There are at least four wild turkeys hanging out on our property this winter — when I went out with one of the terriers this morning they clattered up through the spruce trees by the creek. We see their huge tracks in the snow and they dig around under the bird feeders to pick up what has gone deeper than the other ground-feeders can get to. I also saw a grouse under the feeders the other evening — surprising because they are generally so shy that you only see them as a blur when you accidentally flush one while walking in the woods. We also have our usual nuthatches and woodpeckers and chickadees. I always appreciate the birds more in winter when they are the most lively thing in the landscape.
Even before dawn, when the sky is just lightening around four o’clock, a few birds begin turning up. I don’t know which birds they are — from the timbre they might be robins, but this is not daylight robin song. Just a kind of quiet noodling around. Lovely to lie there in the dark listening then drift back down into sleep.
On the dog walk this morning I think I heard a cardinal, but I didn’t see it. A couple of robins on the lawn. Mallards on the river. A woodpecker beating on a transformer cover up the road and making a hell of a racket. (A couple of years ago a hairy woodpecker discovered that the tin roof of our tool shed makes a great drum, but he hasn’t been back recently.)
The first Canada geese came back about ten days ago and more have now established themselves on the island in the river near the bridge. A couple of days ago the red wing blackbirds came back en masse, filling the still-bare maple trees and setting up a huge racket. Just now, I watched a bald eagle circle several times out over the water, then turn and fly over our house toward the woods.