The large dark object caught my eye as I was driving down Rt. 88. One glance revealed a large tom turkey in full display, a couple of hens pecking breakfast from the ground nearby, oblivious to his preening. Springtime was arriving in upstate New York, and the tom’s display of bronze, green and blue feathers was a reflection of the winged ones intentions all over the land.
It is ironic that I have a wood duck house in my garage that I had wanted to put up on the edge of the pond back by the lean-to this winter. Because of the unusual warm weather, the pond never froze over in a manner that allowed me to put up the house. I was walking back in the woods, a mere shout from the pond a few days ago. I wanted to see what wild flowers were emerging for the upcoming wildflower walk. Seems the deer have taken a liking to the trilliums, and there are a million stubs where they have nipped off the leaves and blossoms. But the walk was rewarding as I looked up at the motion in the trees and my eyes landed on a pair of perching wood ducks about forty feet up in a maple tree. I wonder if they were looking for a nesting box.
After I burned off our farm brush pile a number of years back, our resident mockingbirds left for greener pastures. I was elated a couple of weeks back when I first saw that distinctive spotty pattern on a bird, and quickly heard his amazing array of mimicked songs. Dang, my beloved mockingbirds were back for a visit. Even better, they were there in the back yard repeatedly for the next several days, and then I discovered that they have decided to grace us with a nest in the Austrian pine trees on the south edge. Man, can that bird sing!
I love seeing kestrels. These little hunters can so easily blend into the landscape and go unnoticed, but they have a mighty heart, and are so cool to watch fly. I had never heard one give a mating call until a couple of days ago. I had to look three times to see that it was indeed a kestrel, and it’s single note call was obvious even to my weak ears. Sure enough, looking in the same direction that he was looking, I soon spotted his intended across the back yard.
Two days later, I was looking out the door over the deck and saw a bird inspecting one of the various bird houses attached to the old beech carcass. Damn if it wasn’t a kestrel, checking out a potential apartment for springtime occupation.