Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stores are open...

Wednesday was hideous, that's about all I can say! High winds and snow raked us all day, but we got through and - somehow - so did the birds. CMBO's Northwood Center (Cape May Point) is open and the main roads around and about are surprisingly clear (CMBO-CRE in Goshen is not yet plowed). I think the partial thaw and rain did us some good before the second snowfall came. So, if you're thinking of heading our way, we plan to be open for you - but do check the local weather forecast before leaving home.

As we all know, nature is red in tooth and claw and the principals and practices of 'survival of the fitest' were all too readily visible over the last couple of days. We witnessed a Common Grackle killing and eating a White-throated Sparrow on Wednesday at our feeder and, with improved weather this morning, both Cooper's and Red-shouldered Hawks were patrolling the back yard.

One big tip I would give to anyone is to try and keep an area clear of snow where there is deep soil and leaf litter, under trees or in flower borders rather than on lawns. This will provide many birds with feeding opportunities that otherwise wouldn't be available to them. With a good blanket of snow, the ground should be unfrozen; at the Northwood Center yesterday, American Woodcocks, Grey Catbirds, Brown Thrashers, Carolina Wrens and Fox Sparrows were all grateful for this.

Sunset Beach remains a good area for smart little Bonaparte's Gulls and at least 42 were there on Wednesday morning (along with seven Red-throated Loons).

American Woodcock toughing it out at our feeder.

A sign of tough times; two Eastern Meadowlarks risked the close proximity of our house and joined the Red-winged Blackbirds in our yard for a while.

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