

My wife told me last night the night before the coyotes were howling from the field to the southwest of the brook at the bottom of the hill at my son’s house. This morning (4:55 AM), I heard one coyote howl once, followed by several short yips… down at the river! Probably heading “home.” :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#176

I dropped off my wife at our son’s house tonight so she can babysit in the AM. I was heading home and just got to the end of his road, when I spotted a large doe and a little dinky fawn. Talk about a late fawn! I couldn’t get over how young this little one was! This doe had her second fawn really late in the season. When I got home I put out a lot of cracked corn and sunflower seeds - not that I’m feeding the deer. :innocent: :roll_eyes: :shushing_face:

I heard a call on the scanner for a report of a rabid red fox. The call came in from an off-duty police officer. The poor thing. :anguished:

Last night and into the wee hours of the morning I could hear some flights of Canada geese passing overhead. We still haven’t been “blessed” with the hoards blackbirds (yet?). I don’t know if they’re just late this year or if they’ve already headed south and bypassed this entire area. Strange.

Every time my wife or I go out and sit on the porch, a certain Bluejay (I’m not mentioning any names :grinning:) shows up on the railing. It will sit there staring at her or I as if to say, “Well, where’s the peanuts?”
Of course there’s seed in the hanging feeders and on the ground, but this bird “insists” I fork over peanuts! Then the not-so-little stinker will sit there and start calling for his buddies - which promptly show up and they all sit in the pine and lilac trees scolding me for peanuts. It’s not until I tell them I don’t have any peanuts, but will go to the store and buy them some, that they’ll quiet down and start eating the seeds. :astonished: At least they’re not as bad as the grey squirrels when the squirrels ripped the stuffing out of both porch chairs and left piles of butternut shells on the seats. Think maybe they’re a wee bit spoiled? :wink:


#177

“Feeding the deer”

Ah … that’s why they keep coming to your house!!! That is so late for a fawn…do farmers in the area put out hay and bedding for deer? Some here do.
They also plunk a big round bale in the slough/pond during the winter so it is there for geese to nest in the spring.

Last week there was a lot of noise outside… 6 blue jays swooped in and were attacking a poor little acorn tree… stripped!!!
A few in the area must have those coil peanut hangers out.


#178

Farmers do leave salt licks out for the cows, but also set some outside of the fences for the deer. As for the hay, I have seen bales in unusual places (definitely not for their cows), so they must be for the deer. There is one farm that has a very large pond that is spring fed. I’ve seen bales of hay dropped here and there up on the banks (well away from the water’s edge) in the reeds and bushes with the twine cut. I imagine this is for the geese.

Last night about 3 AM I heard an owl hooting away in a tree behind the carriage house. Some Canada geese down by the river carried on for a minute at two different times. Must have been fox or coyote getting too close to them.

As I was refilling the hanging bird feeders, I realized I’m out of suet cakes. Will have to make a trip to the village for those, another 40-lb/18 kg sack of black oil sunflower seeds and safflower seeds. That will have to wait until I finished clearing leaves from the rain gutters - again! I also have to mulch a lot more leaves before the rain starts tonight - and continues until tomorrow around noon.

Last night a spoke to a neighbor and he also noticed the absence of the large flocks of blackbirds this year. They would swoop into his yard - as well as mine - and within 20-30 minutes would eat everything he put out for the resident birds. He told me he’s noticed a lack of the 9-spotted ladybugs around here, but at a house that was left to him up on a mountain about 70 miles/112 km away there are millions of them! Said one can’t walk down the driveway without hearing a faint crunching. Anything you pick up that’s been outside has to be shaken off, otherwise you bring a lot of them inside. Hey! Isn’t that where they’re trying to get to? :grinning:


#179

The farmers drop the large round bales right In the winter. They go across the ice and put them right in the middle of the slough. This gives the geese and goslings protection from foxes etc in the spring.

Late in the season for ladybugs here … unless they are inside your house :face_with_raised_eyebrow: then you have them for the winter!!! I wonder if the area he was speaking about had better winter conditions or food sources?


#180

Must be just better food source as being on the top of the mountain, the winter winds are very harsh and they do get a lot of snow up there… several times already this season. I watched the snow on the radar… yeah… they got it and all we got was rain. :frowning_face:


#181

Similar to the mountains in @Doug4 area. Maybe the higher accumulations protects them in their winter hibernation… just guessing.

I paid close attention to ours this year after our discussion in the spring… the ladybugs were few and far between. But then we had very little mosquitoes, black flies, … maybe this is a cyclical year.