Today’s photo is the last of my "first snow" photos, and likely my last blog post for a few days. With the upcoming holiday, I’ll be doing holiday things for a day or so and then outdoor things for another day or so. I’ll be back to regular posts by Monday, perhaps earlier if the internet connection and time allows. Roundtop will open for skiing this weekend, too, so I will be busy!
And if I don’t already have enough to do, I’ve signed up again for Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project Feederwatch after a few years of not reporting my data. I enjoy participating in this project but when I’m pretty sure my winter will be too busy to do it justice, I don’t sign up. This year I’m not certain I’ll have enough time, but I’m going to try anyway.
Activity at my feeders is starting to pick up. I have almost all my "regulars" in attendance this year. The only one I haven’t yet seen at the feeder itself is the Carolina wren that I hear singing down by the brushy edge of the woods. The rest of the usual gang pigs out every morning. In fact, I hear the titmice call as soon as I open the back door, announcing the arrival of food to the entire forest before it even hits the bird feeder.
I’ve made an addition, perhaps a temporary one, to my bird feeding regimen. The local garden center is now selling mealy worms and I picked up a plastic tin (about 2 cups at $9.99) for my birds. They are thrilled, but since this is expensive caviar-grade stuff, my largesse may not last through the winter. I dole it out in palm-sized daily amounts. The rest of my bird food is the same: suet, sunflower seeds, thistle, safflower seeds and the "Woodpecker" mix of nuts and seeds from a seed manufacturer. This combination results in happy birds and little wasted food. Virtually everything is eaten, and there’s no millet involved.
I have two tube feeders and a platform feeding station. I’d put out more tubes, except that the white oak tree over the feeders doesn’t have any other low-hanging branches to hang more from. The platform feeder actually hangs on my deck, not the deck railing but on a hanging iron plant stand that has a round base. I have to weigh the base down with stones to keep it standing, but it usually does keep standing, though sometimes a very heavy squirrel, leaping from some distance or just overly klutzy, will knock it down. That hasn’t happened, though, since I added yet another stone atop the base.
So, I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and enjoys a long holiday weekend. I’ll make sure the feeder birds get an extra helping of mealy worms for the holiday, and you go ahead and have that second piece of pumpkin pie, too. It’s okay.