The feeders have been extremely active this winter season on a daily basis and have attracted a few species I haven't seen since my move to the island. Migrating Evening Grosbeaks stuck around for the first part of the season along with a single Red-breasted Grosbeak. American Goldfinch, B.C Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Hairy and Downy Woodpecker and Crows were among the daily visitors. A pair of Bald Eagle have made the property a consistent visit as they are paying close attention to the pig farm that has opened up adjacent to the reserve. The smell reaches the backyard to our homestead occasionally but dissipates inside the forest. I am staying positive about the new operation by taking note of the predator animals that may show interest in the habits of such a farming practice.
My plan for setting up multiple bird feeding stations has been successful and the turnout has been note worthy. My experience with finding birds on the island has been much different then life on the mainland mostly due to the amount of agriculture for such a small island. The partial stand of trees that remain seem to be, at best, a 3rd class lifestyle for my sought after avian friends. My aim with the purchase of this property was to give the wildlife remaining on the island, and the seasonal visitors, a protected habitat to freely roam and forage with human interference non-existent. This has proven to be a challenge with everything from ATV operators not respecting private land to a pack of domesticated dogs running wild through the area. As I continue to work on the property these issues are coming closer to a end and the vision gets a bit clearer by the day.
Here is a small gallery of birds photographed at the feeder this year followed by a list of winter birds recorded. Enjoy......
Backyard Bird Gallery
Birds recorded for this winter are as follows;
I wanted to give a brief update on the progress of the reserve and let you know the plans for the seasons ahead. At the moment things have been slow besides brainstorming plans for the spring and summer seasons. This winter has fell a lot of snow, which has been great, but the snow to rain patterns have made it very difficult to pass the entrance to get inside the forest. Every spring a natural pond appears to the left of the entrance beyond the field that has been an important resting area for migrating ducks and waterfowl. During this part of the season the first 200 meters of forest becomes a large mangrove-like environment until the rain stops and water dissipates; this is when I have been beginning spring forest excursions. With the consistent snow, rain and thaw process of this winter season, this particular section of forest has become impassible due to safety reasons. Along with the uncooperative weather making it hard to be consistent with documenting animal tracks (the way I usually spend my winter) my wife has been pregnant with baby number 2, arriving in April, so our energy has been spent preparing our home for another member.
When the snow clears and ground thaws I will erect swallow boxes in the back field that separates our homestead from the forest. This has been a popular spot for migrating Barn Swallows, as well as a safe nesting area for 4 different species of sparrow and a hopeful .area for more ground nesting breeding birds. We will then continue to monitor owl boxes before starting the reserves first breeding bird survey. The spring will also be spent grooming trails and preparing selected areas for setting up surveying hides. We have been back and forth on the idea of guided walks through the forest, so in the meantime it's important to keep up on trail safety.
I have been quiet and very low key through this winter on the website but will be posting again regularly come spring. We are also in the midst of planning upcoming photography trips for the travel season and will be blogging about each one along with consistent photo galleries. I have been non-existent on all other media platforms and will most likely keep it that way , so keep up to date here.
All the best,
Robbie P. Gallant
As a naturalist, I spend a great amount of time in personal study. Discussion and research is key to exploring new and intelligent ideas and furthering our understanding of our natural surroundings.