I spent a lot of this weekend on the road — traveling to Orono to do some Christmas caroling with friends, then to my father’s house to drop off Christmas presents early, and then I enjoyed some quiet time at home yesterday morning. During all of this activity, I simply wanted to get into the holiday spirit and get all of my holiday cards, wrapping of gifts, etc. done in the process. But, in looking back over the weekend, I had some interesting wildlife “encounters” that I wanted to share with you. The first occurred on my way to Orono. While driving up the interstate, just passing the first Waterville exit, I was stunned by the number (in the hundreds, if not more) of crows I saw flying over the road and perching in the trees. There must have been 100 crows in one tree alone just off the highway. As I got further down the road, toward the bridge over the river, I saw a huge line of crows flying across the clear blue sky, all headed toward those same trees that were now behind me. I talked to my boss, Allison, about this and she said she will explain this phenomenon to me later today – so I will be able to then share that information with all of you.
Have any of you seen these birds? I have seen crows before, of course, by not in these numbers in such a small area. Then on Saturday, when I arrived at my father’s house in Sabattus, he said to grab the binoculars and look down into the stream behind his house – it is a small outlet from Sabattus Lake that runs through town and behind my dad’s yard. I was so excited to see three otters – three fairly large otters – frolicking in the water and chasing each other over and around logs that were in the water. I am not sure I have ever seen an otter in the wild – and it was a great way to spend the afternoon. What do you see for wildlife in your backyard? And speaking of wildlife in your/my yard — I woke up Sunday morning and looked out across the yard and counted 32 wild turkeys! I know wild turkeys aren’t much of a rarity to see in Maine anymore, but these birds had been around last winter and I hadn’t seen them in months, so I was thrilled to see them again. While talking about wildlife, I also want to remind folks that the cold weather and even some snow has arrived, so please don’t forget about your birds – I bought suet and more birdseed yesterday because I was out, and knew that the birds would be looking for food, especially now in the cold and snow. Have a wonderful holiday season and let me know what wildlife you see in your yard or your travels during this time of year.