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Thursday, December 9, 2010

October 17, 2010 2:45-4:30 Sunny 65' Allen's Neck, Dartmouth MA






Scrambling up a tree went a Brown Creeper, body fading into the bark, curved bill probing hungrily for an insect to munch upon. We were only twenty feet down the path and already the birds were all around us; Titmice, Chickadees and Kinglets flitted through the bows which radiated from the trees like hundreds of stiff arms crooked and notched, worn and beaten, ripped at by both rain and wind they still held fast sticking to the trunk that gave them life.

A burst of screeches came to our ears alerting us to the presence of two Blue Jays shrieking "bloody murder".

Squealing, a wild band of piglets passed across the path and headed towards their parents who were presently stuck in their muddy but still cozy pen where the females and youngest piglets were kept. Even the electric fence did nothing to constrain the rampaging little piglets. The pigs were lucky enough to be living in one of the most pig friendly farms in history. The larger pigs were kept together in groups of around five and each group had a plot of about 1000 square feet surrounded by an electric fence. Surprisingly some of the electric fences actually touched the footpath-there was an accident just waiting to happen as any passerby could clearly see (luckily none of us were zapped). The teen age pigs were kept in one big pen where they could romp and rollick whenever they pleased.

In the bushes Northern Cardinals were chirping and singing away, the males with crimson body, head, wings and crest, black mask shining darkly and the duller females with their red crests and their brown bodies, their faces lacking the males black masks.

Gray wings flashed as a bird left the ground, the bird landed in a cedar 20 feet away, I raised my binoculars; red breast, gray back, gray head, gray wings and tail, its bill was thick and straight it cocked its head quizzically at us beady black eyes examining us fascinated by the family watching him then the Robin took off and shot away in his gray wings.

In the fields which littered the Audubon we found large numbers of birds mainly sparrows and Yellow-Rumped Warblers but also some gulls and raptors. In the fields we saw; 2 Song Sparrows, 1 Field Sparrow, 1 Great-Blue Heron (flying), 3+ Yellow-Rumped Warblers, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Savannah Sparrows, 1 Greater Yellowlegs (calling in the distance), 20 Canada Geese (flying in a V formation), 1 Red-Tailed Hawk (soaring), 1 Peregrine Falcon (flying), 1 Carolina Wren (heard singing), 1 Northern Harrier (flying), 1 Great Black-Backed Gull (flying), 1 Bowhead Whale (flying), 1 Herring Gull (flying) and 2+ Golden-Crowned Kinglets. Butterflies seen; 1 Monarch, 1 Red Admiral and lots of Sulphurs. It was an excellent day all in all.

ps Note to Santa: we would love to get a cute pet piglet!

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