We have lived here on the pond for 4 years and even though this last year has been, for me, a struggle for I have not been out to enjoy it. All I can do is look out the window and every now then catch a fish jumping and, until he passed, watch my friend Bill Monroe pull in some big ones.
Then there are the birds. Occasionally we see the Great Blue Herron but with all the rain we have had this summer the pond was very murky which does not allow the heron to see his prey. So I guess the herons fished mainly in the creek. We also have had Bald eagles visit the area but now I’m the only bald bird around. We have fed birds for many years. Before we moved to the reservation we went thru at least 100# of bird seed a month plus almost all the beef suite that Krogers would have out for sale. We had 4 different kinds woodpeckers and at least 25 to 30 different kinds of song birds at our feeders every day. Then we moved.
The first year we kind of let the birds go until fall and winter and we had a few takers. There is nothing that brightens your day more than watching Gold Finches feed on the thistle sock. The second and third year we began to get lots of visitors to the feeders and really enjoyed them. And then! The fall of 2016 I began to decline, with no energy and I let the feeders go empty. The birds went elsewhere to find food. Because of my medical problems there was no bird feeding until about a month ago when I began to be out a bit and Linda and I bought some new feeders and lots of seed and guess what? Few if any birds have shown up to partake. Our biggest customers are a couple of squirrels and the ducks and geese that clean up after the squirrels.
Being the fix all things kind of person I sent the wife to Tractor Supply to buy a couple of squirrel retarders to keep them away from the bird feeders and she came home with the hardware and some ear corn for the poor squirrels who were going to starve if they couldn’t get to the feeders. We have found out that the squirrels don’t eat the whole kernel of corn, just the heart. However we have one feeder just for sunflower seeds for mainly Cardinals and I have to go work on that feeder because it is too close to the ground (words from one of my favorite Willie songs) and the biggest squirrel can jump to the feeder tray avoiding the squirrel guard.
Now to the real problem, we still have very few birds and I think I have figured out the problem. We have a very large blue spruce tree at the end of our patio and it has always been a shelter for bunches of birds year round. Now we have a new resident in the tree. A Sharp Shinned Hawk whose sole diet consists of birds. This happen a couple of times when we lived in the country. The hawk would stay close and the birds would leave and finally the hawk would get hungry and leave for better pickings and the birds would return. I’m hoping this hawk gets hungry soon and I can figure out how to keep the squirrel off the bird feeder. I really do miss watching the birds feed and I hope they return soon.
I have already and will continue to miss my great fisherman friend Bill but maybe by spring I can start fishing again and maybe I too can catch a big one.
Thanks for listening,
The crotchety old man